‘Big Short’ Steve Eisman says cryptocurrencies are mainly good for ‘speculation’ and ‘money laundering’

Neuberger Berman portfolio manager Steve Eisman says he has doubts about "the social utility of cryptocurrency."
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Steve Eisman, the investor whose forecast of the financial crisis was depicted in “The Big Short,” told us on Thursday he has doubts about “the social utility of cryptocurrency.”

The Neuberger Berman portfolio manager also confirmed his fund is short Deutsche Bank.

“Deutsche Bank has a very simple problem. It doesn’t make money. That’s a pretty shocking statement at this point 10 years after the crisis,” he said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “It’s a bit late in the game to try to solve the problem. … I think Deutsche has to shrink. I think Deutsche five years from now will be a significantly smaller company.”

Regarding cryptocurrencies, he said current government-backed currency markets already serve the public efficiently.

“I have my doubts about it. My doubts center around the fact what’s the social utility of cryptocurrency?” he said. “It’s good for speculation and good for money laundering. … I have no idea how to value [bitcoin] and I don’t think anyone else does either.”

Eisman is known for being one of the few investors to profitably bet against subprime mortgage securities during the financial crisis. He was a key character in Michael Lewis’ best-selling book “The Big Short” and was depicted by actor Steve Carell in the movie based on the book.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment for this story.

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