May 24, 2022

"Bankman-Fried is an adherent of Effective Altruism, a utilitarian philosophy which promotes ideas like earning lots of money in order to give it all away."

"He went into finance and started donating large portions of his paychecks long before he made his first billion and still lives fairly modestly, with roommates and a Toyota Corolla, with a stated goal of giving away the vast majority of his fortune as he makes it. Critics, however, question the motives behind Bankman-Fried’s increasing involvement in politics, noting that the crypto industry has been stepping up its lobbying in Washington as lawmakers and regulators look to apply new rules to the largely unregulated industry that has likely destroyed more fortunes than it has made. He’s one of several crypto donors who have started spending large amounts of money in politics seemingly out of nowhere, just as the industry comes under scrutiny."

From "Crypto billionaire says he could spend a record-breaking $1 billion in 2024 election/Democratic cryptocurrency exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried says he expects to spend 'north of $100 million' in 2024, with 'soft ceiling' of $1 billion" (NBC News).

Roommates!

40 comments:

Michael K said...

Another rich dummy. More and more I am convinced that Paul Allen built Microsoft.

Jupiter said...

"... the largely unregulated industry that has likely destroyed more fortunes than it has made."

Kind of amusing, that. This is an "industry" which consumes immense amounts of electrical power, in order to produce absolutely nothing. Not even childish movies about lesbians with superpowers. How could it possibly be anything other than a Ponzi scheme?

Jupiter said...

It's interesting, in that regard, to recall a comment I encountered regarding the frequently made claim that the Second World War "Got America out of the Depression". The comment was that it's a shame the US and Japan couldn't have agreed simply to produce huge amounts of ships and planes and dump them into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. That way we could have saved our economies without killing all those people. It's not too late, by the way. We could produce machines to take the CO2 out of the air. Lots of high-paying jobs in that racket.

Readering said...

Supports Dems. Lives overseas.

Sebastian said...

"Democratic cryptocurrency exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried says he expects to spend 'north of $100 million' in 2024, with 'soft ceiling' of $1 billion"

A Dem big spender! What are the odds!

Fortunately, Dems object to billionaires buying elections, so I'm sure they'll refuse the help.

Ted said...

That article makes a lot of dark intimations about crypto-industry lobbying -- implying that there's some sort of conspiracy going on -- but it doesn't sound as if Bankman-Fried's political contributions have anything to do with that. The candidates he supports (including that Oregon congressional candidate) are, like him, proponents of "Effective Altruism" who care about things like stopping diseases, reducing poverty, and improving the economy. It may be overly idealistic (and I don't know what their actual proposed solutions would be). But if that's the kind of thing billionaires want to spend their money on -- instead of, say, bigger yachts -- I don't have a problem with it.

Narr said...

I'm altruistic as hell, really I am, but I'm not effective at making a lot of money. I share my surpluses of charm and wit, though.

But no roommates, please.

Narayanan said...

the Democratics should happy that there is now unlimited corporate money available for campaigning?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

All the mega billionaire dark money to buy the election for... what party again?

oh right.

realestateacct said...

Some people really, really liked college.

Yancey Ward said...

Look, starving Democratic politicians, their crack whoring sons, and campaign staff are in desperate need of funds less they become homeless and litter our streets with their decaying, skeletal carcasses, so it is still Effective Altruism he is practicing.

David Begley said...

Maybe he should buy a house.

The son of two Stanford law professors.

Amadeus 48 said...

The campaign consultant class licks their chops.

I hear Steve Schmidt is available now that McCain is dead and the Lincoln Project has been rumbled.

J said...

Buying elections for narcissistic purposes.Everything else is just rationalization in complex words.

ken in tx said...

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, said, "Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can." His followers built many hospitals and Universities.

Bill Peschel said...

There's nothing altruistic about giving money to political parties and expecting something in return. Especially in crypto, which is a ponzi scheme.

Jupiter said...

"... stopping diseases, reducing poverty, and improving the economy ... if that's the kind of thing billionaires want to spend their money on -- instead of, say, bigger yachts -- I don't have a problem with it."

Strangely enough, that's exactly what Bill Gates wants to spend his money on. He has plans to solve all of your problems. Permanently!

Me, I prefer yachts.

Jupiter said...

Tulip bulbs at least produced tulips.

Narayanan said...

proponents of "Effective Altruism" who care about things like stopping diseases, reducing poverty, and improving the economy.
==========
and how is any of that accomplished by supporting candidates for political office?

I can understand opening clinics and such

Rollo said...

Second largest donor to Biden (after Bloomberg). But hey, he also gave to Romney, Murkowski, Collins, and Sasse.

Bitcoin is a big energy hog, isn't it?

Readering said...

Biggest donor 2020? Republican. $200m+. Casino money.

Stephen Lindsay said...

The Effective Altruism movement is just flush with cash right now, being connected with a wealthy collection of Silicon Valley “Rationalists.” They want to use their money for good but struggle to define “good,” having rejected any traditional basis for a grounded value system / morality / purpose of life. So you see initiatives like Invertebrate Welfare, in-depth calculations on whether eating chicken or beef causes greater total suffering, research on trans-humanist technologies like cryo-preservation, and research on how to save the world from malevolent AI. The EA people just tried to buy an election in Oregon but it didn’t go their way. Maybe they are tiring of weird philanthropy and now see politics as the best way to do the most “good” in the world - if only they could figure out what that means exactly.

madAsHell said...

"Bankman-Fried is an adherent of Effective Altruism, a utilitarian philosophy which promotes ideas like earning lots of money in order to give it all away."

They also do not have wives.

madAsHell said...

"Bankman-Fried is an adherent of Effective Altruism, a utilitarian philosophy which promotes ideas like earning lots of money in order to give it all away."

They also do not have wives.

Achilles said...

Jupiter said...

"... the largely unregulated industry that has likely destroyed more fortunes than it has made."

Kind of amusing, that. This is an "industry" which consumes immense amounts of electrical power, in order to produce absolutely nothing. Not even childish movies about lesbians with superpowers. How could it possibly be anything other than a Ponzi scheme?

All currencies are Ponzi schemes.

But I have a wallet with money in it that the government can't track to an address or to me. They can never seize it and they can only stop me from using it by ending the internet. The government cannot print any more of it off. The supply is absolutely fixed. Exchanges for it are decentralized.

And there are networks like Cardano that are proof of stake rather than proof of work. Ethereum is going to switch to proof of stake with their merge. So the massive amounts of energy thing is about to be a non-issue. Europe is going to ban proof of work anyhow soon.

I understand why people bash things they are ignorant of. But crypto currencies are going to replace fiat sooner rather than later.

Achilles said...

Bill Peschel said...

There's nothing altruistic about giving money to political parties and expecting something in return. Especially in crypto, which is a ponzi scheme.

Well, this seems to be the phrase the ignorant use. The only real difference between the US dollar and a cryptocurrency is the US Army.

And you can't just print off more crypto like you can print off dollars.

Explain to us how you think crypto currencies work. Just for fun.

It is pretty funny reading these comments during 5$ a gallon gas and 4$ a gallon milk. Real inflation is pushing 20% because our government owes over 30 Trillion dollars in hard debt and 100+ Trillion in unfunded liabilities like SS and medicare and people are still railing against cryptocurrency.

Our government has no choice but to inflate their debt away.

But yeah crypto is a ponzi scheme.

Saint Croix said...

Bankman-Fried is famous for getting in a twitter feud with a guy and saying, "I'll buy as much SOL (Solana coin) as you have, right now at $3. Sell me all you want. Then go fuck off."

Later that year, Solana went to $240.

tim maguire said...

"Bankman-Fried is an adherent of Effective Altruism...Democratic cryptocurrency exchange founder

Hmm...I see a problem here. Has anybody pointed out too Bankman-Fried that his choice of political parties is fully incompatible with his stated approach to helping others?

Kai Akker said...

As wealth disappears from the stock market, so these types of stories will dwindle and probably disappear.

boatbuilder said...

I have read a little about Bitcoin--Saifodeen Ammous mainly. He thinks Bitcoin can save the world from the Keynsians, who are the fount of all evil. He also thinks that all of the other cryptocurrencies are Ponzi schemes or are doomed to fail, because the founders can change the program, and the temptation to do so (to which those who control any and all fiat currencies eventually succumb) is overwhelming.

In any event, if I understand it correctly, if you have a ready supply of energy and lots of capital, you can use that energy and capital to mine Bitcoin. One of the keys is that you do not need to transport the energy--you set up the mining facility at the energy source.

So why wouldn't, say, Iceland, which has nearly unlimited geothermal energy, or various countries with nuclear powerplants, just set up Bitcoin mining facilities and start generating money?

boatbuilder said...

I should add that "If I understand correctly..." is a major qualifier.

Buckwheathikes said...

Jupiter asked: "How could it (crypto) possibly be anything other than a Ponzi scheme?"

Well, Jupiter, if it is a Ponzi scheme, we're in big trouble. Remember Bernie Madoff? He's the guy who ran the world's largest Ponzi scheme to date - worth an estimated $85 billion. He stole money for 44 years. He was repeatedly reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission for running a Ponzi scheme. One investor - Harry Markopolis - reported him to the SEC four separate times and even provided proof of the scheme.

And each time he was investigated by the SEC, he was cleared by the SEC and allowed to continue running his Ponzi scheme until the 2008 housing crisis took down banks that were propping him up. He was only arrested because people stopped telling the SEC about his Ponzi scheme, and started telling the FBI about it. He was turned into the FBI by his sons. The very next day after his sons spoke to the FBI, the FBI arrested Madoff. The Very. Next. Day. The FBI didn't even conduct an investigation prior to arresting Madoff.

Big, big Democrat Party donors the Madoff's were. Maxing out $25,000 donations to the DNC every year and also to Chuck Schumer.

So, if crypto is a Ponzi scheme, the SEC surely isn't going to do anything about it.

Achilles said...

Readering said...

Biggest donor 2020? Republican. $200m+. Casino money.

If he was donating to democrats he wouldn't even make top 10.

Achilles said...

boatbuilder said...

So why wouldn't, say, Iceland, which has nearly unlimited geothermal energy, or various countries with nuclear powerplants, just set up Bitcoin mining facilities and start generating money?

Some have.

But most governments would rather just print off fiat money and not go through the effort.

Kinda like the US Government which has 4x'd the money supply in the last 2 years.

Why would they bother mining?

Achilles said...

boatbuilder said...

I have read a little about Bitcoin--Saifodeen Ammous mainly. He thinks Bitcoin can save the world from the Keynsians, who are the fount of all evil. He also thinks that all of the other cryptocurrencies are Ponzi schemes or are doomed to fail, because the founders can change the program, and the temptation to do so (to which those who control any and all fiat currencies eventually succumb) is overwhelming.

Bitcoin Maximalists have been having a rough few months. Basing your perspective on someone like this would be like basing your politics off of Sun Magazine.

Bitcoin is a reserve currency at best. It is Gen 1. Building a useful currency system on top of it will require a lot of work and wrapped assets. And it is based on proof of work so long term it is going nowhere.

It is basically gold or a bond at this point. And the move now is to force stable coins to be backed by the US Dollar.

All non-US paper backed stable coins are being attacked and destroyed in a fairly systematic manner by US backed forces.

Robert Cook said...

"They want to use their money for good but struggle to define 'good,' having rejected any traditional basis for a grounded value system / morality / purpose of life."

It's really not so hard:

Purpose of life: to survive long enough to produce the next generation. That's it.

The "good": that which tends to increase survival of the species and survival of the interrelated systems of living organisms on the planet, whether plant, animal, fungus, etc., and the conditions that support the planet's living systems.

"Value systems" and "morality": after-the-fact social codifications of evolved innate behaviors that tend to improve our chances of surviving long enough to produce the next generation.

Jupiter said...

I agree that the dollar is now a Ponzi scheme, since we are no longer on the gold standard. Social security is also a Ponzi scheme, and a more obvious one. In a sense, the whole economy is a Ponzi scheme. But some Ponzi schemes are more stable than others.

Kai Akker said...

---Purpose of life: to survive long enough to produce the next generation. That's it. [Robert Cook]

If that were true, why don't our lifespans end at 45-50?

Narr said...

For much of human history in most places, living to 45-50 was pretty good if you weren't one of the elite. The lifespan averages are dragged down by infant mortality but even so, 45 years is enough time to beget some posterity.

Having a large and growing cohort of willful old codgers who vote is something new in history, and it remains to be seen if it is sustainable.

Bunkypotatohead said...

He would achieve more by funding animal shelters instead of politicians.