FTX 93

This is what I think of as a signpost article – it points you to something the mainstream media is deliberately not giving the prominence it needs, but I have no personal expertise or inside knowledge to give you. I am just giving you a start to get going. Several readers will have a much better understanding than I, and I encourage you to give your thoughts in comments below.

It is also worth noting that only the immediate improvement to freedom of speech on Twitter by Elon Musk has brought this to my attention. Several sources – particularly Citizens for Legitimate Government – have suddenly appeared in my feed again after being entirely suppressed.

My own tweets are, for now, less suppressed – my own family have been receiving notifications from me after they were stopped for over a year. I am not in general a fan of billionaires like Musk, and I do not know where Twitter will settle, but there is undoubted initial improvement.

The FTX story seems truly remarkable. From being founded only in 2017 it rose to be a “partner organisation” of the World Economic Forum and the second largest donor to Biden and the Democrat’s mid-term election campaign. It has now gone completely bust, taking every penny of its depositors money with it.

That is some trajectory.

The World Economic Forum has deleted its FTX page, but the Wayback machine has it:

I suppose it is inevitable that dodgy chancers would create derivatives markets for gambling on crypto, but I confess I had not given the matter much thought. It goes without saying that in those five years the founder of FTX had managed to take a huge personal fortune out of the company before it went bust.

FTX was a one man company belonging to Sam Bankman-Fried. The board consisted of him, an employee and the company lawyer. Over US$20 billion of investors’ funds from FTX were funneled to a fund management company, Alameda Research, also owned by Sam Bankman-Fried.

$37 million was donated by Bankman-Fried to the Democrats for the 2022 elections. Every penny of that originated with duped FTX investors. That is in addition to the $5 million given to the Biden 2020 campaign. FTX, of course, crashed instantly after those mid-term elections, which is interesting timing.

The BBC and the Guardian were constantly bombarding us with the term “democracy denier” in their coverage of the US elections, strangely not in reference to Hillary’s ludicrous claims that Russian interference was the cause of her loss in 2016.

I view as a joke any notion that the USA is a democracy. Democracy is about giving citizens a choice of political direction. The 2022 elections saw a simply incredible campaign spend of US$ 9.7 billion. Yes, nearly ten billion dollars. This is not democracy, it is a huge exercise in corporate control from which the ordinary citizen is frozen out.

Despite an aggressive tribalism which has stalemated the political system for decades, the difference in policy platform between Democrats and Republicans is highly marginal, with no alternative on offer to rampant and uninhibited commercial exploitation of the population by the super-wealthy.

The Democrats are marginally more keen on attacking other countries; the Republicans are marginally more against measures to curb carbon emissions. Vaunted differences on immigration and welfare turn out to be very small indeed, with very little changing when the White House does.

American elections are simply about the super rich funneling in vast donations, expecting to benefit when their team gets its nose in the trough, or often donating to both sides to benefit either way.

I am not sure what the connection to democracy is supposed to be.

One simple fact illustrates the true nature of the bribery fest. By far the majority of the funds channeled through Political Action Committees (PACs) are given to incumbents who face no serious threat to re-election anyway. The PAC’s are interested in bribing those in power, not changing those in power. They are simply lobby groups with an opportunity for legal bribery. To illustrate that, the largest donating PACs are:

National Assn of Realtors
National Beer Wholesalers Assn
American Israel Public Affairs Cmte
Credit Union National Assn
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
American Crystal Sugar

It is worth noting that Bankman-Fried donated ten times as much as the largest PAC donation. This brought access – he and his brother had meetings inside the White House on 7 March, 22 April and 12 May.

It is perhaps unsurprising therefore that FTX was involved in Ukraine, offering to exchange cryptocurrency for fiat and send it to Ukraine in an official partnership with the Ukrainian government. This from their press release

Aid For Ukraine is cooperating with the cryptocurrency exchange FTX which converts crypto funds received into fiat and sends the donations to the National Bank of Ukraine. This marks the first-ever instance of a cryptocurrency exchange directly cooperating with a public financial entity to provide a conduit for crypto donations. Earlier this month, FTX already converted $1 million worth of SOL and transferred it to the National Bank of Ukraine.

The collapse of the Bankman Fried scam was allegedly caused by hackers stealing what should have been a comparatively small portion of the assets of FTX, had they not been hived off elsewhere. Doubtless we will shortly hear from state salaried conspiracy theorists that this was Russia/Guccifer/an ISP address traced by Bellingcat to inside the Kremlin.

What we really have here is an Allen Stanford for 2022, with added political connections.

We would do well to heed the advice of crypto developer Nikolai Mushegian, who had as his Twitter profile: “Larpers who self-style as CEOs or CTOs or VCs are a bigger problem than the establishment. They can’t build anything and will sell you out in 2 seconds.”

His final tweet was posted on 28 October:

The next day he drowned in the sea off a beach in Puerto Rico, where he lived. He was fully clothed including a jacket. The police are not treating it as homicide so presumably their theory is suicide by wading out to sea.

States of course have a massive incentive to destroy non fiat currencies, or convert them into a new category of regulation. I am interested in the current discussion on smart state digital currencies where the state can track, control and block any transaction and know in real time exactly where each citizen or entity is spending or keeping every penny.

It occurs to me this is the wrong way round. The state belongs to its citizens, not the citizens to the state. We should be able to track online every single penny of public money in real time and see how it is spent. Imagine being able to follow every penny of the billions the Tories spent on fraudulent PPE contracts, for example.

The only people whose personal currency should be able to be tracked are those who hold, or have held, positions of power in the state. Their wealth and dealings should be available in great detail to public view. As for the rest of us, our money is ours and we are entitled to privacy.


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93 thoughts on “FTX

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  • DiggerUK

    The Grayzone has weighed in with an article that comes with a huge caveat…..
    “Though FTX has been accused of serving as a money laundering vehicle for the US Democratic Party, concrete evidence supporting this claim has yet to materialize. But given Bankman-Fried’s background as one of the most prolific donors to the Democrats, and the role he played as a nexus between party power-brokers and the cryptocurrency sphere, the allegations are understandable”

    With that ‘get out of jail free’ insurance in place to save face if a mea culpa becomes necessary, it then presents it’s suspicions with a barely disguised belief of their validity. I have to admit to an empathy I hope is warranted.

    Please, check, double check, smile and wave…_


  • john

    Not educated in finance myself, but I do enjoy a good financial scandal (which doesn’t impact my finances).
    A couple of highlights from the initial report of FTX’ liquidator, John J Ray III:

    “I have over 40 years of legal and restructuring experience. I have been the Chief Restructuring Officer or Chief Executive Officer in several of the largest corporate failures in history. I have supervised situations involving allegations of criminal activity and malfeasance (Enron). I have supervised situations involving novel financial structures (Enron and Residential Capital) and cross-border asset recovery and maximization (Nortel and Overseas Shipholding). Nearly every situation in which I have been involved has been characterized by defects of some sort in internal controls, regulatory compliance, human resources and systems integrity.
    Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.”


    • Lapsed Agnostic

      For what I think is the best readable explanation so far of what was (probably) going on at Alameda Research – and consequently FTX – try this article on the, er, eclectic* Milkyeggs blog (which I’d not encountered before):


      So, it appears as if the pedo elite was probably sitting this one out, SBF’s spending on Ukraine and Dem campaigns was just a dopamine-fuelled shopping spree (frankly it seems it’s a wonder he wasn’t spending most of his time entranced by bits of fluff in the corner of his office and tweeting about the morgellons), and his audiences with President Brandon were nothing but a few meetings of two (addled) minds. Or maybe that’s what the self-identified polysexual heron wants you to believe?

      * Random sample of blogpost titles: ‘A response to Tyler Cowen’s “Classical liberalism vs. The New Right”’; ‘A practical, low-cost supplementation regime of vitamins C, B2, and E before recreational use of alkyl nitrates [sic] as partial prophylaxis against adverse effects’; ‘My recipe for homemade bagels’ – and those are just on the first page. Looks like my weekend recreational reading is sorted – commenting here may be light.

    • DiggerUK

      You’re not the only one who can’t get enough of this one Goose.

      A Daily Mail piece quotes ‘Sam I Am So Fried’ who reveals that all his “woke” talk was poppycock. “I feel bad for those who get f***** by it, by this dumb game we woke westerners play”….. and here’s me thinking I’m the only one who saw through this woke claptrap. What’s not to like about this guy.

      His CEO, one Caroline Ellinson, is reported as boasting she could pull off her job without her degree in mathematics, “I absolutely could pull it off without my math degree. I used very little math. I use a lot of elementary school math arithmetic probability but not really any of the advanced stuff I learned in college.”

      It is all so different to how Barings Bank was brought down by failing to follow its own safeguarding rules, that should have alerted them to one Nick Leeson, in 1995.
      This Crypto Crèche Club didn’t have any bloody rules…_

  • fwl

    Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14067 from 9 March 2022 sets out the wide agenda re CBDC. The 180 and 210 day reports and evaluations required by 14067 should have been made in early September and October. Anyone seen these?

  • gregor

    Securities Commission of The Bahamas : Media Release:

    “Nassau, The Bahamas, Thursday 17 November 2022 – On 12 November 2022, the Securities
    Commission of The Bahamas (“the Commission”), in the exercise of its powers as regulator acting
    under the authority of an Order made by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas, took the action of
    directing the transfer of all digital assets of FTX Digital Markets Ltd. (“FDM”) to a digital wallet
    controlled by the Commission, for safekeeping. Urgent interim regulatory action was necessary
    to protect the interests of clients and creditors of FDM…”:


  • Ginger Ninja

    Serco. Follow the white rabbit.

    Wouldn’t let me post under the latest prisons post.

    you’ll find the company (coincidentally) has their toe in the prison/justice system, maritime, immigration (including housing) and COVID! to name a few. Strange no?

  • OllesOasch

    “The collapse of the Bankman Fried scam was allegedly caused by hackers stealing what should have been a comparatively small portion of the assets of FTX, had they not been hived off elsewhere.”

    I feel compelled to point out that this is not what caused the collapse of FTX. The collapse was caused by an exchange run by a rival CEO dumping their entire stack of FTX’s native cypto token, which they’d acquired as part of an initial investment in the company. Because FTX and Alameda had been taking out loans using this token as collateral, they were liquidated when the price collapsed. Then there was effectively a bank run as users tried to withdraw their funds – funds which no longer existed, because FTX had been ‘investing’ them.
    Effectively, they were running a fractional reserve system like a bank, using users’ funds to take extremely risky leveraged bets. But a crypto exchange is not a bank, and not regulated as such, so there is no recourse for users to get their money back.
    The supposed ‘hack’ happened after the initial collapse, and was probably Bankman-Fried moving around remaining assets while trying to hide what was really going on.
    It was fraud, committed by someone who was far too immature and unprofessional to have ever been in such a position of power, but was enabled by political connections and a constant degree of baseless hagiography in the media – giving him the trustworthy ‘good guy’ image that allowed him to get enormous amounts of loans and venture capitalist investments from people who should have known better.

  • DiggerUK

    The Sunday Telegraph has a two page spread by Andrew Orlowski…..no, never heard of him either.
    Well organised piece that makes one thing clear, this story has legs and momentum.

    Two quotes…The first talks of “the blast radius” that “threatens balance sheets and reputations far beyond the shady world of crypto-finance”
    The second is from Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway who commented “There are people who think they’ve got to be on every deal that’s hot. They don’t care whether it’s child prostitution or Bitcoin”

    1. I’ve always thought that Berkshire Hathaway is a story that is too good to be true.
    2. All cryptos are equally crap.

    Will it all be over by christmas?…. I do hope not…_

  • DunGroanin

    Missed this article being posted. Some thoughts:

    1. Crypto is for schmuks. It will dissolve like the morning mist as the digital Yuan launches with its searing sunshine. Calling an end to the Ancient Financial Wizards Fairy Tales of Money and Banking. Of which crypto is their last gasp at updating the tales.

    2. The bank man is fried – that’s worse than toast.
    Everyone supposedly knows his exact whereabouts.
    Curious no?

    3. The ability to track and destroy anyone’s digital holdings of money is nothing new. Bank cards can be deactivated as much as bank accounts
    – a comedy film hailing that was made last century ‘Trading Places’.

    4. The greater dictatorial powers – especially for us deluded wasterners – is to ‘herd’ us back to the good old days of parishes and estates from which we can provide the manpower and service the elites who can move freely wherever they want but us mere peasants can’t – the modern sheriffs and stocks being the supposed AI’s that will turn off our card when we try and board a bus out of our parish or a train or plane ticket where we are not wanted.
    The masters and their mega rich servants can travel by private jet or super yacht without needing to bother with passport control … we can only travel as their pets, concubines, cooks and arsewipers.

    Dystopian? Nah – it’s just the latest facet of the great Plan to enslave and own the world and its peoples and has been for decades and centuries even, just awaiting the tech to be developed.

    Musk and co, the suckerborgs and wrinkly Gates are these apocalyptic deliverers, our herders, having ‘branded’ us with their ‘hot irons’, the tech chains, the social media chains, the digital financial chains, that we proudly wear, with our complacent compliance, to do what we are told, to believe what we are told, to hate what we are told and to accept Cancellation of what we are told, including ourselves!

    If you didn’t know, there is an existential war going on – where the freedom fighters are accused of being what our Owners are doing to us! If that is not clear by now then you are lost to the Narrative. As much as the Germans were to the Nazis or us Brits were to the supremacy of our Empire without a sunset! As all such shape-shifting narratives from our Anglosphere have been for ever.

    Simple as that.

  • Neil

    I started reading your blog because of the Assange trial coverage. Bloody good.
    Now I worry that you’re a purveyor of rabbit holes.
    FTX was all over the mainstream media. Perhaps you didn’t notice because you don’t follow it. Bankman-Fried was playing all sides and handed donations to all the major players, Left and Right, and plenty of minor ones.

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