An individual’s character cannot rise above their worldview. A shallow worldview will result in shallow character.
In the wake of the historic financial fraud scandals of Enron and World-com in the early 2000’s, a sea change occurred. A shift towards the implementation of ethics within the Wall Street community was put into motion. In Universities across the nation, especially along the paths focused on international business degrees, a required focus on ethics was mandated. It was a chapter or course lesson in almost every subject. I would surmise that with the removal of Christianity from almost every educational institution, from public schools to the higher educational levels, this caused a new problem to rear its ugly head. The morals and scruples that were society’s guardrails were completely removed. The only remaining barriers were the laws of flawed individuals that were crafted and passed through government legislation. To correct this issue, the need to establish some “new morality” was required. The discussion of what is ethical VS. what is legal was a regular conversation on campuses across the fruited plain.
This also opened the door to ideas that would deem organizations as ultra-ethical, such as “Corporate Philanthropy.” Upon its inception, it was a valiant idea: Find a cause and use your success to help support it. The main problem is removing one worldview always leads to a replacement with another worldview. Nature abhors a vacuum and will fill that void almost immediately. And a flimsy worldview will lead to shallow actions. This was Sam Bankman-Fried’s real deficiency. He may have conducted the most expensive and financially devastating Ponzi scheme in modern history, but the real Ponzi scheme was the worldview he purchased and adopted.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the propped-up cryptocurrency hedge fund lauded by Time magazine and most every financial news publication, was his own worst enemy. He was treated as some young, financial savant. His consistently disheveled appearance of wearing T-Shirts and shorts to any and every meeting or speaking engagement was a show of creative disruption. A display of going against the grain of the corporate norms, especially in a field of new technology and finance. He is a “Gamer” who also said that his business philosophy was enriched by his love of “Magic: The Gathering’ Game. The stories of Sam sleeping on bean bag chairs outside of conference rooms, as they were filing themselves with potential wealthy investors were seen as corporate rebellion. He was viewed as a Mark Zuckerberg, when in reality he was more of a Adam Neumann or Elizabeth Holmes.
SBF’s public philanthropy and it’s lack of humility.
Mr. Bankman-Fried engaged in what is known as “effective altruism.” It is defined as “research field and practical community that aims to find the best ways to help others, and put them into practice.” It is “about doing good, better.” On it’s face, it seems as a noble idea. Mr. Bankman-Fried would amass enormous revenue, but take only what he feels he needs while donating the rest to the worthy causes he feels needs to be supported. He touts that he is still driving a Toyota Camry. He doesn’t dress in expensive clothing. But here’s the real problem with this philosophy: it lacks humility. They act as though this philanthropy is displaying integrity and ethical behavior. The problem is that effective altruism many times doesn’t come off as doing what is right when no one is looking. The reason is it is always on full display. Its televised, with a plethora of “Attaboys!!” by all of the right, notable people. It is, in a sense, a giant virtue signal. It also lends itself to corruption. The right people need to be charmed to enter the correct networks of individuals. That is what SBF did that pulled him into the scam of ESG scores and financial virtue. He had to grease the right wheels and court the right regulators to advance his acceptance.
Effective Altruism was popularized by Peter Singer, an Australian moral philosopher and Professor at Princeton University. He specializes in “Applied Ethics’ ‘ but from a “Hedonistic utilitarian” and secular approach. He is a huge supporter of Veganism, which was illustrated in his book “Animal Liberation” back in 1975. Peter wrote at length about the moral imperative to reduce poverty and eliminate the suffering of nonhuman animals, more notably in the meat industry. Peter’s desire to focus on this suffering is understandable on it’s face. But realize, from a Christian worldview, we are called to have dominion over the animals. That doesn’t mean we dominate them and exploit them in inhumane ways. We are stewards of God’s creation, so being humane and to be conservationists. We should leave the environment better than we found it. That doesn’t mean we worship it as the Climate Change activists seem to do. Peter is also a proponent of donating to help the global poor. He is an Atheist as well. Some would say that this is inconsequential, but these are the foundations of Singer’s worldview that would eventually be adopted by SBF.
The “effective altruism” also helped pervert what was considered to be defined as being philanthropic. Once political partisanship on the conservative side was framed as a disease, the philanthropy of supporting its political opposition was viewed as notable and necessary for its defeat. It justified the flooding of donations towards Democrat candidates who were touted as “Saving Democracy.” And to be fair, his company did support some candidates on the right side of the political aisle. But the Republicans they focused on supporting were “Forward Thinking” Republicans. Those, of course, are the ones who slow roll the ideology that the Left-wingers want to force with immediacy.
Protected by the ruling class.
As we speak, SBF is hiding out in the Bahamas. He’s giving interviews in an attempt to rebrand his failed Ponzi scheme. And the media, who are typically on the side of the political aisle that he helped prop up, are willing to be his personal PR firm. His interviews are cushy as a plush Hello Kitty Doll. Which begs the questions, “Why are they helping a rich hedge fund manager?” and “Why are they letting him off the hook?” The obvious answer is, “Well, He helped fund all of their campaigns!” Outside of occam’s razor, there is an additional interesting angle to this story that needs to be investigated. That angle resides in a familiar nation that has been in the news as of late: Ukraine. FTX partnered with Ukraine to organize a crypto currency donation website.
“Aid for Ukraine,” which has the backing of crypto exchange FTX, staking platform Everstake and Ukraine’s Kuna exchange, will route donated crypto to the National Bank of Ukraine, Everstake’s Head of Growth Vlad Likhuta told CoinDesk. Ukraine’s crypto-savvy Ministry of Digital Transformation is also involved.
The country’s collective efforts have already raised some $48 million in bitcoin (BTC), DOT, ether (ETH), SOL, tether (USDT) and other cryptocurrencies, according to the website. Other estimates place the amount closer to $100 million, but totals vary with market swings and exactly which websites are included. The website deepens an unprecedented tie-up between public and private sector forces in crypto. FTX is converting donations into fiat for deposit at the National Bank of Ukraine, a press release said.
Although it is portrayed as an innocent relationship, FTX’s political activities should raise eyebrows and perk interest into whether or not anything nefarious was taking place. With all of the tax dollars being shoveled over to Ukraine, it is something that should have garnered consideration.
Justice Will Ultimately Come Due.
Ultimately, SBF’s failed worldview allowed himself to be opened up to corrupt actors who would capitalize on his organization up until its collapse. There is even a suspicion that maybe the organization itself was a front, with multiple boards, that SBF was implanted as its figurehead and public persona. We don’t have solid evidence of this at the moment, but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities. But if Sam Bankman Fried walks Scott-free from the most expensive Ponzi Scheme in human history, it will be the largest example of “Democrat Privilege” in all of mankind. Having the entire structure of government fortified in a manner that would allow egregious illegal behavior by a favored political side, you could easily allow certain individuals to operate the way SBF did. But SBF should be aware of this: his failed worldview, should he maintain it, will ultimately be his demise when the real justice is administered in the end.