Victor Davis Hanson: Two antithetical billionaires


The hatred of the accomplished Elon Musk and the worship of the hollow man Sam Bankman-Fried are sad commentaries on how liberalism has descended into progressivism and ultimately into Stalinism


Before the midterm November elections, Sam Bankman-Fried was a left-wing billionaire heartthrob. 

He properly grew up on the Stanford campus, where his parents were well-known left-wing activist law professors. He went to a tony prep school and on to MIT. 

Bankman-Fried mocked society’s bourgeois capitalist conventions by dressing and looking like a slob in cut-offs and T-shirts. 

Indeed, he bested the nose-ring, Charles Manson-esque appearance of former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. He outdid the all-black, Steve Jobs copy-cat get-up of another fallen leftist icon, the now-convicted felon Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos infamy.

The Left canonized Bankman-Fried for the hundreds of millions of dollars he created out of thin air and channeled to left-wing congressional and state candidates, Joe Biden, and a host of “progressive” causes under the cool slogan “effective altruism.” 

For decades hence—or so Bankman-Fried promised—his cryptocurrency company FTX would churn out billions. Its politically correct gifting won exemptions from the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Democratic-controlled congressional oversight committees.

The loud-talking, left-wing slob promised billions of dollars more in gifts to come. He was knighted as the successor to the kindred financial market manipulator and progressive “philanthropist” George Soros. 

SBF may have been a sloppy, immature fool, but he was no dummy. 

He had learned early on that loud leftist talk, big promises of philanthropy, and huge cash infusions to the media and leftist candidates—all under the veneer of “effective altruism”— ensured de facto immunity for his Ponzi schemes from both bad press and government investigation. 

Then, suddenly, the midterms were over. Powerful financial interests were screaming their millions had vanished at the hands of SBF. 

The Republicans took the House. They promised embarrassing hearings, with Bankman-Fried the loose-talking star villain. And so—presto!—he was finally indicted by the Biden Department of Justice. 

Bankman-Fried, in desperation one last time, had turned to his old props of raggedy dress, nerd talk, and contrived naivete.

His schtick no longer worked. Too many leftists were embarrassed that they got too much money from him. Too many exposed “regulators” had known what this wannabe Madoff character was up to before the midterms. 

The now albatross Bankman-Fried was loud and everywhere, then suddenly not—and won’t be again. 

Read the rest of this column at American Greatness.


  1. This story is dead. Very little will be reported from here on out. The public has a short memory and attention span, and the mainstream media knows this. Bankman-Fried might just go the way of Jeffrey Epstein so he won’t talk.

    • Jim, I must agree the sad reality you predict seems to be an astute conclusion. It is a testament to the dumbing down of the electorate and body politic as a whole. The apostles of the Frankfurt School have accomplished much as the rest of us kept our noses to the grindstone. Our education system has been churning out obedient Marxists for 6-decades now. The ship of free market liberty seems to be sinking.

    • Off subject but I have the same reaction about Kowalke’s hair–the guy making accusations against David Eastman.

  2. Biden will figure out a way to pardon him – if SBF’s supporters can come up with enough money to make it worthwhile one of Biden’s pardon chips.

  3. At this point I’m rooting for Elon to buy congress and fire them all like he’s doing to Twitter. Congress has already shown they’re for sale, and that they won’t leave without some major change.

  4. Don’t delude yourselves. While Elon Musk gives the appearance of being someone who we can all relate with, he’s far from down to earth. At the time when he met and shacked up with 19 year old Grimes, they both believed themselves to be holograms and they named one of their two children after a spaceship.

    I would prefer skepticism of all of these people. Musk certainly is not wearing armor and he definitely did not ride into our consciousness on a white steed. He has the money and the publicity to make you believe anything he wants you to believe about himself.

    • Dee Cee, perhaps you are correct about Musk, but let’s remember that at the present Musk is doing good work and scoring points for free and open speech and the protection of our liberties.

      I am perplexed why so called “Conservatives” forget what the Apostle Paul said, “I rejoice where ever good is done”. Meaning of course that while you and Musk may not be Pal’s, or even allies, you are Co-Belligerents fighting against the Corrupt Machine.

      BTW, I am happy to see you commenting again! I enjoy your perspective very much. Thanks!

  5. This editorial is going to age worse than the half and half I left in my fridge while I was on vacation. Beyond the “liberals worshipper SBF” hyperbole, conservatives tying themselves to Musk because they are enjoying his trolling and disdain for equality is going to flop even more than their love for Kanye (and Trump)—haven’t read much about either on MRAK the last few weeks. But maybe y’all are busy buying Trump’s new NFTs while the Biden Justice Department is investigating SBF.

      • NFT stands for Non Fungible Token.

        I was first introduced to them a in early 2021 when sports card companies were beta testing them.

        The easiest way to describe them is that they are a digital/electronic copy of different art or plays.

        Like old school baseball cards had an image of the player and sometimes they are limited to 99 total cards. Basically you own this digital item and can sell it just like any other tradable good.

  6. Musk is a peculiar fellow, and worth keeping a sharp eye on, but at least he manufactures a variety of tangible and useful products, and he employs a lot of hard-working Americans. Bankman-Fried, on the other hand, has brilliantly schemed up the trading of an asset that is not quite as tangible as thin air.

    I have long maintained that I could not possibly become truly wicked, like the visionary entrepreneur SBF and his political besties, because I utterly lack the ambition to rise from bed each day to perform the hard labor that is required for a corrupt business and politics. For me, it’s hard enough just keeping track of the corporate frauds and the kleptocrats.

    Just about every day I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes of good ol’ G K Chesterton, who quipped, “It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians (let’s add ‘fraudsters’) are hanged.” It is never too late to start doing good, but we must summon an energy to do good.

  7. Antithetical billionaires, eh? Human nature being what it is, everybody is out to grind their molars on somebody else! In a “hungry” world there will be those who fall prey! What do you think it’s all about, brotherly love? What do you think got Jesus nailed to the cross, good will?

    Bless us Oh Lord, and these thy gifts,
    which we are about to receive,
    from thy bounty….LET’S EAT!

  8. This story had me at:
    “His parents were Left-wing activist law professors.”
    That’s his entire defense at his criminal trial.

  9. Liberals overpaying for Tesla stock made Musk a Billionaire who is now squandering his riches on Twitter, similar to handing the keys to a Ferrari to a 16-year old. Blaming SEC regulators is a joke, FTX was incorporated in the Bahamas out of the reach of regulators. Gary Gensler warned investors that cyrpto was dangerous, making this into a culture war instead of analysis is typical of Hanson

    • Frank – you obviously didn’t dive into the FTX scandal very deep. The crux of the con was that Fried, the CEO of FTX, was pilfering funds from FTX to prop up Alameda, an American hedgefund run by his girlfriend. This is definitely within the SEC’s oversight role and it turns out they were on the SEC’s radar for some time. It appears that FTX was allowed to continue their scam without any SEC enforcement because of the tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions Fried was giving to Democrats. I believe he was in the top five largest contributors to the party – more than George Soros! All of this is just another example of the out of control government corruption in this country. The two-tiered justice system we have in the United States today is surely destroying the nation.

  10. The real story here is Fried’s cozy relationship with the upper echelons at the Securities Exchange Commission. The same folks who turn a blind eye towards Congress’s insider trading and other financial shenanigans that would land most of us peons in prison. I’ve said it before – the government corruption in the USA has become eye popping!

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