There are always fresh scams, but con guys are nothing new. Additionally, Sam Bankman-Fried, the FTX fraud suspect, seems to have mastered the modernized confidence game.
Describe it as the “awake swindle.”
FTX’s new CEO John Ray III, who was chosen to fix the financial messes that SBF left behind, testified that “the FTX group’s failure seems to arise from utter concentration of power in the hands of a small number of extremely incompetent and naive persons.”
How terrible was it?
It was preferable to operate an 8-year-lemonade old’s stand.
Ray, who oversaw the $74 billion Enron collapse, stated, “Never in my experience have I seen such an absolute breakdown of corporate controls at every level of a company.” That’s a lot to say, then.
FTX performed its accounting using Quickbooks.
A multi-billion dollar company’s books were maintained using the same software that a grandma uses to monitor the sales of her knitted tea cozy on Etsy.
In a couple of days, SBF’s net value decreased from about $16 billion to virtually nothing. Money from customers disappeared in an instant, maybe more than $1 billion.
How in the world is this even possible? In the end, though, you don’t need to comprehend what FTX is in order to comprehend what transpired. It was a traditional con but with a twist. The world wokerati helped it along by seeing SBF and noticing an ATM that echoed all the sanctioned mantras.
SBF donated enormous sums of money to Democrats, Republicans, and Biden, but the gifts were skewed sharply to the left. He promised to spend as much as $1 billion in only the 2024 cycle. He invested in what is known as “effective altruism,” which is basically a fancy term for funding left-wing charities. A Democratic super PAC was co-founded by his mother, Barbara Fried.
Along with all the other accusations against him, SBF is also charged with breaking the law on campaign funding. He funnelled funds to politicians and reportedly disguised where the money was truly coming from. He was seen as the reincarnation of George Soros, the well-known left-wing billionaire who supported some of the most liberal candidates for office in the United States.
The phrase “The Next Warren Buffet?” appeared next to him on the cover of Fortune magazine. Yes, the same Warren Buffet who said he would not pay $25 to purchase “all Bitcoin in the world.”
But it didn’t matter; the leaders of the free world thought that was sufficient. They quickly joined in.
SBF shared the stage with former US president Bill Clinton and former UK prime minister Tony Blair at a posh cryptocurrency conference in the Bahamas.
How embarrassing! They voluntarily provided SBF and his false enterprise with the appearance of legitimacy he required to pull off the hoax.
Photos of the incident are upsetting. The Bernie Madoff of the Millennial age is seated next to the former presidents of the biggest democracies in the world.
Clinton, who allegedly received payment for his participation, promoted a laissez-faire attitude to cryptocurrency regulation. According to a leak of his off-the-record comments, he remarked, “You want to do right by it in the regulatory environment.” I’m interested to hear what he has to say about modern regulation. He probably won’t have the guts to speak out.
Famous people who are considered to be ‘brand ambassadors’ for FTX include NFL player Tom Brady, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and famed comedian Larry David. They fulfilled their obligations and collected their cheques, but their supporters who had made investments with SBF could have lost money as a result.
A class action complaint has been filed against these well-known elites, accusing them of participating in a deceitful scheme.
Maxine Waters, a Democrat and chair of the House Financial Services Committee, which is in charge of regulating the financial services industry, fell for the SBF hype head-over-heels. When SBF gave testimony in front of her in 2021, she was caught on tape pretending to blow him a kiss. Perhaps she was waving farewell to accountability?
The ratings organization TruValue Labs, which examines and recommends firms to leftist investors based on the firm’s commitment to the environment, society and to corporate governance, determined that FTX rivalled Exxon/Mobile in several areas.
When SBF managed his multi-billion dollar business like a high school Dungeons and Dragons club, how did the FTX do so well? The future? But SBF has already made a “carbon neutral” commitment. I guess they thought that sufficed.
None of these ostensibly cultured individuals cared to peek inside SBF’s multibillion-dollar company to see how it operated. And why would they when it was giving out money for free? He was just the type of cash cow they were looking for.
Just for a second, contrast Elon Musk with SBF.
Perhaps things would be different now if Sam Bankman-Fried had received even a fraction of the attention, fury, and time that Musk has received for every every action and comment.
You don’t trust me? Well amazingly even after the collapse of FTX, SBF was interviewed live at The New York Times’s DealBook conference, where he continued to promote the absurd notion that he’s some kind of modern-day prophet, who just wants to spend his money for good. Incredibly, he even boasted that he “did not once attempt to perpetrate fraud.”
Ooops. My error.
He said that he would not remain silent out of loyalty to his clients. I have an obligation to speak, he said.
You should at least give it to this person since he knows how to garner positive press.
Could you ever see offering the same chance to someone who did not meet the description of an awakened wunderkind? Do you believe Elon Musk would have given the New York Times the opportunity to hear his side of the story?
It only goes to demonstrate that you can get away with a lot by using the “standard” woke lingo and grease the wheels with plenty of cash.
On the other side, be careful if you pledge to restore free expression on social media and refuse to submit to Groupthink.
I worry that more innocent individuals will be taken advantage of until the mainstream media, legislators, and others in positions of power start asking serious questions before handing away their endorsements and admiration.
SBF’s liberal gravy train was sufficient to persuade the world’s intellectual elite to be credulous.
That is, of course, being kind. Where does guilt begin and gullibility end? The courts will determine that.
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