FTX founder manipulated ESG to earn ‘virtue signaling glow’: Palantir co-founder

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried manipulated ESG and fueled the culture to help his now-bankrupt crypto firm avoid regulatory scrutiny and gain credibility with investors, a venture capitalist told Fox News.

ESG – environmental, social and governance – is a framework investors use to score companies on factors such as the diversity of employees, how much pollution the company creates or how many members are on the board. Sam Bankman-Fried claimed that FTX would be carbon neutral by the end of the year, saying the company would help build solar projects for communities in the Amazon, all before his company filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

So in this case, SBF, who ran FTX, he knew that if he signaled virtue, if he gave a lot of money to charities that the Democrats cared about, if he became the big donor on the left, he would be the media darling. companies you donated to, he would get this warm virtue-signaling glow,” Joe Lonsdale, a venture capitalist and co-founder of Palantir, told Fox News.

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“But what happens in practice is that ESG is a form of power, and power is captured politically and used for various purposes,” Lonsdale continued. “And so much of our business world, much of the Fortune 500, is a virtue signal to try to get free resources, to try to essentially get rewarded based on the fact that a lot of institutions are now being conquered by these ESG frameworks.”

FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange founded by Bankman-Fried and headquartered in the Bahamas, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early November after allegedly misusing billions of dollars in client funds. Bankman-Fried told a Vox reporter “ESG is perverted beyond recognition” and admitted to talking about the importance of ethics without following them himself.

“It’s what reputations are made of,” the FTX founder wrote. “This stupid game we woke up westerners where we say the right shibboleths and so everyone likes us.”

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Lonsdale said he agrees with Bankman-Fried that ESG is perverted.

“He knew how all these awake people think, and he knew how to manipulate them,” said Palantir’s co-founder. “And he clearly admitted it, he manipulated people to get ahead.”

According to a Truvalue Labs ESG score, FTX scored higher on “leadership and governance” than ExxonMobil, despite having only three board members compared to the energy giant’s 11 board members. John Ray III, FTX’s new CEO overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings, said he had “never seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of reliable financial information”.

Longsdale told Fox News, “The whole framework of ESG kind of becomes a joke when it’s captured and distorted in these ways.”

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, spoke in Washington, DC, to the Institute of International Finance a month before his company went bankrupt. (Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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He said that while FTX had “terrible governance” and was “essentially a Ponzi scheme,” it was “valued higher than companies that run our energy sector because the energy sector is not liked and disliked by Democrats.” on the left”.

“I think ESG itself needs to be monitored,” added Lonsdale. “There should be multiple frames.”

Click here to watch Lonsdale’s full interview on FTX and ESG.

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