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May 4, 2022 1:00 PM PDT

“I wanna draw something for you, OK, just ’cause you’ll remember it.

“This is LaGuardia airport. It was built in the 1920s,” said Anthony Scaramucci, doodling rectangles on a pad of paper in front of me. I was sitting with the SkyBridge Capital founder and one-time Trump White House communications director at the Grand Hyatt in the Bahamas, where he was co-hosting a crypto-themed offshoot of the annual SALT conference in partnership with crypto exchange FTX.

I was trying to understand why Scaramucci is so bullish on crypto, when the Long Island native, as he often does, started explaining his fascination with a flavored Queens analogy. “Now you got this old airport.…You’re going to improve it over here. You improve it over there. And it’s an airport that ends up looking terrible by the time you get to 2020.”

LaGuardia, in this metaphor, is the existing financial system—a patchwork affair that’s lost whatever curb appeal it once had. “Then you got Dubai. They build the airport in 2005, and it is ab-so-lute-ly brand new, and it is spectacular.” Dubai’s rectangle, representing the new financial system Scaramucci believes will be built with blockchain, was much bigger and nicer, the way he drew it.

“So these are the Goldman Sachses and the JP Morgans and the Morgan Stanleys,” he said, pointing to those schlumpy LaGuardia rectangles. “This is all the sedimentary activity.” He drew an X across LaGuardia. “But now along comes Coinbase and FTX and Binance,” he said, pointing his pen at Dubai again. “They don’t have any of the predecessor baggage.”

And that, in the most Pictionary-basic nutshell, is what brought Scaramucci and his Wall Street kin down to the Bahamas: to fling open the gates to a flashy new financial system carrying none of the baggage of the old.

Anthony Scaramucci's artistic interpretation of the current and future financial systems.
Photo: Akash Pasricha
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