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The Dems' FTX Scandal is Only Just Beginning


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Issues & Insights

Not only was crypto-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s company, FTX, allegedly a fraud, but it spent huge sums on recent elections to get Democrats into office. Was this a case of massive election fraud? If so, it isn’t just Bankman-Fried who should be punished.

In case you’re not caught up on all this, FTX, a futures exchange for crypto-currencies including its own, exploded into the public’s attention just after the election. That’s when it was revealed that FTX had questionably transferred or “loaned” some $10 billion to its sister company, Alameda Research, to “fund risky bets,” a highly questionable move seemingly to shore up Alameda’s finances.

And yes, FTX was a big deal. It’s name is on an NBA arena. Its commercials featured NFL GOAT Tom Brady, as well as “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” creator Larry David.

That brought media reports about some of the money, around $1 billion, simply “disappearing.” That was followed by a host of regulatory agencies and prosecutors launching investigations of the company.:snip:

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FTX: inside the crypto exchange that ‘accidentally’ lost $8bn

It was all an $8bn accident. Or so says Sam Bankman-Fried.

As FTX, the crypto business led by the 30-year-old, quickly collapsed at the end of last week, many of its employees fled the Bahamas, the Caribbean country where the company was based. Some simply abandoned their cars at the airport.

Within the space of a few days, FTX had gone from being the vanguard of a new crypto economy, with a valuation of $32bn and celebrated by celebrities and politicians, to a humiliating bankruptcy.:snip:

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How Big Tech took over the Democrats

Imagine this. A shady offshore finance business has pledged $1 billion to get a Republican president elected in 2024. The founder donates to a vast network of conservative activists and publicly promotes causes that they hold dear. He has long-standing Republican Party family connections. He is lionised in Congress. Officials promise regulatory changes that will help his business. The co-founder of the operation is a curiosity, a Chinese-American with no public profile. Then the business goes bankrupt, losing ordinary Americans billions of dollars of their savings. Much of the money simply goes missing and is unaccounted for.

 

Imagine this. A shady offshore finance business has pledged $1 billion to get a Republican president elected in 2024. The founder donates to a vast network of conservative activists and publicly promotes causes that they hold dear. He has long-standing Republican Party family connections. He is lionised in Congress. Officials promise regulatory changes that will help his business. The co-founder of the operation is a curiosity, a Chinese-American with no public profile. Then the business goes bankrupt, losing ordinary Americans billions of dollars of their savings. Much of the money simply goes missing and is unaccounted for.

a might have reported this affair over the past week or so. You can be sure the word ‘corruption’ would have featured prominently, along with the words ‘deep’ and ‘systemic’. We could be reading excoriating think-pieces on how greed persuaded people to look the other way. No doubt, some Substacks would have speculated on whether an absence of morality was a Republican trait. Yet with the dramatic collapse of FTX earlier this month, this kind of critique has been largely missing. So why might this be?

The answer, of course, is that Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was not a Republican, nor did he donate to conservative causes. He was the second-largest Democratic donor in the 2022 election cycle. He shrewdly talked up the two big secular, liberal religions of climate change and artificial intelligence. He also proclaimed himself to be a vegan.:snip:

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We can only hope he burned enough of the right people to keep this one from being conveniently "overcome by events" and disappearing from the news tomorrow. 

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1 hour ago, SDwaters said:

We can only hope he burned enough of the right people to keep this one from being conveniently "overcome by events" and disappearing from the news tomorrow. 

Again, I won't hold my breath - but as you say - Hope is Eternal ;)

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Handy dandy guide to media coverage of the FTX/Sam Bankman-Fried scandal

The legacy media, especially those outlets that accepted donations from San Bankman-Fried, really wish the case would just go away.

Disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried financially backed half a dozen media outlets including ProPublica, Vox and the Intercept, it has emerged. (snip)

Other recipients of FTX's grants include Semafor, The Law and Justice Journalism Project and an unspecified podcast.

 

Even those who were not on the take from the fraudster are uncomfortable with all the connections of the criminal conspiracy to funding Democrats, a few RINOs, Ukraine, and other sacred cows.

A lot of the best investigative digging is going to come from independent journalists, often self-publishing on Substack. Matthew Crawford’s long essay on Substack is one example. Toward the end, he cuts through the blather being put out in the establishment propaganda media to make the story go away, and offers a quick thumbnail of their treatment of the scandal::snip:

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The New York Times is yet another of Sam Bankman-Fried’s easy marks

The old joke is that “journalistic ethics” is a contradiction in terms. The New York Times is doing its best to prove it true this week, with its bizarre showcasing of Sam Bankman-Fried, the fallen founder of blown-up crypto exchange FTX, at the paper’s exclusive Davos-style summit in Manhattan featuring “icons of business” and “changemakers” for their “influential minds” and “powerful insights.”

The Times invited Bankman-Fried, the 30-year-old tech-bro wunderkind known colloquially as SBF, to speak at its DealBook Summit before his Bahamas-based cryptocurrency empire, once valued at $32 billion, imploded, filing for bankruptcy in early November.

Companies fail, of course, and there’s no shame in that. Taking risk has both its rewards and its downsides.

Even so, it would be very strange for the fresh-out-of-a-job leader of a failed financial firm to want to show up and take his spot among “today’s most vital minds on a single stage,” alongside Amazon President Andy Jassy and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, even if his invitation hadn’t been rescinded.

Worse, FTX’s failure isn’t a normal bankruptcy. It’s not just investors who may lose money; it is customers. FTX was only supposed to be safeguarding crypto “coins” and regular old cash for customers, not repurposing their assets for speculation, as is credibly alleged:snip:

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Thank Sam Bankman-Fried For Democrats’ 2022 Ground Game

As new revelations come out about disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and how he defrauded investors of millions of dollars only to spend their money on lascivious living and personal pet projects, one glaring fact remains: Bankman-Fried was the second-largest individual donor — with only George Soros topping him — to the Democrat Party during the 2022 midterm election cycle.

The 30-year-old crypto mogul gave more than $36 million to Democrats (particularly those who signaled opposition to regulating the cryptocurrency industry), including through Protect Our Future, a left-wing political action committee started under the auspices of guarding against another Covid-19-like pandemic.:snip:

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Media treats fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried with kid gloves because he was a Dem darling

People often talk about “cancel culture.” The way in which people are “canceled” from public life for the tiniest error of judgement or the most minute misstep.

So it is interesting to discover what you can do and still not get canceled. Having studied the matter I have come to the conclusion that the best way to not get canceled is to steal billions of dollars and run off with it. That’ll do the trick.

That is what Sam Bankman-Fried has done. The slovenly crypto-fraudster was exposed weeks ago. His business was not simply badly handled or the victim of unfortunate circumstances. FTX crypto exchange and the hedge fund Alameda Research went out of their way to defraud investors and users. But despite this fact, Bankman-Fraud still seems to have support. No cancellation for him!:snip:

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Bankman-Fried finds a friend in Maxine Waters

Samuel Bankman-Fried proved extremely generous with other people’s money (OPM) and his generosity is now paying off.

He may be able to slip through the judicial cracks as the former “wonder boy” of the now defunct cryptocurrency empire, FTX, having greased the palms of Democratic operatives at the top of the political heap. The sum of $40 million has been bandied about as his personal giveaway chest, but that would be hopelessly understating Mr. Bankman-Fried’s largesse, according to Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter.

Musk is currently data mining global Twitter accounts and he estimates Bankman-Fried’s political investments as closer to $1 billion. There has been a treasure trove of information withheld from the public, but that’s dramatically changing under Musk’s ownership.

All that money has led to Bankman-Fried finding a friend in Maxine Waters (D-CA) among numerous others. She wrote the crypto con artist a very polite letter asking him to appear before the House Financial Services Committee. And her invitation read as if she sympathized with the self-appointed altruistic thinker who wanted to save the world. But the world let him down.

“We appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX,” wrote Waters. “Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors and others.”:snip:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Handcuffed SBF Does a Final Favor for Democratic Allies

What a happy coincidence for Democrats that, hours before the alleged crypto criminal Sam Bankman-Fried was due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee, he was arrested in the Bahamas. That meant that SBF, the second-biggest Democratic donor of the 2022 cycle—behind 92-year-old George Soros—was able to evade questioning from Republican House members.  

Bankman-Fried helped to bankroll President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign and threw nearly $40 million behind Democratic candidates this year, and we have a feeling that questioning from Republican lawmakers would’ve been embarrassing for the Democratic Party. His testimony under oath would also have, presumably, been a boon for prosecutors who decided to arrest him on Monday instead. The timing is puzzling. 

What a happy coincidence for Democrats that, hours before the alleged crypto criminal Sam Bankman-Fried was due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee, he was arrested in the Bahamas. That meant that SBF, the second-biggest Democratic donor of the 2022 cycle—behind 92-year-old George Soros—was able to evade questioning from Republican House members.  :snip:

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s Dirty Political Donations

:snip:

The SEC explains that FTX customer funds were diverted to Alameda to the extent that there was “no meaningful distinction,” and that SBF then used these “commingled FTX customers’ funds” to make “large political donations.” Put simply, SBF stands accused of using stolen money to fuel politics.

And not little donations. According to OpenSecrets, SBF came in as the sixth-largest donor overall in this midterm cycle, and the second-largest donor to Democrats. Only George Soros gave more. SBF dumped close to $40 million into political-action committees, outside groups and individuals.

That’s not all. Individuals associated with FTX and its affiliates contributed some $70 million this cycle. They include executives Ryan Salame (at $20 million, the 14th-largest donor this cycle) and Nishad Singh ($8 million, 31st-largest). Given that both received sizable loans from Alameda, it’s possible all the FTX political donations are criminally tainted.:snip:

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  • 2 weeks later...

White House officials met with Sam Bankman-Fried four times this year: report

Alleged crypto swindler Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly met with President Biden’s aides at least four times this year before he was arrested on fraud charges. 

Bankman-Fried took meetings with senior White House advisor Steve Ricchetti on at least three occasions in 2022 and met with the 80-year-old president’s deputy chief of staff Bruce Reed once in the last year, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. 

The disgraced founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX met with Ricchetti, who serves as a counselor to the president, as recently as Sept. 8, according to Bloomberg. 

Bankman-Fried’s younger brother Gabriel also reportedly participated in a meeting on May 13.

The report further demonstrates the close political connections Bankman-Fried developed in Washington before his stunning downfall:snip:

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