On 25 October 2023, Anthony Scaramucci, former White House Director of Communications and the founder and managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, appeared on CNBC’s “Last Call” (hosted by Brian Sullivan) to share his thoughts regarding the ongoing criminal trial of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former CEO of the defunct crypto exchange FTX.
Scaramucci’s Reflections on Law School: Scaramucci humorously remarked that his main takeaway from law school was to avoid becoming a lawyer. He added that he felt fortunate not to be one.
Analogies with Action Park: Drawing an analogy, Scaramucci compared Bankman-Fried’s situation to going down the alpine slide at the infamous Action Park (this was was an amusement and water park located in Vernon Township, New Jersey, United States, on the grounds of the Vernon Valley/Great Gorge ski resort) without brakes, suggesting that the former CEO is headed towards a perilous situation. He emphasized that SBF might think he can outsmart the prosecutors, but these legal professionals have vast experience and will likely point out inconsistencies in SBF’s testimony. This decision, Scaramucci believes, will only increase the duration of SBF’s potential sentence.
Effects on the Crypto Industry: Scaramucci voiced concerns about the negative impact of this trial on the crypto industry. He refuted claims from figures like Senator Elizabeth Warren that cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are being used for financing illicit activities, emphasizing Bitcoin’s transparency. Scaramucci opined that Bankman-Fried’s actions have cast a shadow over the industry, but he remains hopeful that these challenges will soon pass.
Bankman-Fried’s Personality: Sullivan and Scaramucci also discussed Michael Lewis’ recent book (“Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon”) about Bankman-Fried. Sullivan says that although SBF seemed like a modest individual who often wore cargo shorts and t-shirts, the impression he came away with from reading the book was that SBF was an arrogant person who thought that he was always the smartest person in the room and that this arrogance might be the reason SBF is willing to testify at his own trial. Scaramucci said that he didn’t think that Lewis thought that SBF was arrogant when he was writing the book (which started before the collapse of the FTX empire)
Revisiting History: Scaramucci noted a change in the public’s perception of Bankman-Fried. Previously, SBF was viewed as a generous individual committed to donating his wealth to effective altruism. However, revelations from co-conspirators painted a different picture, hinting at deceit and malevolence. Scaramucci expressed regret over introducing Bankman-Fried to influential figures, such as heads of state, having previously believed in his good intentions.
Public’s Changing Perception: Scaramucci pointed out that the public’s view of SBF has shifted. While he was once celebrated on magazine covers, the unfolding events have cast doubt on his integrity. Scaramucci emphasized that good fraudsters are often adept at deception.
During a recent discussion on the “OPTO – Invest in Innovation” podcast, as highlighted by The Block, Scaramucci expressed a strong positive sentiment towards Bitcoin. He envisions Bitcoin evolving into a monumental $15 trillion asset, potentially eclipsing gold in its role as a wealth reserve. However, he remains skeptical about it replacing traditional currencies as a global monetary standard.
Highlighting Bitcoin’s inherent value, Scaramucci emphasized its potential to surpass gold. He pointed out that with Bitcoin’s finite supply of 21 million coins, its market capitalization could equate to a staggering price of over $700,000 for each coin, a sharp ascent from its current trading price of around $35,000.
Scaramucci disclosed that his company has a significant Bitcoin portfolio. While he remains bullish on the cryptocurrency, he doesn’t foresee it becoming the dominant global currency. On a broader geopolitical scale, Scaramucci touched upon the idea that nations resistant to U.S. policies might lean towards trading in Bitcoin or gold-backed digital currencies.
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