“Trust me…I’m a billionaire-boy-genius and I don’t live in my parents’ basement.
I just look like I do!”
OK, show of hands… who’s surprised this guy ran off to the Bahamas with all the cash people gave him to invest in crypto? ? I mean, I’m no stranger to cargo shorts and a comfy t-shirt, but I’m not managing BILLIONS of other people’s money, and co-mingling funds with my polyamorist girlfriend! (Not that I have either).
It’s probably the total disregard for any style, class, professional respect, or even personal hygiene, that celebrity investors took one look and thought that Sam Bankman-Freid is some kind of boy wonder! I mean, you really have to wonder, why in the “blue blazers” would any Wall Street financial button-down take take him seriously? The fact was, they didn’t…Hollywood did.
If you pay attention to any news printed about FTX in the past year, the writing was on the wall. In July of 2021, he was on CNBC trying to explain how “proof of work” concept was some kind of “electricity per transaction” metric, a totally ridiculous screw-up, the real crypto-kiddies should have called him out, sent up the red flag, smoke signals, even Morse code…anything to OUT this total fraud!
SBF pops up out of thin air in 2018, making headlines by taking advantage of a glitch in the Bitcoin exchange rate between Asia and Western markets, and gets huge attention for a simple rounding error. This is not street-cred enough to trust him with running an entire Crypto Exchange, that somehow had huge capital backing in almost no-time. They got over $400 million from new investors just this year, and because of an earlier meltdown with the TERRA-LUNA crypto taking out dozens of small crypto companies, they bought up nearly $2 BILLION in assets, that they had no way to cover.
Go back even further, and you’ see the bio page for FTX, listing about a half-dozen of Robin Hoods’ merry men, but not one CFO, or anyone with a serious financial background. RED FLAG! RED FLAG! ? ? ?
It’s not lost on me that the prevailing attitude of Altcoin peddlers is very anti-establishment, decentralized, and regulatory-phobic, singing sea shanties like pirates en route to plunder, but come on!
If you’re a big-shot quarterback with a supermodel wife, and wanted to make Hail Mary play on the crypto market, how did you not see this coming, even if you just GOOGLED the guy before dumping millions of your own cash into something you had not an inkling about what they sold? QB and now Ex-wife are said to have lost almost $60 million at this point.
Binance, another large Exchange (now probably the biggest), had a pretty open feud with FTX earlier this year, and disinvested with them. They also tweeted that they did not trust FTX, and were cutting any bid to bail them out. Not surprising, they have financial guys on their payroll!
And then there’s the girlfriend, “Sweet” Caroline Ellison. Now former CEO of Alameda Research, co-owned by SBF. Her social media reads like some sort of free-love experiment gone wrong. Worse, she takes money straight from FTX investors, and uses (or better, LOOSES) it to absurd investments in game studios, betting platforms, online banks, publishers, a fertility clinic, a military drone maker, and a vertical farming company. I’m sure they paid out big dividends.
The Parental Units
I hate to pick on people’s questionable parentage, but, it’s National “fish-in-a-barrel” month, so here we go. Mom and dad, both professors at Stanford, have been given the boot ?, if you believe reports.
Joseph Bankman is a leading scholar in tax law and Barbara Fried is an award-winning teacher who specializes in moral philosophy and the law (not ironic at all). Pop and his brother “have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and actively worked with left-wing organizations committed to supporting Democrats. The four appear to have had subtle influence on the Democratic establishment for the better part of a decade” , according to Fox News.
There are also stories that he spent around $37 million during the last election cycle, almost all of which went to boosting Democratic candidates and causes. That made him the party’s second-largest donor, according to OpenSecrets, and the sixth largest overall.
Not to be partisan, SBF said he donated millions to the GOP as well. “All my Republican donations were dark,” SBF told crypto influencer and YouTuber Tiffany Fong, referring to political donations that aren’t publicly disclosed. “The reason was not for regulatory reasons, it’s because reporters freak the “F” out if you donate to Republicans. They’re all super liberal, and I didn’t want to have that fight.”
Did we mention the Clintons yet? Bill Clinton was a paid speaker at the April 2022 Crypto Bahamas event hosted by FTX, where Democratic mega donor Bankman-Fried moderated a panel featuring the former president and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Memes referring to his connections to the “Democratic Dynamic Duo” said that SBF is NOT suicidal, as he awaits extradition from the Bahamian gulag.
In conclusion, at least at the moment, the best quote from all this comes from “The Decrypt” Crypto newsletter; The new CEO of failed crypto exchange FTX, John J. Ray III, has said that the company’s collapse was caused by “a very small group of grossly inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals.” He continued that “unacceptable practices” which led to FTX’s collapse included systems in place on the exchange which allowed senior people in the company to access customer assets, the commingling of assets, as well as Alameda Research’s ability to use clients’ crypto for its own trading or investments. Understatement of the decade.
About the Author:
Chuck Palm is a Crypto Crusader, Digital Futurist,
Blockchain Enthusiast, and Dad Joke Baccalaureate.