Obviously, the U.S. government and other federal officials read my Editor’s Note last week and decided to act against FTX and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
Bankman-Fried has been charged with wire fraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud and money laundering by the attorney general of the Southern District of New York.
What does this have to do with agriculture you ask? Jerry Hagstrom of The Hagstrom Report, who is based in Washington, D.C., reported that the farm bill hearings will probably take a back seat to the FTX and Bankman-Fried problems.
I don’t think that it is right to prioritize an investigation into fraud over agriculture, especially now when inflation is at an all-time high and people are spending an astronomical amount of money for food.
Congress is constantly talking about how to feed people and pushing farm bill negotiations back will not help this problem. And the situation for farmers and ranchers — like it has for all of us since COVID — has changed and the farm bill needs to keep up with those changes.
It’s a shame but I’m pretty sure FTX’s $8 billion loss of customer deposits won’t be recovered no matter what the government does. And, in fact, the losses were caused in part because the government had little authority over cryptocurrency and is just now working on legislation to give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more authority over the digital commodity asset.
I can’t imagine being swindled and losing a crap-ton of money. Luckily I wouldn’t be on any swindlers’ radar as I don’t have enough money for them to steal.
But there were a lot of people, including celebrities and lawmakers that were cozy with Bankman-Fried.
The list of congressmen who received funds from Bankman-Fried is long. Mostly he gave to Democrats but also a few Republicans. Bankman-Fried donated to both parties so that he could affect decisions to regulate cryptocurrency.
Several of these lawmakers have said they will donate the money they received to charitable organizations or to the bankruptcy fund that has been created to compensate FTX customers.
Bankman-Fried was also successful in getting celebrities to not only invest in his venture but also to appear in commercials for FTX.
Those celebrities include Shaquille O’Neal, Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Osaka and Stephen Curry.
“They all appeared in ads for FTX. In one commercial, Curry repeatedly denies being cast as an expert in cryptocurrency but says ‘I don’t need to be. With FTX I have everything I need to buy, sell, and trade crypto safely,’” according to an article in The Hollywood Reporter.
That is hilarious. I don’t feel bad for these celebrities because they will probably earn all their money back by making a movie about FTX and its founder Bankman-Fried.
They will need to make a lot of money from the movie because they are also being sued by other FTX investors for “misrepresentations and omissions made and broadcast around the country through the television and internet.”
As you can guess, even though I don’t understand a lot of the details about cryptocurrency and other digital assets, I am intrigued by this story.
More Like This, Tap A Topic