How Did Celebrities Fall for the FTX Scam? w/Coffeezilla


12 months ago



Stephen Findeisen, also known as Coffeezilla, is a YouTuber whose channel focuses on exposing scammers, fraudsters, fake gurus, and their deceptive financial schemes.


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And in the FTX case, how much of it was getting celebrities to endorse the platform? It's huge. This is what I wanted to say. The more I study this stuff, and you start to have repeat occurrences, like I just cover stuff all the time, and you see echoes of the same thing. I just had somebody just a couple days ago, I was interviewing for this news scheme we're looking at, and he said, I never understood how Bernie Madoff got people, because it seemed so preposterous. And then I fell for something very similar. And what I notice with all of these things, the threat is you believe, you know it's kind of too good to be true, but the social proof is overwhelming, and it overwhelms your kind of like alarm bells. So the social proof is a combination of things. So first of all, it's like, it's this guy who drives a Toyota. So you go like, well, why does he need to scam me if he's driving a Toyota? Then it's like, which Sam Bankman Fried did. Then it's like, okay, Tom Brady backs him. Well, Tom Brady's got to have some guys who are looking into this. And then it's like, well, BlackRock backed him. Well, BlackRock definitely has some guys who looked into it. At Sequoia Capital, they said he might be one of the first like trillionaires or whatever, like he's such a great entrepreneur. They think he's such a genius. Actually, it might have been one of the A1Z guys, or I'm blanking on their name right now. A1Z? What is that? No, no, no, I'm sorry. I'm blanking on, it's this famous ... I'm going to remember it right. After I get out of here, it's one of the famous like investment funds. They invested in a bunch of NFT projects. Mark Andresen, I think, is the guy who runs it? Jamie's looking it up. I thought I knew it off the top of my head and now I don't want to say the wrong one. A16Z. A16Z. A16Z. A16Z. A16Z. One of them wrote this glowing review of Sam basically saying he's going to be one of the first trillionaires. All these guys basically, a lot of these people backed Sam with the highest endorsements. If you're just an average person, you're thinking, how much more due diligence can I do than all these other guys? All these other guys buy into him. Then they themselves are also looking at each other being like, well, that guy did it. It's the hottest deal around, right? Kevin O'Leary's in. You think you're swimming safely with other savvy investors. That's what ultimately gets you to buy in. Bernie Madoff is very similar. He was really well regarded in Wall Street. When people invested with him, they knew the returns were insane, but it wasn't like he was some random fly-by-night guy. He was well respected in the Wall Street space. People thought he might take over the SEC after the current person had stepped down. They thought he was going to take it over. He's one of the leaders at the NASDAQ. He was one of the go-to guys. You thought, well, I invest with Bernie. I can't lose. It's almost betting on the house. The house always wins. When FTX was taking off, it just seemed like everyone who was a someone was backing him. Then it was okay. Then I think a lot of these people deferred to their other friends. They're all saying, it's okay. Let me put money in. It's just a huge case study that just because other people fall for something doesn't mean you're safe. I hate to say do your own research because that's such an overused, scammy phrase. It's actually such a phrase that it's almost used as- Chem drills. Let me say this. If it's too good to be true, if they're offering market returns that you want to believe in, you go, man, I want to believe this is real. Don't invest. That's a bad idea. People were calling bullshit though, just like they were calling- There was a few people that were wary that were calling bullshit on Bernie Madoff. There was a few people that were standing out and saying, none of this makes sense. Right. Who were those people? There were a few people. There was a Matt Levine interview with Sam Pachman for he didn't call him a fraud outright, but he's like, hey, it seems like you're in the Ponzi business and business is good. Whoa. What did he say to that? He's like, well, think of it like a box and you tell a bunch of investors, hey, if you put money in this box, we can get some money out. We can get you this yield. He starts to explain this thing that sounds exactly like a Ponzi scheme. Ultimately, Matt Levine's like, oh yeah, this doesn't really make a lot of sense. But again, it stopped short of this is a fraud because no one knew. There's a bunch of backing. I made a video at the time being like this crypto CEO just describes a Ponzi scheme. That video has aged so well because it's like people are like, oh, it was all true. People were outright calling it a fraud like Mark Cohodes. He's a famous short seller. He was calling that a fraud early. I have a buddy of mine. He goes by Dirty Bubble Media on Twitter. He's like one of the anon at Twitter accounts. He was calling it a fraud.