Disgraced crypto billionaire and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried considered paying Donald Trump a staggering $5 billion to dissuade him from running for president in 2024, according to acclaimed author Michael Lewis in his upcoming book, “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon.”
It comes as the cryptocurrency entrepreneur’s trial is set to begin on Tuesday.
A Massive Offer to Quell Democracy Concerns
In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Lewis disclosed Bankman-Fried’s willingness to invest such a significant sum to mitigate what he perceived as an “existential” risk to democracy posed by a Trump candidacy. The billionaire viewed Trump’s potential campaign as a threat that could undermine essential efforts to address existential challenges facing the nation.
“He took the view that all the big existential problems are gonna require the United States government to be involved to solve ’em,” Lewis writes. “And if the democracy is undermined, all these problems are less likely to be solved. And he saw Trump trying to undermine the democracy, and he thought, ‘Trump belongs on the list of existential risks.’”
Uncertain Legality and Additional Anti-Trump Efforts
However, Bankman-Fried was unsure about the legality of such a transaction, Lewis says, and it remained unclear if the $5 billion figure came directly from Trump. In a bid to counter Trump’s influence, the FTX co-founder tried to collaborate with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to fund anti-Trump Republican candidates.
Representatives for both Trump and McConnell have not provided immediate comments regarding this revelation.
Bankman-Fried’s Philanthropic Ideals and Political Donations
Bankman-Fried, an advocate of “effective altruism,” believed that accumulating immense wealth was the most efficient way to support humanity effectively. He openly admitted to making substantial political donations, predominantly to Democrats, and asserted that he had made comparable off-the-record contributions to Republicans.
Bankman-Fried’s trial, concerning allegations of defrauding investors of billions through FTX, commences soon. The collapse of FTX in 2022 saw the cryptocurrency exchange, once valued at $32 billion, fall into turmoil.
The contents of Lewis’ book shed light on an intriguing episode in modern American politics and underscore the lengths some individuals might contemplate to influence the course of the nation’s democratic processes. The implications of this revelation on both Bankman-Fried’s trial and the upcoming 2024 elections remain to be seen.
Who is Michael Lewis?
Michael Lewis is an American author and journalist known for his non-fiction works on topics related to finance, economics, and sports. He was born on October 15, 1960, in New Orleans. Lewis attended Princeton University, where he earned a degree in art history.
Lewis has written several other highly successful books including the “The Big Short” (2010), a book delving into the events leading up to the 2007-2008 financial crisis, focusing on a group of investors who foresaw the housing bubble and profited from the subsequent financial meltdown.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.
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