A group of individuals discuss the recent arrest of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, and his alleged involvement in financial crimes in the Bahamas. They speculate on the possible reasons behind his arrest, including the involvement of corrupt Bahamian officials and the desire of the American government to extradite him. They also discuss the economic apartheid faced by Bahamians, including restrictions on gambling and investment from outside the country. The conversation reveals a complicated and layered situation where justice, corruption, and inequality intersect.
“Nice to Meet You”: An Analysis of the Bahamas FTX Scandal
The conversation begins with two individuals, Alex and Ben, greeting each other and discussing their relationship. They are then joined by others in a discussion about the Bahamas FTX scandal.
The group discusses the complexities of the scandal and how Bahamian citizens are not legally permitted to engage in FTX. They explain how shell companies have been set up in the Bahamas for some time, using Bahamians as front men. They speculate that the American government wants FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, immediately and that corrupt officials may be involved.
The Bahamas Economy
As the conversation progresses, the individuals touch on the impact of the Bahamian government on its people. They explain how Bahamians cannot play at the local casinos, and outside investors must obtain permission from the central bank. They also discuss how the Bahamas is still suffering from economic apartheid.
Overall, the conversation is a deep dive into the complicated web behind the FTX scandal, and how it reveals larger inequalities in the Bahamas economic and political systems.
*What’s up, man? – Alex. Nice to meet you, Ben. It’s a pleasure.
*Hey, Alex. I’m Ben. Nice to meet you.
*Alright. How’s it going?
*We’re waiting for you.
*Oh, waiting for me? Oh, y’all have been eating pizza without me. I can eat some pizza.
*Hey. Hi, Ben.
*Nice to finally meet you.
*Nice to meet you. Yeah, yeah.
The Complexities of the Scandal
*Yeah. Alright. So? So we’re ready. Like, once again, I feel like last time we’re like, “There’s so many crazy ideas. Let’s see what happens.”
*So I was like, “What the —- just happened?”
*So, who knows what will happen?
*Who knows? When we went here last night, I had zero, like, gut feeling that he would go to jail here.
*Yeah, yeah, yeah.
*Zero. That’s such a plot twist, you know? I don’t think that anybody predicted that, like, yes, the Bahamians will arrest him on US extradition.
*Like, it’s so interesting and weird – Yeah. and layered and complicated.
*And FTX and the Bahamian lawyers who work with them and everyone else is sued.
*If you guys get a judgment, then you have first dibs on any of the resources. You have first dibs on the real estate, etc., etc., once you get a judgment.
*Alright? And so that’s important to be able to even do discovery and find out what’s really going on.
*Remember, they kept saying that no one in the Bahamas has made a complaint.
*An official complaint.
*Yeah. And that’s what they were using as an excuse as to why they weren’t arresting him.
*You see? Yup.
*But if we have someone here, even if you’re from somewhere else, who makes an official complaint,
*then that changes the game.
*Yeah. Whenever they were allowing withdrawals for Bahamian citizens, they were trying to basically pay them off, so they didn’t do it.
*Let me tell you what the international media doesn’t know. Bahamian citizens can’t be a part of that legally. Bahamian people can’t legally be a part of FTX. So when they say Bahamian citizens were withdrawing,
*that’s not regular Bahamian citizens.
*That’s why I kept trying to tell people – Bahamian citizens aren’t part of that.
*It’s like how you can’t gamble, right?
*We can’t gamble.
*Yeah. We can’t invest outside of the country without permission from the central bank, which means that you don’t get permission.
*We can’t get investment money from outside the country to do business.
*That changes the whole thing.
*It does. That changes the whole thing.
Corruption and Suspicions
*Those people that they’re naming, they are specially appointed people that I believe is from the government. – Yeah. Yup. – Right? They are special interest people that were part of that. And that’s why they were rushing to try to get this money back and get it into the Bahamas because that was theirs.
*I believe they were working with Sam Bankman-Fried. That $100 million that they withdrew in that 24 hours? I don’t even think that that was money that they deposited in. I think that’s money that they created, that Sam created with tokens and was withdrawing it from the system into the Bahamas for these people who’s then going to cover it up.
*Yeah. So one thing that has been happening in the Bahamas for a long time, they would set up shell companies in the Bahamas, but they would put Bahamians as their actors. So that’s something that always happened.
*They call it fronting. Alright? They would put Bahamians as their actors.
*And so they would front the business for you. And so you just trust the Bahamian. And so your money is here. No one from where you’re from can touch it. But the money is here.
*And so it looks like Sam was trying the same kind of plot. Someone was advising him that you can hide some of this money.
*That’s what I believe happened. Probably Dan Friedberg
*So once the lawsuit is started, you can subpoena every single thing.
*And then they’re going to try to rush and get him out of the country. Now, I don’t have a problem with that. Take him out of the country if you want to, but we have a lawsuit here. With that lawsuit, you can get all the information that you want.
*They’re saying they’re going to keep him here until February. And he switched back. He’s trying to get extradited today, tomorrow yesterday. They got denied. His bail’s obviously been denied. He’s a flight risk. What do you think? Do you think they’re actually going to keep him here until February?
*Do you think the American government wants him here until then? Or do you think the American government wants him now when they’re– The American government wants him now.
*And so the Bahamas-
*I think that their eyes are on the Bahamian officials.
*You see? But this is my concern. That, normally, when there’s these high-level corruption situations, government dealing with corrupt government officials, they don’t necessarily want them to go to jail.
*Yeah. They want to have something to hold on them. “When we go to the UN, you vote this way.” Or “we want this to happen. You do what we say because we got something on you.”
*And so that’s what my concern is. I’m not saying that that is what I noticed happening, – but I know that that is the case in a lot of cases.
*But we want justice, you know?
*Yeah. And so we want people to get their monies back, first and foremost. And we want to get rid of these corrupt officials that took part in this. The prime minister, you know, did this another, you know. They interview, you know. It was not a real interview. It was impromptu. Someone is asking questions.
*And he’s covering up again.
*Yeah. “Well, there was some bad actors.” Yeah, you and the rest of your officials! There was an article out about him. He was a hero, the prime minister. He was a hero. He’s the one that got him put in jail.
Bahamas Economy and Inequalities
*I don’t think Americans understand the depths of the impact of the government here on its people.
*How many casinos do you have on this island? On this island, we have one, two casinos now. There used to be three. How many Bahamians work in those casinos? A lot. How many Bahamians can play any games in the casino? You can’t play.
*And they put you in jail if– If I go to the casino with you guys, I have to stand up and not do anything, and I can’t whisper in your ears.
*You’re not allowed to sit at the table? No.
*We used to have laws like that in my country we fought a revolution over.
*If I’m an outside investor, and I want to invest in your company because I believe in what you’re trying to do, can I just give you money?
*No. No, it’s not that easy. If you’re bringing money from outside the country, I have to get central bank permission. Permission from your own government? If the government feels that that’s some opposition person or that’s someone who’s not in their clique, they can just stall it and they can hold on to your money and you can never get the money in.
*So that’s a way to keep Bahamians back. So we’re still suffering from economic apartheid in the Bahamas.
*So all the residents in the Bahamas, it’s the same for them, like, in regards to the casinos, they can’t go? They can’t gamble?
*Yeah, the residents can’t gamble either. But it’s a gray area because if he becomes a resident, no one is going to question him.
*- Because he looks like a tourist.
*- Well, come on…