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While I’ve heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, and maybe one or two other cryptocurrencies, I’d never heard of FTT, SBF’s creation. I never knew about all the love SBF bought from cultural icons like Larry David or football legend Tom Brady, who did commercials for FTX I never saw.
I was unaware that Sam Bank-Friendman was the Democratic party’s second-largest individual donor – over $10 million for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020 and another $39 million for the 2022 election – behind George Soros and ahead of Michael Bloomberg.
I was unaware of SBF’s numerous conference appearances, testimony, and $300,000 in financial contributions to House Financial Services Committee members. From the Washington Free-Beacon:
While Bankman-Fried has donated to Republicans, more than 95 percent of his contributions have gone to Democrats and Democratic committees. Along with top FTX executives, he contributed to seven Democrats and two Republicans on the Financial Services committee. They gave to five members of the committee’s Digital Assets Working Group, which Waters launched last year to “support responsible innovation that protects consumers and investors” and to craft regulations for the industry. To date, the Digital Assets Working Group has not proposed regulations for the industry, which some lawmakers say would have blunted the impact of FTX’s bankruptcy on its customers.
Garcia was the biggest recipient of Bankman-Fried cash. Bankman-Fried’s political action committee, Protect Our Future PAC, spent $199,851 on ads supporting Garcia, who serves on the committee’s Digital Assets Working Group. Bankman-Fried contributed another $2,900 to Garcia’s campaign.
Bankman-Fried and his associates gave to four other members of the Digital Assets Working Group, Reps. Ritchie Torres (D., N.Y.), Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.), Jim Himes (D., Conn.), and Sean Casten (D., Ill.).
Bankman-Fried and his brother Gabriel gave $40,300 in all to Torres’s campaign and two of his political committees, the Torres Victory Fund and La Bamba PAC. Bankman-Fried and the head of FTX’s regulatory division gave $16,600 to Gottheimer, while other Bankman-Fried associates contributed $500 to Himes and $9,100 to Casten.
And frankly, I’d never heard of “effective altruism.” It looks like old-fashioned philanthropy to me, except when it’s not.
Since I know little about cryptocurrency other than the promises of blockchain technology – which is very cool with terrific supply chain benefits – I’ve stayed away from it.
Until now. This scandal has all the hallmarks of a terrific book and movie – already underway via “The Big Short” and “Moneyball” author Michael Lewis – and the corrupt interchange between “woke capitalism,” politics, and the government regulators who turned a blind eye, and worse. There’s even sex involved, apparently. Quick poll: who plays SBF in the movie? Too bad Seth Rogan is too old for the role. There aren’t many frumpy 30-year-olds with unkept perms in Hollywood. From Yahoo!News:
The top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Senator Pat Toomey, writing in a tweet, quote, “Congress’ failure to pass legislation creating regulatory guardrails for crypto trading, combined with the complete hostility and lack of transparency by the SEC (Security and Exchange Commisssion), has generated a debilitated amount of legal uncertainty.” The SEC reportedly met with FTX and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried several times before the crypto firm filed for bankruptcy.
Rumors have surfaced that SEC chairman Gary Gensler helped Bankman-Fried with regulatory loopholes, trying to avoid certain filings, though that has not been corroborated. Representative Tom Emmer (incoming US House Assistant Majority Leader) tweeted, quote, “Interesting. Gary Gensler runs to the media while reports to my office allege he was helping SBF and FTX work on legal loopholes to obtain a regulatory monopoly. We’re looking into this.”
Who says money doesn’t buy you love in politics? Very altruistic! Why do Democratic scandals always seem to happen after elections? Well, not all, but those get censored.