Economics/Class Relations

How SBF played DC

Nicholas Carlson, December 5, 2022


Hello, Insiders. Gen Z has it rough. They’re taking on more debt, roommates, and jobs as a potential recession looms. I recently mentioned a story of ours about this trend, and asked if any of you all had firsthand experience with it. Some of our Gen Z readers reached out and eventually spoke to reporter Jacob Zinkula about their financial woes.

One Gen Zer said she’s had to “deplete her savings” while pursuing a graduate degree. Even with babysitting and an internship, her account “goes to zero or below every month.” A 23-year-old with $20,000 in debt said they “can barely scrape together enough to stay afloat.” Another said they got great financial advice — but “still got stung.”

You can read more of what Gen Zers told Jacob here. And now, let’s get to the news.

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Sam Bankman-Fried conquered DC before FTX’s stunning implosion. Here’s the inside story on how he did it. 


Early last month, Washington was abuzz with rumors about Bankman-Fried’s coming Christmas party.


The crypto kingpin was preparing to host a blowout celebration. Politicos were gossiping about which musical artist would headline and whether Tom Brady would be there. “The talk on the town,” a crypto nonprofit director said, “was it’s going to be the craziest DC Christmas party ever.”


This was supposed to be the triumphant capstone of two years of lobbying and networking by Bankman-Fried (aka SBF). The 30-year-old set out to rig a notoriously rigged system through a potent mix of charm, charitable giving, and political contributions.


And so, in the midst of FTX’s financial devastation, a question remains largely unanswered: Why didn’t regulatory agencies or Congress catch on to what was happening?


The answer is simple, according to more than a dozen insiders who spoke to our reporters: SBF made himself a mover and shaker in Washington to a degree that other CEOs only dream of.


Read the full story here.

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This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson (@nichcarlson), and edited by Hallam Bullock (@hallam_bullock), Lisa Ryan (@lisarya), Jordan Parker Erb (@jordanparkererb), and Shona Ghosh (@shonaghosh).
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