Who is Sam Bankman-Fried?
Sam Bankman-Fried is the founder and CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that was once valued at $18 billion. He is also a philanthropist who has pledged to donate most of his fortune to effective altruism causes. He was arrested in November 2022 and charged with seven counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the collapse of FTX, which resulted in losses of over $10 billion for its customers. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
What did he plan to do with Trump?
According to a new book by Michael Lewis, the author of “The Big Short” and “Moneyball”, Bankman-Fried had a bold and controversial idea to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election. He wanted to pay Donald Trump $5 billion to not run for re-election, and instead endorse another Republican candidate. He also planned to give millions of dollars to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to defeat “Trumpier” candidates in Senate races.
Lewis met with Bankman-Fried more than 100 times and gained access to his private communications and documents. He reveals the details of Bankman-Fried’s political scheme in his book, “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon”, which will be released on October 10, 2023.
How did he come up with the idea?
Bankman-Fried was motivated by his concern for the future of humanity and the planet. He believed that Trump’s policies and actions were harmful to global stability, democracy, and the environment. He also feared that Trump would interfere with his philanthropic goals and his crypto business.
He told Lewis that he had a “back channel” into the Trump operation and that he was told that Trump might have a price to drop out of the race: $5 billion. He said he was exploring the legality and feasibility of such a deal, but he did not disclose how he would raise the money or how he would approach Trump.
What happened to his plan?
Bankman-Fried’s plan never materialized, as he was arrested before the 2020 election. He was accused of orchestrating a massive fraud scheme that involved manipulating the prices of cryptocurrencies, creating fake accounts and transactions, and misappropriating funds from FTX customers. He also faced allegations of tax evasion, money laundering, and violating sanctions.
He denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he was a victim of a conspiracy by his rivals and the government. He said that he was trying to create a fair and transparent crypto market, and that he was targeted because of his political views and his philanthropy.
What is the reaction to his plan?
The revelation of Bankman-Fried’s plan has sparked a lot of controversy and criticism. Some people have praised him for his boldness and his altruism, while others have condemned him for his arrogance and his illegality. Some have questioned the credibility of his claim and the reliability of his source, while others have wondered what would have happened if his plan had succeeded.
Lewis said that he was fascinated by Bankman-Fried’s story and that he wanted to explore the psychology and the morality of a new type of tycoon who was driven by both greed and idealism. He said that Bankman-Fried was a “complex and contradictory” character who challenged the conventional notions of wealth, power, and philanthropy.