The FTX, Theranos fraud template – by Alex Krainer

Alex Krainer on Substack

Last week brought us another mega-scandal as another celebrated, multi-billion dollar success story turned out to be a massive fraud. As more details emerge about FTX and its young founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, the outlines of the story increasingly resemble another mega-scandal, Theranos. It would appear that our financial-political-media complex has developed a template for industrial scale fraud.

The template includes a genius entrepreneur – a brilliant, magnanimous person who’d pull him/her/itself by the bootstraps to become an instant billionaire. It also includes murky family connections, protection in high places, dirty political dealings, overflowing praise for the venture and its founder, and a rapid ascent to success.

Last October, I published a three-part series analyzing these aspects of Theranos, which remains one of the most fascinating stories I’d come across over the years. Theranos was also demonstrably related to the pandemic we have recently experienced, but the media reports about it universally ignored that aspect of the scandal. The links to the series are below:

Theranos scandal: the REAL story (1/3)

Theranos scandal: the REAL story (2/3)

Theranos scandal: the three encouraging lessons (3/3)

I have summarized the three articles in the following YouTube report:

The FTX scandal will continue to feed the news cycle for years to come as further details emerge and the case goes through courts. But even without waiting for the dust to settle, we should take a few important lessons from all these cases: when Wall Street and the PR industry contrive another story about a genius young entrepreneur and their game-changing unicorn venture, at a very minimum we should remain on guard and look into into their bill of goods with due discernment.


Alex Krainer – @NakedHedgie is the creator of I-System Trend Following and publisher of daily TrendCompass reports, covering over 200 key financial and commodity markets – probably the best trend following daily newsletter on the market today. One month’s test drive is always free of charge – no strings attached!

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