The Shearing of Sam Bankman-Fried

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Caroline Ellison, a authorities witness and the previous chief government of Alameda Analysis (the buying and selling arm of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s empire) and Mr. Bankman-Fried’s former girlfriend, testified in courtroom that “he mentioned he thought his hair had been very useful.” Ever since an early job on the Wall Road agency Jane Road, Ms. Ellison testified, “he thought he had gotten increased bonuses due to his hair and that it was an vital a part of FTX’s narrative and picture.”

(It’s potential to see Ms. Ellison because the Delilah of this specific story. Not simply due to her private relationship with Mr. Bankman-Fried, however as a result of, in her testimony, she could not have reduce his locks herself, however she definitely reduce him all the way down to measurement.)

Different FTX staff apparently thought his hair was vital sufficient to him, Mr. Lewis writes, that once they had been working with the architects employed to design the brand new headquarters within the Bahamas and imagining what he would need, considered one of solely three issues they got here up with was that the aspect of the constructing “evoke his unruly hair.”

Mr. Lewis additionally writes that Mr. Bankman-Fried admitted having “normal disdain” for the significance of “bodily attractiveness.” When he landed on the Forbes billionaires checklist, that disdain appeared like power: It meant he was centered on his huge concepts. Later, in fact, it appeared like a warning signal: If he was that careless together with his personal look, perhaps he was that careless together with your cash. However both method, the interpretation was within the eye of the beholder.

Is it his fault we had been foolish sufficient to fall for the look and the windfall we thought it promised? After Elizabeth Holmes and her black turtleneck, we should always have recognized higher. But, as Anthony Scaramucci, who purchased Mr. Bankman-Fried a swimsuit when he took him on a fund-raising journey to the Center East weeks earlier than FTX’s implosion, instructed Business Insider, he thought Mr. Bankman-Fried “was the Mark Zuckerberg of crypto.” And Mr. Scaramucci thought that, Insider wrote, as a result of “the Meta C.E.O. walked round Davos in a hoodie and T-shirt,” and Mr. Bankman-Fried walked round on a regular basis in wrinkled cargo shorts and a T-shirt.

However then got here the comeuppance after which got here the haircut.

Shearing hair has lengthy been a way of punishment for women and men. Hair, and all of the methods we manipulate it, is so related to identification — to sexual attract, well being and self-expression — that it’s unlawful to discriminate on the premise of hair in 23 states. Exactly due to that, its chopping can characterize dehumanization, because it did throughout World Warfare II when the French shaved the heads of collaborators, and because it does, partly, within the jail system. In lots of religions, the sacrifice of hair can sign penitence.