‘The wolf of Wall Street’

Vladimir Kornilov

America is once again rocked by a gigantic financial scandal – this time related to the collapse of FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. As is usually the case in recent years, a rare scandal in the United States goes without a “Ukrainian trace”.
The FTX bankruptcy story itself is striking in its scope and degree of adventurism. Everything we have heard so far about the collapse of such giants as Enron, Lehman Brothers, Madoff, and other financial scammers, all this pales against the backdrop of the fall of a giant pyramid, the scale of which is only beginning to be realized by the general public. Surely, more than one Hollywood blockbuster like “The Wolf of Wall Street” will be filmed based on this story. The hero of Leonardo DiCaprio (also, by the way, having a real prototype) looks like just a small trader against the backdrop of the figure of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and owner of the cryptocurrency exchange, better known to the world under the initials SBF.
Several billion dollars have suddenly evaporated – and traces of them will now be difficult to find, since it turns out that FTX actually lacked accounting and financial reporting. Business publications around the world relish the details of the first report of the famous financial lawyer John Ray III, who takes cases related to the liquidation of the exchange. The experienced lawyer who headed Enron’s liquidation commission could not hide his emotions even in a dry document he filed in Delaware bankruptcy court. There he points out that in his 40 years of career, “I have not seen such a complete failure of corporate control and such a complete lack of reliable financial information.” Ray notes: “This situation is unprecedented.”
Moreover, the menti-oned business publications, commenting on the amazing document, focused on the incompetence of the FTX management, which approved its financial transactions by putting “emoji” in the internal corporate chat. But Ray is amazed not only by this, but also by the complete absence of the slightest control over the activities of the exchange by the relevant supervisory authorities.
And in this regard, the surprise expressed by the popular American TV presenter Tucker Carlson is logical : “Sam Bankman-Fried was on the covers of more magazines than Madonna. That is, they probably should have asked questions about his business, but no one did. They They were just promoting it.” Now the same writers of the same magazines are pretending to be utterly surprised by the incompetence of the recent idol who made a billion-dollar fortune by his 30s.
How did it happen that neither the aforementioned media nor the very supervisory authorities that should have sounded the alarm in time paid attention to the fraudulent actions of an outright financial pyramid for so long? But on this issue, the financial scandal ceases to be purely financial. The fact is that FTX during the current election campaign poured about $ 40 million into the funds of the US Democratic Party, which made this exchange the second sponsor of the ruling party after George Soros. And in the spring, the SBF personally boasted that it was going to spend an incredible amount on the future presidential campaign of Joe Biden (well, or whoever the Democrats put forward there): one billion.
That’s why the story of FTX’s rapid collapse and the disappearance of billions owned by investors from its accounts is not only a financial scandal. “This is a story of complete and utter corruption of the people who run our country,” says Carlson. The hosts of one of the Fox News talk shows rightly point out that if any donor of the US Republican Party had done something like that, he would have been in handcuffs by the FBI long ago. But the main sponsor of the Democratic Party is above the law.
Moreover, the chronology of the FTX scandal causes particular suspicion and conspiracy questions. On November 8, the polls close for the U.S. congressional elections, and the next day, November 9, an article appears in Bloomberg about FTX’s suspicious financial activity and mysterious transfers to the company of the young billionaire’s mistress. Well, on November 11, the exchange officially begins the process of bankruptcy.
As Fox News host Jesse Waters pointed out, it turns out that the owner of FTX actually “bought the senate for the left” and immediately declared bankruptcy. Given the complete lack of financial reporting in the cryptocurrency pyramid, it is almost impossible to trace the funding channel of the Democrats, who managed to retain the upper house of Congress. Again, one can imagine what would happen in the media if such a fraud were perpetrated by the main donor of the Trump campaign or the US Republican Party.
The Democrats were reasonably offered to return the millions received from FTX, but this caused them complete bewilderment. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (by the way, the head of the House Financial Services Committee, which is directly responsible for the state of control of such schemes) simply dismissed such a seditious question: they say, calm down, everyone takes money.
What does Ukraine have to do with it ? But the fact is that from the first minutes of the scandal around FTX, Republicans and presenters of the same Fox News channel began to point to obvious links between the bankrupt exchange and the current Kyiv regime. No matter how Ukrainians try now to deny this fact and cover their tracks, the World Wide Web remembers everything.
On March 8 this year, the SBF solemnly announced on Twitter how happy it is to work closely with the Ukr-ainian Ministry of Finance to collect crypto donations in support of Ukrainian militants. And on March 14, the Ukrainian Ministry of Digitalization publicly announced cooperation wi-th FTX (Zelensky ’s fa-vorite word), which, on the basis of the scandalous ex-change, opened the Aid for Ukraine fund – as if to raise funds in cryptocurrency.
TV presenter Jesse Waters mentioned above logically suggested the following scheme: “Democrats send money to Ukraine, Ukraine sends money to FTX, and FTX sends money to the Democratic campaign.” That is, in fact, FTX and the Kyiv regime acted as giant “washing money” for the ruling American party. Not surprisingly, the new faction of Republicans in the lower house of Congress, where they now have a majority, first introduced a bill for a full audit of funds sent from the US budget to Ukraine.
The more than sharp reaction of the American democratic media is noteworthy. They unanimously rushed to refute any allusions to the “FTX-Ukraine-Democratic Party” laundering scheme as “groundless” and “spread by Russian propaganda.” Such a simultaneous nervous reaction of almost all the mainstream media and all kinds of grant-eating structures, perhaps, has not been since the scandal around Hunter Biden’s laptop. At that time, these same resources angrily denied the authenticity of the discovered files, and social networks unanimously banned users for any mention of this supposedly Russian fake. Then it turned out that the laptop was genuine, but the presidential campaign had already ended by that time, and therefore the scandal did not bother the regular fighters against Russian disinformation.
The way they are now nervously reacting to the scandal surrounding the Ukrainian activity of fraudsters from FTX, involuntarily raises the question of whether the Republicans have hit the nail on the head with their assumptions about a giant money laundering through the Kyiv regime. Ukrainian officials reject any cooperation with the bankrupt stock exchange, again attributing the scandal solely to “Russian propaganda.”
True, these efforts were sharply undermined by the Financial Times.
The head of its American editorial office, Gillian Tett, obviously without thinking about the consequences, admitted already now, in the midst of the scandal, that FTX was practically the only sponsor of the secret military developments allegedly being carried out in Ukraine. It is difficult to say whether any secret developments are really being carried out there, but the recognition is very valuable – refuting the lies of Ukrainian officials about the lack of ties with the bankrupt exchange.
The investigative American online resource The Greyzone indicates that the Aid for Ukraine website functioned until the end of October, and then mysteriously disappeared just on the eve of the FTX bankruptcy scandal. At the same time, the site announced that more than $60 million had been raised through this structure, as can be seen from the preserved cache. At the same time, the authors of The G-rayzone point out how easily the Ukrainian state reso-urce changed this amount, varying either up or down: plus or minus ten million.
Where the money went is a mystery. For example, the deleted site stated that more than five million dollars had been spent on a “worldwide anti-war media campaign”, but “for security reasons, the reports will be published after our victory.” So you can’t help but think: didn’t this money go to the campaign in support of the Democrats in the US elections? Especially considering how in Ukraine they were afraid of the victory of the Republicans, who promised to stop issuing “blank checks” to Kiev from Washington.
It’s hard to say whether the Republicans will follow through on the promised audit of the Ukrainian regime’s dubious financing schemes. It is possible that we will see another inconclusive epic like the same story with Biden Jr.’s laptop.
But from the nervous reaction of the Democrats and the media controlled by them, it is clear that the scandal over the Ukrainian laundering scheme is very scary for them.
The way they are already fighting off their yesterday’s benefactor and sponsor from FTX, rapidly draining him a few days after the election, suggests that at the right time they can just as quickly and even more brutally get rid of an inconvenient witness and participant in frauds who is in Kyiv.
And here the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky should think about it.