Exculpatory tone in big media description of SBF events

It’s been a toss-up for me. Has SBF successfully purchased passage on the upper tier of justice with his multi-million dollar contributions to lawmakers? Or was his (one would think unforgivable) “Fuck regulators!” pronunciation – so rife with moral hazard if no conviction materializes – sufficient to void his business class seat on the Chosen One’s private justice jet?

Either way, it appears or rather sounds like – to me – that the tone in the big media publications upon which we are supposed to base our trust in journalism has adopted a somewhat defensive tone toward SBF.

Reuters: Jan. 3, 2023:

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate could face up to 115 years in prison if convicted. He has previously acknowledged making mistakes at FTX but said he does not believe he has criminal liability

Hmm. Isn’t the title of this piece “Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty…”?  Seems odd to have a journalist-generated paragraph included, obviously intended to create an expectation that he is not guilty.

Or this ABCNews gem:

“He pleads not guilty to all counts,” Cohen said.”

Seems a bit off. Wouldn’t that normally be something more like “he entered a not guilty plea through his attorney”?

Possibly I’m grasping at straws here.

But if not a “tone” of exculpability, then at least an undercurrent.

Did he or didn’t he?

SBF’s contrarian legal strategy, where he blabs at length anytime somebody sticks a microphone under his chin, is either the dumbest move ever or is perhaps sheer “aw shucks” genius.

We can safely accord SBF some cred as a silver tongue devil. He didn’t notch $28 billion without some talent.

But with the whole “back door” programming access – and his character-damning Kevin moment telling a maid, “I could buy you and your whole family 300 times over and still be a billionaire”, it certainly smells like somebody’s going to be going to jail over this.

The fireworks in court don’t begin until October 2023, though. In the meantime, our boy is cooling his heels poolside at his parent’s luxury pad on the Stanford University campus.

Will SBF be “made” an example of? Or can you buy your way out of jail in advance without passing go?

James West

Editor and Publisher

James West founded Midas Letter in 2008 and has since been covering the best of Canadian and US small cap companies. He covers global economics, monetary policy, geopolitical evolution, political corruption, commodities, cannabis and cryptocurrencies. As an active market participant, James is not a journalist and is invariably discussing markets...
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