Effective altruism

Just learned the above phrase from the motto of FTX’s ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. Too many podcasts in all news outlet about him in the past 2 weeks.  I can’t stop listening to any new ones I found. 😊

Effective altruism is using utilitarian ideology to maximize the impacts of good deeds one can possibly do in one’s lifetime.  Usually, it is measured by money. First, earn millions or billions of dollars. Then, distribute it to worthy causes such as fighting climate changes, poverty, diseases, etc. Many billionaires have set examples.

It seems SBF was following this.  Some said that is his PR stunt or carefully cultivated façade. Wearing shorts on stage and long unkept hair all seem to portrait a genius who doesn’t care about material gain or luxury for himself. Besides, he is the rare breed in this Wild Wild West of crypto land asking for more regulations. He has been the good guy.

Perhaps, that was his original intent.  Perhaps ambition and ego got the best of him?  Did he use end to justify means of misappropriating customers’ fund? When money chasing opportunities in the 2021, he made risky trading decisions in another firm called Alameda Research owned by him.  Many very smart and experienced financial pros predicted the Bitcoin will hit $100K very soon. However, things turned sour. Trades went bad. He needed to cover the big holes, so he did what he can in the dark by moving money from FTX to Alameda. He might be thinking he will put the money back to FTX when things get better.

Most interestingly, in one old media interview, he said he purposely name the trading firm “research” to avoid scrutiny. Does he have split personality? Or a mere hypocrite?

This character made a very good novel. It would be great if Geroge Elliot/Mary Ann Evans or Tolstoy were still alive to write it. They will not judge him but instead they will dig deep into his psyche to let us understand him better.

Perhaps many people would have done what he did, but they just don’t have his talents. 😊 We are only mortals who are weak and easily tempted by ambitions and egos, so we need strong regulations and guardrails.

Published by Worthfy

Financial literacy and counselling

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