November 19, 2022 | David F. Coppedge

Big Science Caught Using Dirty Money

The FTX scandal has universities and journals scrambling to save
face and replenish funding after a favorite well suddenly dried up

 

—It’s the biggest financial swindle in history: bigger even than the Madoff ponzi scheme or the Enron scandal.—

Leftist politicians fell in love with a sexually-profligate offshore scam artist named Sam Bankman-Fried. Hailed as the youngest billionaire in the world, Bankman-Fried, or SBF for short—a 30-year-old former MIT physics student with academic parents (both leftists)—appeared as a rich darling and savvy star on talk shows and on the covers of leading financial magazines. He ran a popular cryptocurrency exchange named FTX with a million investors. That was until the bottom fell out on November 10.

Warning signs should have been obvious. With his flippant jollity, unkempt hair and hoodie, and offshore domicile in the Bahamas, where he lived in a sex commune with 10 employees and partners with little or no financial experience, SBF was a disaster waiting to happen. But recipients of his largess overlooked these warning signs and feted him as long as the dollars flowed. He was second only to George Soros as a donor to Democrats, and although a few Republicans got pittances from his fake-altruistic gifts, SBF was clearly a supporter of Leftist causes – including Big Science and its pet project, climate change.

SBF’s crytocurrency exchange, FTX, just lost billions of dollars in one day. Investors in his scam lost everything—some who had entrusted their life savings to FTX.

Conveniently for Democrats, SBF’s easy-come, easy-go empire imploded just after the US midterm elections on November 8. Some are attributing unexpected wins by far-left Democrats like John Fetterman to FTX money. Fetterman had a stroke and could hardly put a coherent sentence together. But he won his Senate contest in Pennsylvania against Republican Mehmet Oz, a heart surgeon and popular TV doctor, after huge inputs of cash from Soros and SBF and other rich celebrities. The extra cash enabled Democrats like Fetterman to broadcast nonstop attack ads against their Republican challengers. But the damage was done; none of the Democrats are expected to give the tainted money back, and the lame-duck Democrat-controlled Congress has little to no motivation to investigate what happened at FTX.

Not surprisingly, SBF had used his celebrity to lobby Congress for more lax regulations on companies like his. Maxine Waters (D-California), chairman of the Senate Committee on Financial Services, had her picture taken with Bankman-Fried before the collapse. After the fiasco, she dodged questions about investigating him or returning the money. The Democrat chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission was also compromised by FTX’s lobbying.

Big Science and Big Worries

Meanwhile, Big Science is in a fix. They can’t deny having profited from the scam, but one of their big funding wells just went dry. How can they hope to stop climate change without a free flow of dirty money?

Crypto company’s collapse strands scientists (Science Magazine, 14 November 2022). Robert F. Service’s subtitle reveals where the pain is being felt: “Foundations supported by FTX committed hundreds of millions of dollars to research on climate, biodefense, and AI ethics.” Service says nothing about SBF’s sex scandal or profligate lifestyle, or his massive donations of millions to Democrats. (Before the collapse, SBF was pledging a billion dollars to re-elect Biden in 2024.)

Last week’s collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX is sending aftershocks through the scientific community. An undergraduate physics major at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who founded FTX and quickly became a billionaire, 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried began to back philanthropic organizations that supported a wide variety of science-related causes, most designed to improve human well-being. Now, with FTX in bankruptcy and under investigation for misuse of investors’ money, his formerly flush foundations are suddenly strapped for cash and much of that work is at risk.

One of the foundations, the Future Fund, had promised $132 million for 262 science projects. Some of these were for potentially worthy causes like vaccines and pandemic preparedness. Grantees had already started these projects and had bills to pay. Now, the Future Fund officers said in a statement that “We are devastated to say that it looks likely that there are many committed grants that the Future Fund will be unable to honor.”

One of the recipients wanted to keep blame focused on the source.

SecureBio’s co-founder, Kevin Esvelt, a biologist at MIT, says the nonprofit is avoiding use of its Future Fund grant money for now, except to pay the salaries of the three newly hired people. “We don’t think it is right that anyone should lose their jobs over a financial calamity totally unrelated to the excellent work they are doing,” Esvelt says.

That principle should also apply to individual scientists, some of whom were doing good work unaware of the funding source. But why didn’t the foundation officers receiving these generous, unprecedented donations see the handwriting on the wall? Why didn’t they warn the grantees about this house of cards wobbling in the wind? If this was for “science” work, who failed to do a proper scientific investigation with controlled experimentation? Can Big Science really be this unscientific?

FTX’s collapse was unthinkable just days earlier. The company, which serves as an online trading platform for cryptocurrency, had assets between $10 billion and $50 billion, according to bankruptcy documents. But it was brought to its knees by an old-style run on the bank, as investors tried to withdraw their money after doubts were raised about FTX’s financial health. The company declared bankruptcy on Friday, 11 November, and just hours later more than $500 million was reportedly stolen from the company by hackers.

Assets? $50 billion looks good on paper, but the collateral for the spendable US dollars exchanged from crypto is thin air. Crytocurrency is an imaginary type of money that depends for its life on trust in the cloud, where blockchain algorithms guarantee the legitimacy of transactions, but cannot show any tangible ‘stuff’ behind it. Its value fluctuates wildly, as was seen in the roller-coaster ride of crypto in 2022. Was Big Science really caught off guard?

FTX Collapse Imperils Philanthropic Research Funding (The Scientist, 15 Nov 2022). SBF had an interesting term, “effective altruism,” for his gifts to foundations. It made him present an image of unselfishly wanting to just help people and the planet out of the kindness of his heart. What’s more altruistic than science? Well, the Democrat party got many millions more than science did.

Many of the grants given or promised by foundations linked to FTX were for organizations or groups focused on effective altruism (EA), an approach to philanthropy espoused by FTX founder and Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried in which donors try to do as much good as possible with the resources they have available. However, according to Science, the FTX-funded Future Fund also awarded millions of dollars for natural science initiatives.

Some philanthropist. How altruistic was it, though, for SBF to withdraw investors’ funds for his own Bahamas rich-kid profligate lifestyle, including a Lamborghini, free sex, liquor and drugs? Science Magazine wants you to believe the collapse was just a “run on the bank” when customers got scared. But SBF, a pampered pervert and scam artist, gambled with the investments of a million customers, and blew it all away. He committed the biggest swindle of all time without remorse or apology.

Big Science is not mentioning those details. To see the missing parts of this horrific scandal, you have to read non-Democrat, non-Left sources like the Daily Wire, WND, Breitbart, and again the Daily Wire. Fox News has also reported that some of the US taxpayer dollars ($91 billion so far) sent to the Ukraine was invested by Ukraine president Zelenskyy in FTX.

“Research on climate, biodefense, and AI ethics.” How ironic.

If you are a Republican or conservative, think about this and scream: Your tax dollars went to Ukraine to invest in FTX, whose sex-pervert founder sent millions of dollars to Democrats in key races who won against Republicans just before FTX imploded.

These same Democrat candidates and their supporters, all the way up to President Joe Biden, campaigned as if in unison, “Democracy is on the ballot”—by which they meant to scare people away from “MAGA Republicans” who believed in the slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Well, your hard-earned money taken from you by “legal plunder” (taxation) was being used by your Democrat-controlled government to defeat your preferred candidates. They were doing all this, speaking passionately about “Democracy” as you went to the voting booth to exercise your fundamental right in any democracy—the right to vote in free and fair elections.

Have a nice day.

 

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Comments

  • survivorbiasmonkeyman says:

    Woah woah woah…. Crypto is a libertarian fetish, not liberal. Crypto is about bypassing the federal reserve and bypassing government regulations. At one point, a third of all crypto coins were being mined in Iran to bypass international sanctions

    In theory, crypto currency could be considered “moral” and accepting donations from crypto billionsires would not be in itself immoral. But ftx crashed when it came out that they used other peoples money for speculation, yhey lost that money, and people took their crypto money out of the ftx exchange.

    It was almost exactly a replay of the run on a bank that lead to the great depression. Except now, banks have government regulations, including fdic and other laws, that have prevented bank runs for a century. Laws put in place by democratic president FDR.

    crypto was designed by libertarians to bypass literally all regulations, and predictably resulted in the equivalent of risky speculation and a “bank run”.

    So, no, crypto isnt a liberal, or lefty, or democratic dream. Its libertarian. And while crypto is extremely risky, it isnt inherently immoral. It was specifically the extreme risk the ftx owners took with other peoples money that caused ftx to crash cause everyone, rightfully, wanted their money not to be gambled for someone elses profit.

    All of which is still legal, vy the way, because crypto qas designed by libertarians to get around existing fiat money regulations.

    • The article was not about crypto per se, but about a scam artist, SBF, who donated to liberal causes and pilfered customer funds who had invested in his swindle. That’s where the immorality was. SBF was a licentious liberal who enriched liberal candidates in the last election, and also funded Big Science projects and foundations that were predominantly liberal. He hobnobbed with Democrats and sought to relax regulations on companies like his.

      There are investors of all political persuasions who invest honestly in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and accept the risk without going through exchanges like this one. The individuals and foundations who foolishly trusted SBF should have seen the handwriting on the wall.
      Note: whoa is spelled whoa.

      • survivorbiasmonkeyman says:

        Ftx board member donations totaled about 40 million to democrats and 20 million to republicans.

        And again, crypto isnt good or evil, per se. So accepting those donations wasnt accepting immoral money. It only became known immoral money when ftx used other peoples money for speculation and lost it. At which point, many politicians are redonating ftx money to other charities.

        Crypto currency is basically entirely unregulated. Sk its likely ftx wasnt lobby for “deregulation” since its not regulated to begin with.

        “funded Big Science projects”

        Evil science projects? I mean, a big chunk of it is health-related research.

  • survivorbiasmonkeyman says:

    Also, whats the deal with dissing Ukraine? You like Putin? You like Russia starting wars of aggression? Whats that even about?

    • OK, you are in violation of our rules for commenting. CEH is not a soap box for your personal rants or for second-guessing off-topic positions that were never alleged. The only reference to Ukraine said, “Fox News has also reported that some of the US taxpayer dollars ($91 billion so far) sent to the Ukraine was invested by Ukraine president Zelenskyy in FTX.” That appears to be a factual statement completely separate from the legitimacy of the war. Stick to the subject.

      We are glad you are reading our material. Now, try to understand it.

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