The Strange Morality of the Bay-Area Billionaire Left – Victor Davis Hanson for American Greatness
Sam Bankman-Fried is the ultimate dangerous and ridiculous expression of the most toxic and creepy culture in America.
If he did not exist, he would have to be invented.
“Ya. Hehe. I had to be. It’s what reputations are made of, to some extent. I feel bad for those guys who get f—ed by it, by this dumb game we woke westerners play where we say all the right shibboleths and so everyone likes us.” —Sam Bankman-Fried
The FTX Bitcoin empire of 30-year-old CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is in shambles. Or more specifically, his “dumb game” cryptocurrency exchange has destroyed thousands of lives. Electronically, he may have robbed perhaps a million investors, and along with them hundreds of large institutional investors.
Mysteriously, only after the conclusion of the midterm elections, did we suddenly learn that this left-wing “philanthropist” and benefactor of Democratic politics, this megadonor to the quid pro quo puff-piece media, this con artist protected from federal securities regulators, had drained off, lost, hidden, or spent billions of dollars of other people’s money.
As a result, the Bahamas-basking, tax-avoiding, polyamorous sybarite, and heartthrob of progressive moralists, now claims he has no wherewithal to honor his financial commitments to his own investors. Preliminary postmortem auditors sigh that they have never encountered a greater financial mess than what Bankman-Fried has left in his wake.
How does the most sophisticated financial system in the history of civilization allow a virtue-signaling nerd to nearly wreck it? Where were the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, the IRS, and all the other alphabet soup agencies that supposedly exist so that someone like Bankman-Fried does not? Where is Merrick Garland and his special prosecutors, the FBI with its televised SWAT swoops and leg irons?
For all the performance-art boasts of simply doing good for others by doing far better for himself, Bankman-Fried may soon be revealed to be one of the great, dissolute con artists in American history. Like the infamous Charles Ponzi, “Bankman” may become our eponymous word in the 21st century for electronically driven, pyramid-scheme theft.
His Stanford-Silicon Valley moral veneer was shiny but otherwise razor thin. Yet Bankman-Fried told at least one truth when he explained to obsequious media what his ilk easily does to fool purported suckers who send him cash, while he avoided federal and media oversight: “This dumb game we woke westerners play where we say all the right shibboleths and so everyone likes us.”