It seems like FTX’s disgraced ex-CEO Sam Bankman Fried has a long history with self-minted money.
Bankman-Fried was the literal face of his tony private school’s senior prank. According to the source, SBF’s classmates at the Crystal Springs Uplands prep school in the Bay Area put their faces on fake $100 bills as their senior prank and called the counterfeit bills “Bankmans.”
At Crystal Springs, SBF was a famous nerd and the president of the uber-dorky “Puzzle Hunt club,” which seems to be in reference to the Great Puzzle Hunt, described on the game’s website as “like a scavenger hunt adventure with puzzles.” Bankman-Fried’s younger brother Gabe was described as more outgoing than SBF.
SBF’s parents Barbara Fried and Joe Bankman, both Stanford Law professors, were allegedly into “effective altruism.” It is a branch of philanthropic thinking that leverages targeted charitable giving to do the greatest good. They discussed what they did under this concept with their sons around the dinner table. This aligns well with an article in New York Times reporting about the family’s relationship to effective altruism, this week.
“To what extent is consequentialism or effective altruism looming in the background here because the ends justify the means?” queried one Puck source who knows the parents personally. “All one can speculate is that SBF had first-class brains at home thinking about moral philosophy.”
The counterfeit $100 bills anecdote is the extraordinary background for a figure accused, among other things, of creating his own digital currency and insisting it held great value. Adding to the fascination, SBF has demonstrated a deep inclination towards over-tweeting and spouting off at the mouth.