The Bank for International Settlements – Crypto Warnings

We keep circling back around to the quarterly report published by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in December 2022 because it held many warnings and few answers.  The report hints at serious financial events still to be exposed, and a very real understanding that current regulation cannot force exposure in any meaningful way.  In our earlier installments of this discussion, we listed some possibilities for concern including:

  • The sheer volume of outstanding transactions
  • The rapid growth of total dollar transactions to roughly $95 trillion
  • The off-balance-sheet accounting for FOREX transactions
  • FOREX (Foreign Exchange) speculation and derivatives
  • Covid related debt defaults in underdeveloped nations
  • Continued inflation concerns and unpredictable effects of both QE (Quantitative Easing) and QT (Quantitative Tightening)
  • CRYPTO exchange use of exchanges such as FOREX

Like the DOT COM ERA, the early CRYPTO ERA may be coming to a close or to a natural pause where there is a shake out.  Usually during this time, the unprofitable and unethical players are flushed from the system.  What stays or grows from the experience is a few survivors, a new set of players, and technologies that are more sustainable.  At this writing the news on the FTX Trading, Ltd. (FTX) failure is still speculative because we are in the discovery phase of investigations, but the hints from the BIS seem to be at least partially directed at these exchanges.  The warning by the BIS on lack of visibility into FOREX transactions would play right into the CRYPTO world because of its perceived anonymity benefit.

In this installment we want to take a bit of a deeper dive into the connections between CRYPTO related risks and the FOREX.  The FTX bankruptcy offers a glance into the murky world of CRYPTO and CRYPTO exchanges.  These exchanges are complex, highly technical, and often their activities are obscured by the worldwide nature of the transactions they create.  Like many new players on the financial scene, they can come with their own language, and a unique set of acronyms that we believe are intentionally difficult to understand for outsiders.  This unique set of terms helps create a mystique and marketing desirability around their world.  Wherever we use one of these we have included it in a brief glossary at the end of the article.

We are fans of Charlie Munger and the unique perspective he brings to investing, markets, financial history.  At ninety-eight he has seen a lot of good and bad, and he speaks with the understanding that only time and experience can bring.  He does not mince words when talking about CRYPTO.  The lack of regulation, transparency, and unpredictable volatility are obvious concerns.

“I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth, nor do I like just shuffling out of your extra billions of billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air,”

Speaking of Bitcoin, but we might interpret this as all CRYPTO, he is quoted as saying:

“I think I should say modestly that the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization,”

“There are people that think that you’ve got to be in on every deal that’s hot, and they don’t care whether it’s child prostitution or Bitcoin.”

As always with failures analysts sit around and bemoan that all the warning signs were there, we just did not read them.  With FTX these were there for sure but the hype around CRYPTO leads to the irrational exuberance of all crashes.  What is surprising is that each time we pretend that they are unexpected.  Every generation must learn that economic fundamentals do not change.

Hiding Through Complexity

There is a widely circulating organization chart for FTX that gives us some insight into the overall CRYPTO world.  FTX was formed in 2019 and their organization grew to one of enormous complexity in a very short time.  By 2021 they had grown to one million customers and were listed as the third largest CRYPTO exchange.  Where they built in the complexity tells a part of the story and echoes the warning from Charlie Munger.  Various organization charts list anywhere from 75 to 110 different interlocking companies.

FTX had corporate interests in the United States, but also in Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore, Seychelles, Japan, Nigeria, South Korea, Switzerland, and Turkey.  Several of these are nothing more than accounting locations to obfuscate oversight of transactions or illegal activities.  Others are there because they lack any disclosure requirements, oversight, or extradition. 

To the young, or uneducated, or uninformed this complexity is impressive and indicative of the sophistication of product and importance of the business.  As said above, the organization charts for FTX list between 75 and 110 different entities with whole or partial ownership.  Then there were capital investments in CRYPTO farms, vaccines, education, other exchanges, and many non-essential activities.

The new CEO, in bankruptcy, John J. Ray said:

“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.” He added: that “this situation is unprecedented.”

The complexity of managing this organization would challenge most Fortune 500 companies with significant accounting capabilities in both technology and knowledgeable human resources.  The activities included not only CRYPTO exchange but hedge funds, derivatives, and varieties of funds such as EFT’s.  It will take a decade or more to find all the money and return even a portion to “depositors.”  This level of fraud makes the Bernie Madoff debacle look like child’s play, and lawyers are still working to recover those funds.

How it Worked/Should Have Worked

The inner workings of FTX are still being discovered, but we can get some details from articles written by those who know how it should have worked.  In an article titled Benefits and Risks of Trading FOREX with Bitcoin, by Nathan Reiff back on October 10, 2020, some of the mystery is explained.  But apparently the “well-educated” sophisticated traders were also starry eyed over CRYPTO.  Mr. Reiff explained:

“As if forex was not dynamic enough, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have added a fascinating new dimension to currency trading. In recent years, many forex brokers have begun to accept bitcoins for currency trading, with some accepting a variety of other digital currencies as well.” 

He went on to explain that CRYPTO adds a new level of risk to FOREX transactions because of the volatility of CRYPTO.  Trading foreign currencies has some distinct differences.  Sovereign currencies have the backing of a government and a history of value.  Even if the currency is a fiat currency (backed by no commodity) it has the full faith of the issuing government.  The government has taxing power, a standing army, and sovereign territory.  CRYPTO currencies have none of these characteristics.  Charlie Munger is right,

“I think I should say modestly that the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization,”

With FOREX transactions tied to a CRYPTO currency you have two layers of risk.  The currency exchange rates can and will fluctuate, and the market price of the CRYPTO can also fluctuate.  You can make money on one part, both parts, or no part of the transaction.  This is fine if you are playing with your money.  But if you are a company like FTX and you decide to interject yourself into the process and take part of the risk for profit and it backfires you have no capital other than the customer’s deposits.

The volatility of CRYPTO currencies can be seen in Bitcoin alone where prices have ranged from nearly nothing to $60,000 per coin, and then back today to $17,000.  The lack of Central Bank connections and sovereign backing is not a benefit, it is a fatal flaw.  When the price of Bitcoin fell to current levels, all CRYPTO backed loans made to investors instantly became insolvent.  This started the fraud process when FTX could not cover its other expenditures, investments, and misdeeds with net income.

Possible Political Corruption

Based on what we see in other arenas, we should not be surprised that political corruption would be part of the equation.  We know about the notorious K Street in Washington, where lobbyists and other nefarious characters ply their trade.  But Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) took it to a new level and set up an office directly across the street from the White House.  SBF personally visited the White House on four occasions between April and September of 2022.  During this time, he was lobbying for more lenient CRYPTO regulations, but also using his foundation to support pandemic and other politically correct causes.

When any company is populated by incompetents and/or crooks, and has at its disposal almost unlimited funds, political corruption is often the result.  This is not limited to the party in power as all have their hands out for election money.  Among the top ten donors for the mid-term elections, Republicans outraised Democrats by $35 million.  But Democratic money came from just three individuals (George Soros $128 million, SBF $37 million, and Fred Eychanger $22 million).  As the second largest donor to Democrats, he would have had plenty of access and communication with party officials from the White House to the Halls of Congress.

Leading up to the mid-term elections SBF and his team made political donations of at least $70 million.   Of that, the largest amounts went to Democrats ($45 million) and Republicans ($23 million).  So, if there are investigations, they will be tempered by the dirty hands of all.  SBF was ripe for picking by Washington politicians as he ramped up his giving from $5.6 million in 2020 to an astounding $39 million in 2022. 

A great deal of this money was funneled to political campaigns through PACs which have unlimited contribution power.  PACs are also convenient for politicians because they give them cover and plausible deniability when illegal activities are discovered.  When you throw in the donations of Ryan Salame, CEO of FTX Digital Markets, they played both sides of the aisle with SBF giving mainly to Democrats and Salame giving mainly to Republicans.  There was plenty of cash for all.

SBF concentrated his lobbying efforts on key members of committees who could influence the direction of legislation.  Apparently, he helped co-author or had input into the Digital Commodity Consumer Protection Act, the first CRYPTO related proposal to regulate the industry.

Rep. Brad Sherman (Democrat-California), who chaired the House Financial Services subcommittee on investor protection, urged Congress to “examine options” for crypto legislation without help from the industry. 

“To date, efforts by billionaire crypto bros to deter meaningful legislation by flooding Washington with millions of dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying spending have been effective,”  he said in a statement.

Just a partial list of the cash being doled out echo these lobbying efforts and cash flow.  What politicians and PACs were involved?  At least a partial list of politicians who received contributions includes:

  • Representative Tom Emmer (Republican, Minnesota)
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (Democrat, Michigan)
  • Senator John Boozman (Republican, Arkansas)
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat, New York)
  • Senator Cory Booker (Democrat, New Jersey)
  • Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican, Alaska)
  • Senator Susan Collins (Republican, Maine)

And a partial list of PACs and political organizations would include:

  • Protect Our Future (Campaigns Support Pandemic Prevention)
  • Future Forward USA (Democratic PAC supporting President Biden’s campaign, no response to returning donations)
  • Senate Majority PAC (Affiliated with Chuck Schumer, Democrat, New York and says they will return the $3 million donation)
  • House Majority PAC (Affiliated with Nancy Pelosi, Democrat, California, says they will return their $6 million donation as instructed)
  • GMI PAC (Support for candidates who were supportive of CRYPTO)
  • American Dream Federal Action Fund (Contributions to Republican Candidates)
  • Senate Leadership Fund (Supportive of Senator Mitch McConnell and Republicans)
  • Congressional Leadership Fund
  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (Says it will return the money)

Not surprisingly most failed to respond to CNBC for comment when asked about the donations.  Some ducked and said the money had been donated to charity, some agreed to return the money, some were silent, and it crossed Party lines.  $70 million will buy a lot of access to a lot of politicians in both parties.

In an opinion piece published on the Wall Street Journal web site on December 19, 2022, Todd H. Baker writes:

“Before FTX crashed, crypto lobbyists and many politicians were complaining loudly that crypto trading was being unfairly denied full participation in banking and finance by overly cautious regulators.  We should thank our lucky stars that somebody showed good sense.:

The politicians and lobbyists were screaming because they had been lobbied (bribed) to support the cause.  Now that they have been exposed will they make moves to bring CRYPTO under control?  This seems unlikely because FTX is just one link in a chain of bribes.  But nouveau-riche CRYPTO kings and queens need to be careful, Washington politicians are masters at removing large sums from neophytes.

The Magic of Celebrity endorsements

Marketers of all sorts know the appeal of celebrity endorsements, especially to a young and impressionable audience.  But when a celebrity endorses a brand of potato chips or soda, it is different than endorsing a financial product.  If I do not like the chips I lose a couple of dollars, not my life savings.  Younger investors tend to believe, for some reason, that playing a sport makes you a genius at all sorts of unrelated things.  Just a few of the celebrity endorsements named so far include:

  • Gisele Bundchen (Supermodel)
  • Tom Brady (Pro Football)
  • Shaquille O’Neal (Pro Basketball)
  • Stephen Curry (Professional Basketball)
  • Larry David (Writer and TV Personality)
  • Kevin O’Leary (Co-host of Shark Tank on CNBC)
  • Trevor Lawrence (Pro Football)
  • Naomi Osaka (Professional Tennis)
  • Udonis Haslem (Professional Basketball)
  • David Ortiz (Professional Baseball)
  • Robert Craft (American Billionaire Businessman)

How much did they receive?  Well, this information does not seem to be discoverable yet, but there is a hint.  In a recent episode of CNBC Squawk Box, Kevin O’Leary was asked about the FTX failure, his endorsement, and personal losses.  He said that he had lost $15 million, $5 million in cash and apparently $10 million in some form of deferred payments.  To his credit he has apparently returned the money.  But Kevin O’Leary is a recognizable investor and TV personality, not a sports superstar.  The payment to each sport’s figure just “feels” like it would have been more, but there is no word yet.

In the case of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen it was reported that they received an equity state in FTX and endorsement money.  But it has also been reported that they invested significantly with their own money, and with their wealth they could lose substantially.

Corporations and management have patterns and habits.  If this was the model used to lure others to endorsements, then it is likely that most lost significantly.  Florida lawyers have already started lawsuits against major celebrities who pitched FTX.

Character Matters

In business character matters, it matters more than any other trait a person can have.  It is always interesting to see how the press will overlook character flaws when a person is popular.  We see it with politicians, sports figures, businessmen and businesswomen.  But they seem to pile on when there are “revelations” about misdeeds and when it will sell.

The New York Post reported on a party that apparently took place on the estate of SBF in the Bahamas.  According to the article, apparently SBF and his minions “led a life fueled by drugs, vegetarian food, and open sexuality.”  SBF even Tweeted:

“Stimulants when you wake up, sleeping pills if you need them when you sleep.” 

Apparently, a patch form of methamphetamine was also on the menu when desired.

Caroline Ellison, SBF former girlfriend, was given a job as the CEO of Alamanda Research.  When she lost money from risky trades, money from FTX was transferred to cover up the problems.  In a 2021 Tweet, Ellison wrote:

“Nothing like regular amphetamine use to make you appreciate how dumb a lot of normal, non-medicated experience is.”

Then there is the “free love” polyamorous culture that developed.  SBF wrote on Tmblr:

“But tbh I’ve come to decide the only acceptable style of poly is best characterized as something like ‘imperial Chinese harem.’” 

It was the 1960s all over again, but rather than poor and do not care, it was filthy rich and do not care.  Sex, drugs, and rock and roll had its resurgence and poster child.

All the warning signs were there, but no one would blow the whistle so long as the money, bribes, accolades, and drugs kept flowing.  No one in Washington, Hollywood, or Sports wanted to look like they really did not understand the concepts nor the business case.  If there were ever a case for regulatory oversight, this is the poster child.

Extreme Narcissism

Another early warning sign with many CEOs of startups is the narcissism that can develop with sudden wealth.  We see it with who they associate with, what they drive, and where they live.  And the CEO can spread the wealth as he or she sees fit.  With SBF it also came in the form of having the Miami Heat Arena named for FTX.  Why would a global company need a basketball arena in Miami named for it?  The advertising value would have been minimal.  It was pure narcissism.  Since the bankruptcy, the Miami Heat has decided to reclaim the arena and remove the FTX name, a smarter move than taking the money in the first place.

We also saw them spend customer deposits on lavish homes, cars, drugs, and advertising.  They used the funds to buy political access, favor, and favorable legislation.  They hung around with celebrities and had their pictures made while making donations to charities.  All of these are narcissistic behaviors and should have been recognized by the participants.

An indirect endorsement that likely fueled his narcissism came from Forbes Magazine when in October 2021 SBF made the cover with an estimated net worth of $26.5 billion.  Making the cover of any major financial publication with a significant net worth is an implied endorsement if nothing else.

Related Damage

One of the main risks to the overall markets is no different than the risk during a mortgage or housing crisis.  Firms like Genesis Global made CRYPTO loans to customers using the CRYPTO as collateral.  It is certainly possible that many of these loans cannot be repaid where the difference between the CRYPTO value when the loan was made, and the current market value is significant. 

Then there are companies like Sequoia, BlackRock, Inc., SoftBank Group Corp., and Temasek, Digital Currency Group, Greyscale, Voyager all with some undefined stake in the company.

There are venture capitalists who entered the market backing the “sure thing” in CRYPTO.  There are “Crypto Farming” operations that will likely fail from the fall in CRYPTO prices.  Back on January 4, 2023, it was reported that roughly $143 million had been taken from the combination of Silvergate and Moonstone Banks and transferred to more robust facilities controlled by the Bankruptcy Courts.

Then there are the audit firms who certified the financial information on FTX.  Prager Metis CPAs LLC, and Armanino LLP are both being sued on behalf of customers.

VISA credit cards got a black eye by signing an FTX branded card and signing a long-term partnership global partnership agreement.  VISA who must have excellent financial controls and is aware of its fiduciary responsibilities was duped along with the rest.  Guy Sheffield of VISA was quoted as saying:

Crypto is community-driven; we know we can’t deliver the best crypto experiences on our own,”

“With this partnership, we’re bringing together FTX, one of the largest and most innovative crypto platforms, with Visa and our network of 80 million merchant locations.”

There will be more, many more.

Dodged a Bullet

Documents also reveal that FTX was in negotiations with companies like WalMart, Yahoo Finance, and Facebook (Meta Platforms) to provide CRYPTO related services.  These never happened. 

During the final hours before failure SBF reached out to Sequoia Capital, Apollo Global Management, Inc., TPG, Inc., Tether, and Binance,    He apparently made contacts with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, and Japanese Investment Bank Nomura Holdings, Inc. to obtain the $7 billion needed to stay afloat, all declined.

The Stupidity/Incompetence Defense

When Joe Smith opens a restaurant and it fails, he can declare bankruptcy.  In America we are very forgiving, and upstarts deserve a second or third chance to make their mark on the business world.  They can always claim that they were learning the business, made mistakes along the way, and will do better next time.  And Joe can even claim he is stupid and just cannot run a business.

But when an upstart takes on fiduciary responsibility as a part of its business it is not risking the money of the creators.  Often, as we see here, they have no experience or skill at running the business.  Funds become comingled between the company and customer.  When money gets tight, or failures occur, they begin to spend customer deposits as if it were theirs.  In these cases, the stupidity defense just does not work.  You cannot claim to run a highly complex financial operation and at the same time claim stupidity.

Likely SBF will go to jail and for a long time.  The politicians and endorsers need cover to protect themselves.  They can claim the “stupidity” defense, but they cannot hide from the influence peddling and corruption unless we let them.  As stated earlier, the lawyers are already lining up in Florida.

What are the systemic risks?

According to an article in the web site we have reached the point where there are 21,844 identified cryptocurrencies.  Of that total only 9,314 are active meaning the early attrition rate is 57%.  The rapid growth is visible since in 2013 there were only 7 coins, growing to the current 9,314. 

The total market cap of all coins is $830 billion.  Every day $55 billion changes hands.  Only 8% of the users are in the U. S., with Asia being the largest user base.  The communist nature of some Asian countries and the need for anonymity may drive higher usage.

Bitcoin is still the largest and most recognizable of all CRYPTOs with a market cap that is at least twenty times any other coin.  But the market cap can be deceiving because of futures contracts, derivatives, funds, and other forms of speculation that may not represent physical ownership of coins.

For the average American the direct risk from ownership of any CRYPTO currency is small.  The subsegment of our society that takes part is small.  But just as in the DOT COM ERA, there is a contagion risk, and this may very well be the BIS warning and the FTX legacy.  To the degree that traders are speculating on CRYPTO or coupling that speculation with currency speculation the risk is multiplied and real.

To President Biden’s credit in September 2022, he did call for more oversight of the CRYPTO markets and the study of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).  But is it too little too late?

Wrapping it all up

Usually in situations like this there is this “Ah-Ha” moment when everyone says: “So that is what was going on!”  But these are too little too late and dodge the obvious issue of this is so egregious that anyone could see what was happening.  That was the case with the DOT COM bubble, and it will probably happen with the CRYPTO bubble.

We should not be surprised when you turn over billions of dollars to young, inexperienced entrepreneurs and expect them to act responsibility.  When they openly brag about drug use and sex parties, bribe politicians, entice celebrity endorsements, falsify financial records, spend lavishly on themselves, we cannot act surprised when they fail.  We can only hope that FTX is the exception and not the rule with CRYPTO empires.  For sure this is one of the many complex issues the BIS was sounding the alarm over.

All the warning signs were flashing red and were there to be seen.

This article has been co-authored by HawkeEye and freeman.

Glossary of Terms

CBDC – Central Bank Digital Currency – a CRYPTO currency issued by a central bank with the backing of the Central Bank or the Government.

Defi – Is an acronym that stands for Decentralized Finance.  It is a somewhat broad term covering the part of the CRYPTO systems that are geared toward building new, internet-based financial systems, using blockchains to replace traditional intermediaries and trust mechanisms.  This is the “Holy Grail” of platforms for those who look to bypass the controls, regulations, and oversight of more traditional banking systems.

FOREX – Also referred to as just FX – The markets that facilitate the exchange and settlement of sovereign currencies.

FTX – FTX Trading, Ltd. and short for the original name of “Futures Exchange.”  The exchange was founded in 2019 and quickly gathered billions in venture capital investments and deposits.  Their reach included CRYPTO, hedge funds, and FOREX transactions.  They filed for bankruptcy in late 2022.

PAC’s – Political Action Committees ruled legal by the Supreme Court and allowed to take unlimited funds for later donation to political campaigns.

SBF – Sam Bankman-Fried, the MIT graduate and some believe math whiz.  He was born in 1992 and was roughly twenty-seven when he founded FTX.  After his extradition from the Bahamas in early 2023, he was charged with wire fraud and securities fraud.  He is under house arrest awaiting trial in October 2023.

QE – Quantitative Easing – Transactions made by Central Banks to add money to the economy to stimulate growth.

QT – Quantitative Tightening – Transactions made by Central Banks to remove money from the economy to slow inflation or growth.

Research Source Material

Analysis: Crypto companies’ ties to sports raise ethical questions, By Ken Sweet, PBS News Hour, December 17, 2022.

Bank downplays ties to FTX sister company in latest fallout from crypto exchange failure, By Nate Bek,, November 29, 2022.

Benefits and Risk of Trading Forex With Bitcoin, By Nathan Reiff,, October 10, 2020.

Charlie Munger calls bitcoin ‘disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization,’ By Yun Li,, May 1, 2021.

Charlie Munger Says Crypto Is Good For Kidnappers, Bad For Civilization: ‘It’s Partly Fraud And Partly Delusion,’ By Adam Eckert,, December 21, 2022.

Crypto exchange bankruptcy is bad news for some charities, By Brian Mittendorf,, November 25, 2022.

Crypto giant’s failure exposes cozy Washington ties, weak regulation, By Sam Sutton and Declan Harty,, November 14, 2022.

Crypto Is Money Without a Purpose, by Todd H. Baker, Wall Street Journal (Opinion Commentary), December 19, 2022.

Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC plans to return $3 million in donations from disgraced for FTX executives, By Brian Schwartz,, December 20, 2022.

Digital Currency Group: Is the Fallout From FTX Over, or Is the Worst yet to Come?, By Shubham Pendey,, January 6, 2023.

Goodbye FTX Arena: Miami Heat Stadium Ditches Crypto Sponsor, By Joseph De Avila, Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2023.

How Many Cryptocurrencies are There In 2023?, By Josh Howarth,, November 25, 2022.

How Psychology Is Used in Marketing Strategies, By Juliet Jones,, January 25, 2022.

FTX appeared to rent a property just 300 meters from the White House, By Grace Dean,, January 11, 2023.

FTX Collapse Puts Auditors in Crosshairs of Clients, Regulators, By Nicola M. White, Bloomberg Tax, November 30, 2022.

FTX Says It Has Located More Than $5 Billion in Cash, Liquid Assets,  by Becky Yerak, Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2023.

FTX Seeks to Recoup Sam Bankman-Fried’s Charitable Donations, By Eric Wallerstein, Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2023.

FTX Ties to U.S. Banks Point to Regulatory Shortfall: Reports, By Alex Padalka,, December 1, 2023.

Meet the 10 biggest megadonors for the 2022 midterm elections, By Katherine Huggins,, October 11, 2022.

No One Will Escape the FTX Fallout, By Joel Khalili,, January 6, 2023.

Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX Team Among Top Political Donors Before Bankruptcy, by Paul Kiernan and Stephanie Stamm, Dow Jones Reprints, November 21, 2022.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Supersized Bet: $1 Billion for a Bitcoin Miner on the Kazakh Steppe, by Eliot Brown and Yuliya Chernova, Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2023.

SBF and FTX peddled a crypto fraud that makes scammer Bernie Madoff look like an amateur, By Vitaliy Katsenelson,, January 11, 2023.

Size, scope of FTX failure gets clearer as users fear worst, By Ken Sweet and Thalia Beaty,, November 15, 2022.

Special Report: FTX’s Bankman-Fried begged for a rescue even as he revealed huge holes in firm’s books, By Angus Berwick, Anirban Sen, Elizabeth Howcroft, and Lawrence Delevingne, Reuters, November 16, 2022.

The scrollable, annotated, incredibly complex org chart of FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried’s fallen empire, By Scott Nover, Amanda Shendruk, and Nate DiCamillo,, November 17, 2022.

Partner-swapping, pills & playing games: Inside Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX party house, by Michael Kaplan,, November 21, 2022.

U. S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX, By Alexander Saeedy, Becky Yerak, and Peter Rudegeair, Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2023.

U. S. Senators Question Independence of FTX Bankruptcy Law Firm, By Jonathan Randles, January 10, 2023.

Visa dives deeper into crypto as FTX-linked debit card expands outside US, By Jacquelyn Melinek,, October 7, 2022.

Why the FTX collapse is turning up the heat on Congress, By Sylvan Lane and Karl Evers-Hillstrom,, November 15, 2022.

Why Tom Brady is poised to lose big money investing in FTX, cryptocurrency, By David Suggs,, November 9, 2022.

By design we do not allow direct comments on articles on our web site.  But this is one where we would like to see either opposing or supporting discussions.  For something this inconspicuous to have the potential for such an impact on all our lives seems unreal.

DISCLOSURE: This commentary is being communicated as general information and observations only and should not be taken as investment advice.  It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute material research or analysis.  The actions that you take as a result of information contained in this document are ultimately your responsibility.