There are no heroes in the Sam Bankman-Fried saga.
Everybody looks bad.
Both political parties took money from the fallen crypto king. Liberal causes took money from the fallen crypto king. Media organizations took money from the fallen crypto king.
Federal regulators, while largely walled off from the insular cryptocurrency world – which was the point – nonetheless did little to keep an eye on the now-bankrupt FTX. Now that the company has cost unsuspecting investors billions in losses, the Justice Department, SEC and Commodites Futures Trading Commission have all rushed to bring charges. But if Bankman-Fried was playing with other people’s money from the time he founded FTX in 2019, as the indictment alleges, then why couldn’t they provide some scrutiny before the house of cards collapsed?
TIMING OF FTX FOUNDER’S ARREST IS ‘SUSPICIOUS’ AHEAD OF CONGRESSIONAL HEARING: LEE ZELDIN | FOX NEWS VIDEO
Democrats and the Biden campaign look bad because they took huge donations from Bankman-Fried, making him the second-largest donor of the last cycle. Republicans look bad because they got a comparable amount in “dark money” donations (which Bankman-Fried says he didn’t want the liberal media to know because it would ruin his narrative). And some Republicans look especially bad because they wrote letters urging federal regulators to lay off crypto, then turned around and criticized the agencies after the FTX implosion.
“Bankman-Fried was orchestrating a massive, years long fraud, diverting billions of dollars of the trading platform’s customer funds for his own personal benefit and to help grow his crypto empire,”
Celebrities like Tom Brady and Larry David look bad because they shilled for the Crypto King, though I don’t think they should be held liable in a class-action suit that’s named them.
Journalists look bad because they lionized the guy. He was on the cover of Forbes and Fortune, which asked if he was “the next Warren Buffett.” There were Bahamas-based profiles in the New York Times (“he lives modestly for a billionaire…a straight-talking Brainiac”) and Politico (“cooks for himself…obsessed with doing the most good for humanity” – without asking many skeptical questions). Instead, he was portrayed as an awkward nebbish who happened to be a genius.
KARINE-JEAN PIERRE DODGES QUESTION ON FTX FOUNDER’S DONATIONS TO DEMOCRATS | FOX NEWS VIDEO
And there is Bankman-Fried himself, who was on an apology tour saying yeah, he was sloppy, he couldn’t be bothered to oversee the billions he had in two self-dealing companies, he feels bad, but he’s certainly not a crook.
Now he’ll have to prove it.
And he’s being held without bail by Bahamian authorities, as he awaits extradition to the U.S.
There’s no question that federal prosecutors had him arrested on Monday night to stop him from testifying at the next day’s Hill hearing. Why would they want to give him a forum to spout his self-justifying bull when they were about to bring criminal charges?
Some pundits said it was too bad we wouldn’t get to hear from Bankman-Fried because his testimony would embarrass Democrats – ignoring the fact that he admits giving big bucks to the GOP as well.
Besides, haven’t we heard plenty from the guy? The previous day, he did a video interview with Forbes, saying: “I have reflected a lot of what happens when I become sh****, when I start to become less grounded, when I start to lose focus and lose concentration on a lot of important things.”
But don’t despair! Reporters “obtained” his planned opening statement for the committee – wonder who the source was? – and quickly published it anyway:
“I would like to start by formally stating, under oath: I f***** up. I know that it doesn’t mean much to say that I’m sorry. And so I’m dedicating as much of myself as I can to doing right by customers.”
Of course, now that he’s spent their money.
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As for all the candidates, committees and media outlets (including Vox, Semafor and Pro Publica) that took money from the Crypto King, most of them – except for a few donations to charity – aren’t offering to give the money back.
As I said, everyone looks bad.
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