Sam Bankman-Fried was supposedly worth $16 billion at the beginning of November 2022. At the time of this writing, according to one source, he has only $994 million. For most people, this latter amount is a great sum of money but who in the world can imagine losing $15 billion in one week? But this was not just a personal fortune; this was other peoples’ money. Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF for short) was the founder of a worldwide crypto currency exchange business called FTX. For the last few years, he was known as the most knowledgeable and best face of the new international stock trade of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other. He was so persuasive, so marketable, so “remarkable” that powerful investment companies purposely lent their financial support and credibility to Fried and his FTX conglomerate. From 2017 until the second week of November 2022, FTX made unbelievable profits. But today, as the narcotic smoke of deception passes, FTX looks like a scam equivalent to that of the infamous ENRON and Bernie Maddof scandals that shocked the world within the last 20 years.
I do not have the knowledge or experience to talk about the various intricacies of Cryptocurrency, the International Stock Exchanges, and/or their wider effects on the Economy. But there is one topic that I can talk about. The religious philosophy from which he operated, and by which we would know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Sam Bankman-Fried is an immoral crook. Forbes Magazine calls it “Effective Altruism.” SBF devised methods from this philosophy to dupe the fawning masses… like another infamous cheat – a communist revolutionary from South America named Che Guevara. I will come back to this character, but first let’s talk about “Effective Altruism.”
So what exactly is “Effective Altruism”? In recent years it has been a focus of philosophical study by young theorist in Doctoral programs in some affluent universities in the West. But in essence, the modern ideas come from the Secular Humanism of the last century. To keep it simple, the best way to think of these ideas espoused in this philosophy is to think of a morality and/or moral system without God. Humanity, according to this group, can make up the morality that will “fix the world.”
Some of the methods to achieving this task (without God) proposed by some of its proponents, are the following:
⦁ Finding charities that are the best in the world at helping others
⦁ Helping people find careers where they can have a significant social impact
⦁ Conducting research into what the world’s biggest problems are and how we might prioritize them
It sounds good but the problem with these points is that they are subject to the prevailing dogma of the leftists and woke idealogues and political correctness of our times. And anything that they deem contrary is considered anathema. It should not be surprising that anything that is remotely connected to the Bible, its Message, and morals is not part of this ideology or its adherents. In the case of Effective Altruism, it seems to be a mental appendage for those who want to apologize for their wealth or give the impression of doing so. To assuage feelings of “guilt,” the purveyors of this belief encourage their followers to use their wealth for causes, technologies, and/or movements that will “save or fix the planet.” The academicians and the international press Corp/public relations groups who put out this idea do not encourage differing ideas on what causes and movements really fix the world, especially anything remotely connected to the Bible or the person of Jesus Christ.
Effective Altruism, like any other idea coming from Secular Humanism, becomes a tool to fool the general public. And the general public is easily fooled. It does not matter whether it comes under the shadow of political parties, economic ideas, or pseudo-religious movements, Effective Altruism is geared to bamboozle an audience. In the case of SBF, he managed to fool people who invested hundreds of millions of dollars into his cryptocurrency business, believing his lies about donating his wealth for the causes that “make a better world.” But this is not a new phenomenon. It happened many times during the 20th century and each time it resulted in catastrophic destruction. One of the most notable examples is the infamous communist revolutionary Che Guevara. I am willing to bet that Sam Brinkman-Fried studied this man, not so much for his communist ideas, but rather the marketing that made this man famous in the 1960s.
Che Guevara’s image caught by photographer Alberto Korda in the famous portrait Guerrillero Heroico, has been used for a variety of protests by leftist groups, in varying degrees, throughout the last few years. I remember watching a teachers union protest some time ago in California where the participants from the union were carrying posters with that iconic image on it pushing for higher pay and other benefits. A free-lance journalist walked up to one of the ladies carrying a poster and asked her why she was carrying that particular image and if she knew who the person was or what he did. The lady, like a lot of protesters who are carrying posters and shouting slogans, had no clue who Che Guevara was or what he had done as a communist revolutionary in Cuba and other parts of South America. But the image was of this romanticized figure who captured the imagination of many a man and woman who were looking to model their lives after the example of a man with that out worldly look which denoted a concern and plight for downtrodden humanity. Che knew what to say to maintain that Robin Hood type marketing. And there were plenty of Sir Walter Scott type writers who were willing to shower glowing praises of the man while covering up the atrocities he committed. According to one writer, Che Guevara’s image in Guerrillero Heroico was the Communists version of the image of Jesus Christ!
There is a certain romance attached to people like Che and SBF who subscribe to “Effective Altruism.” And they say the right word such as the words of George Bernard Shaw: “Some men see things as they are and ask why? Others dream things that were never and ask why not?”
It sounds good but it does not take into account that we, humanity, are living in the condition of Sin. Romance, Romanticism, Idealism apart from the God of the Bible, is a fantasy on paper which turns into a nightmare in the real world.
The reality of the lives and actions of Che Guevara and Samuel Brinkman-Fried (and others like them) …well let’s just say it’s not politically correct.
Guevara tortured and killed hundreds of people after the communist takeover of Cuba. Enemies of the “revolution” were executed by firing squad without even a trial to prove their innocence. And all the while he talked about helping the people of Cuba and other nations where he fought guerrilla wars to help the people “liberate themselves.” And this was only one falsehood of that public façade. There is much more to say, and the details are extremely graphic regarding this man who was so “concerned for humanity.” (For further reading: Nobody’s Hero: 9 Inconvenient Truths about Che Guevara (historycollection.com))
Sam Bankman Fried, like Che Guevara, was living for public adulation, and he received it in spades. He ended up on the cover of magazines like Fortune. The entertainment industry celebrated him, and investors put their money into his business. Investment firms like Venture Capital (a company which had to have known the truth of what was going on) gave him the veneer of credibility with their public support and milked his company and personality for their own agendas and profits. Liberal and Democrat politicians such as former President Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and a whole smattering of current politicians all were part of the collusion of this snow job. Famous pro football quarterback, Tom Brady, and NBA star, Steph Curry, early this year, were the face of an advertising campaign for the FTX currency exchange app. Any who followed these pied pipers were part of that $16 billion scam.
Sam Bankman Fried grew up in as liberal/woke a family that could be invented. He was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. His parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried were both professors at Stanford University’s Law School. (By the way, he was so woke minded that he adopted his mother’s maiden name as his last name, not that of his father like most people would do in the English speaking world, in the name of male feminism. Or trying to break the patriarchy!)
Apparently, he was precocious enough throughout his years of education to take his choice (when it came time to go to college) of going either to MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) or Cal Tech. He chose MIT. By his own admission, his college education was of no use to him in the real world. “Nothing I learned in college ended up being useful… other than, like, social development,” Bankman-Fried told Yahoo Finance. “On the academic side, though, it’s all f–king useless… School is just not helpful for most jobs.”
According to the New York Post, in 2017, through a shrewd hack, he took advantage of a price discrepancy that allowed him to buy Bitcoin cheaply in Japan and sell it high in other countries. Within 18 months, he turned $10,000 investment into a $1 billion personal fortune. He was only 26 years old.
Sam Brinkman-Fried heavily financed democrat politicians (and a few republicans, but the percentage difference between the parties would be about 99%) as well as such causes that benefited the LGBTQ, green energy initiatives, and whatever other thing which is supposed to “fix the world.” Venture Capital is one of the Wall Street companies that does private equity financing for startup companies such as FTX that promise high end profits. It is one of those companies that is known for its high stakes, high risk investments in order to generate quick profits. It is impossible for a group such as this one not to have known that FTX was nothing but a fraud; nonetheless, because of their involvement, hundreds of investors put their money into this crypto currency exchange business; investments that ran into the billions of dollars. Venture played their part well and Sam Brinkman-Fried played his part well with the type of PR image that Che Guevara had before him. Magazines, journals, and internet blogs all featured this fellow who had a messed up afro-type hair style, and whose unkempt appearance and seemingly dazed eyes which stared off into the distance (he did not quite get this part) seemed to have “special insights” (Greta Thunberg has this “look” too) denoting the sole desire to help suffering earth and humanity while wanting nothing for himself (he even slept on a couch in his business office with the rest of his MIT rejects); all of it was purposely designed to fool the masses.
The politicians got their money and their elections. Venture Capital made its profits. The talking heads on CNBC editorialized emotionally. Former President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair both had this guy on their world benefiting summits. Oprah Winfrey, the View, and other Hollywood Elites and entertainment personalities all wanted to be seen with him until the second week of November, after his multibillion dollar FTX was found out not just to be a company of no substance, but that the woke college grads who were running the company were utterly incompetent. That last detail came as a shock to a lot of people, after all, they were all from the elite Massachusetts Institute of Technology (and maybe other ivy league schools)! They might as well have been singing John Lennon’s Imagine! That seemed to be the only criteria of their expertise!
This was a scam, and Samuel Brinkman-Fried is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I am sure that strategists and bankrollers for the Democrat party establishment came up with a way to use this scheme to bankroll the 2022 election cycle. As I write this article now, SBF is under arrest by the District Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. Prior to his arrest, he was supposed to testify in a hearing before the Banking Committee in Congress, chaired by one of his biggest beneficiaries: Congresswoman “Mad” Maxine Watters. The hearing was supposed to be noncombative. SBF would come there and play the proverbial dunce/victim and the Democrats on that committee would scold him as recalcitrant child, but one who was “misguided,” not to mention “full of good intentions.” His arrest was a big reality check, but not for the obvious reason that he had done something illegal. But rather, he expected the Establishment to protect him from such an arrest, and now some of them are scared that he is going to name names of all who participated in and benefited from his scam. This is Washington DC elite, people who are powerbrokers and lawmakers, who despite putting on a public facade of care and compassion are ravenous predators if they feel the least bit threatened regarding their power.
By the way, while I was researching this subject, I found out that there were two other stock market company failures of equal or greater scope as FTX within the last month and with this same idea of Effective Altruism behind them. The CEOs of both companies which lost investors and billions of dollars are heading to prison because of the type of fraud which Sam Bankman-Fried would likely be guilty off: Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of a now defunct biotechnology company called Theranos and Trevor Milton, founder of Nikola Motors which was supposed to be a “zero emission heavy duty Truck Company” and which was apparently going to replace the existing diesel powered 18 wheelers with Electric powered rigs. These companies did not just fool the average middle class investor. They made mockery of major political figures as well as gigantic domestic and multinational corporations, all in the name of “making a new, energy efficient” world.
We (all mankind) should remember something that the late economist Dr. Milton Friedman said back in the 1980s: there is no utopia on this earth. I would add to that fact by saying that because of mankind’s Sin nature, there never will be. This point is controversial, but it is the Truth.
There is an angst in the World on this point, one in which one side of the argument will be driven to insanity by thinking that the fate of this world is in humanity’s hands and by mankind’s ingenuity, knowledge, wisdom, and power the world will become “perfect,” and if not, we are doomed. This idea is false, not to mention crazy. But people are easily fooled by good intention and cunning marketing. And each time, the Truth that Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 slaps mankind hard in the face: “This is the Judgement, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather that the Light for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:18-21 NASB)
I could not say it any better than how the Lord Jesus said it. In a world full of cynicism to the point where charlatans and “flim-flam” runs rampant and without shame, may the Light of Jesus Christ illuminate lives and deliver them from evil.
In closing, I would tell the world to watch out! As bad as Sam Brinkman-Fried’s scam was, 2023 will expose much worse, and it will not just be in Wall Street. The Global Warming racket will be next. Hey Greta Thunberg, are you ready?