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Opinion | America should stop worshiping billionaires


It seems like it was just last month — because was just last month — Everyone from Washington insiders to Twitter fanboys was content with what billionaire crypto investor Sam Bankman-Fried said.child prodigysuccessor to Banker JP MorganAfter stepping in to save one bankrupt cryptocurrency company after another, he was welcomed by VIPs and asked for his political contributions and philanthropic efforts.

Instead of blockchain future prophet Bankman-Fried, its cryptocurrency exchange FTX filing for bankruptcy Friday looks more and more like Ozymandias 2.0.from $32 billion An assessment earlier this year put his empire at CoinDesk. This undermined trust in both companies and ultimately led to a virtual currency scramble.

rival binanceat first it said it would take over His cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, quickly changed his mind, stating: things looked sketchy. sauce Said The Wall Street Journal has revealed that FTX was using customer funds to speculate and what depositors were afraid of. they don’t give me money backWashington regulators From the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Department of Justice Sniffing around.

But if the warp speed that went wrong is unique, then part of this story isn’t. Time and time again, Americans fall prey to the myth of billionaire genius. He is a better man than us mere mortals who can solve business, political or philanthropic problems (because most of the time it is men). Suddenly he is not.

The spectacle continues that Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, purchased Twitter as a colleague of mine, seemingly on impulse. Catherine Rumpel It memorably lit $44 billion.Musk supporters claim he knows what he’s doing, but I have to say doesn’t look promisingSpaceX and Tesla CEO Musk appears to be grabbing a virtual straw, laying people off when he realizes the company needs them, laying them off and profiting from Checkmark subscriptions I’ve come up with a mind-boggling number of plans to getPromotion of service plan Fintech, bankruptcy crisis.Few high-level staff are gone, and the Federal Trade Commission have expressed concern.

Or, take Mark Zuckerberg as an example, once rumored as a future president — before it became clear that his company was making money by providing a platform for fake news, hate speech, and extremist organizing, fueling political and sometimes literal conflicts around the world. He is currently pouring Facebook funds into the Metaverse to set the money on fire. few people want to liveZuckerberg’s idea of ​​rethinking was to tell his employees “There must be a lot of people in the company who shouldn’t be here.” before making an ax 11,000 Mostly non-metaverse oriented employees this week.

As for Bankman-Fried, the now 30-year-old former billionaire seemed to have gone from obscurity to celebrity overnight, recently gracing the cover of Fortune and sporting a halo of unruly hair. . “Who’s the next Warren Buffett?” read the tagline. He became a political mega-donor, pouring millions into mostly Democratic campaigns, when suddenly his wallet snapped shut. When asked, he claimed:I think qualifying is more important.” It seems that something more could have happened.

I’m not going to deny that some billionaires are great entrepreneurs. But they are not as special as they are often said. (Some are mere heirs and lucky Powerball winners.) As our businessmen become more prominent and wealthy, they enter a feedback loop. The flatterer flatters them instead of challenging them. This affects your ability to hear criticism. And that makes them more likely to stick with the lizards that feed their now-inflated self-image.

Nevertheless, honoring these wealth giants remains as American as apple pie.In the period before the Great Recession, CEOs and bankers were anointed as voices of wisdom. . (brought this year not 1 However 2 A book about Jack Welch, the late CEO of General Electric. and our economy — Over the economic cliff. ) The economic catastrophe of 2008 might have seemed to put an end to this idiosyncratic American cult, but it gave us a new round of savior. We elected a millionaire, or a man who claims to be a billionaire, as president. Since then, he continues to cause political turmoil every day.

It’s good to think that Bankman-Fried’s sorry story finally puts an end to this once and for all. There is no hereditary king in this country, but celebrity worship, combined with a yearning to make money, often leads us astray. fool’s money.

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