White House-linked venture capitalist says China war is good business

battle between China and Taiwan would be extremely good for business at America’s Frontier Fund, a technology investment firm whose co-founder and CEO sits on both the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board and President Joe Biden’s Intelligence Advisory Board, according to audio of a Feb. 1 event.

The comments were made at a Tech Finance Symposium organized by Silicon Valley Bank’s Manhattan office. According to Jack Paulson, head of the watchdog group Tech Inquiries, a man who identified himself as “Tom” attended the event in place of Jordan Blashek, president and chief operating officer of America’s Frontier Fund.

After the panel discussion, “Tom” spoke to other participants and talked about AFF’s investments in so-called choke points: sectors that would rise in value during a volatile geopolitical crisis, such as computer chips or rare earth minerals. According to Paulson’s released audio, it appears that a war in the Pacific would be tremendous for the AFF’s bottom line.

If China-Taiwan situation happens, some of our investments will increase 10 times overnight.

If the China-Taiwan situation happens, some of our investments will increase 10 times overnight,” the person identified as Tom said. “So I don’t want to share the name, but the one example I gave is an important element that … has a total market value of $200 million. , but it’s a significant component of a $50 billion market cap. That’s like a choke point, right. And so if it’s only produced in China, for example, and there’s a kinetic event in the Pacific, it’s going to be 10 times overnight, like there’s no question about it. . There are a few different things like that.”

AFF certainly isn’t the only venture fund that would see stratospheric returns across their portfolios in the event of a destabilizing global crisis, such as a “dynamic event in the Pacific” – ie war. Unlike other investment firms, however, AFF is closely tied to the upper echelons of American power, who would shape any response to such a war.

Gilman Louis, AFF’s co-founder and current CEO, served as chair of the National Intelligence University, advised Biden through his Intelligence Advisory Board, and was tapped by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board in 2022. Louis previously ran In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital arm.

In other words, AFF stands to benefit greatly from a geopolitical crisis while its CEO is advising the Biden administration on the geopolitical crisis. (America’s Frontier Fund did not respond to a request for comment.)

AFF was established in 2021, according to its website, “to build the companies, platforms and capabilities that will generate generational returns for investors while ensuring long-term economic competitiveness for the United States and its allies.” Last year, the New York Times reported that the techno-nationalist fund met with US lawmakers to request a $1 billion injection. AFF currently leads the Quad Investor Network, a White House-sponsored coalition of investors from the so-called Quad: a geopolitical bloc made up of the United States, Australia, India and Japan aimed at countering Chinese hegemony.

The fund also has close ties to some of the most vocal and influential China hawks in the American private sector. AFF was founded last year with the support of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, whose closeness to Biden’s government is drawing increasing scrutiny and skepticism, and investor Peter Thiel. Both Thiel and Schmidt, whose national security and defense business interests stand to profit greatly from the Pacific War, both advocated a more hostile national stance toward China.

Schmidt is particularly devoted to China alarmism, having spent much of his post-Google career building anti-China tensions; First at the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, which he chairs, and today through his new think tank, the Special Competitive Studies Project, which routinely portrays China as a direct threat to the United States.

AFF’s own Schmidt connections run deep: Lui, the CEO, worked with Schmidt on the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, while Balshek, the fund’s COO, was previously an executive at Schmidt’s philanthropic fund.