It's weird to me that people talk about this as an indictment of EA...but this rings similar to me as claiming that this is an indictment of DeFi or cryptocurrency generally. Sam/Caroline weren't doing DeFi, and neither were they really doing anything related to cryptocurrency. This was just a pretty staightforward scam.
A friend of mine is part of a Mensa (top 2% IQ people) local chapter. He did that mainly for fun and no pedantic reasons.
He always tells me story of the problems they have organizing basic activities and governance for the chapter... Even when all participants have a very high IQ.
Beyond the validity of IQ, people do crazy things when trusted people, or in power positions give recommendations. Also by FOMO.
The second story is from a friend who is a second generation finance professional, knows about the complexity of investments in general and in crypto, had crypto companies, and more but was scammed in a basic way investing in a crypto fund.
The third story is about a group of business people who created successful businesses, have a WhatsApp group for recommending crypto investments: one guy recommended a DeFi project, I immediately recommended to escape from that investment because it didn't have a security audit (my field and basic due diligence) and... well the project was easily hacked.
(2) EA creates an excuse to act outrageously evil "for the good of the longterm"
2. Contrary to what you think, there's nothing about effective altruism that requires/wants you to donate to effective altruism organizations. Yes, there are effective altruism funds that effectively collect money and donate them to the most impactful causes, but there are also sites like givewell that tells you which charities are doing the most impactful work. I don't see how the latter is ponzi-like in any way. Even the former isn't really ponzi-like unless there's high administrative overhead (ie. most of the money isn't getting disbursed to charities and is instead spent on admin expenses).
3. This whole comment feels like an attack on a strawman on effective altruism and/or earning to give. The EA people I know of definitely do not give me the impression that they're willing to commit crimes so they can divert more money to EA/charities. I'll admit that I'm not deep into EA, so it's possible that I didn't witness their secret meetings where they they do discuss this. What you're doing feels like attacking utilitarians (eg. Peter Singer or John Stuart Mill) by saying that the logical conclusion to their ideology "creates an excuse to act outrageously evil "for the good of the longterm""
It isn't obvious, and I'm skeptical both by cases like this and by the lack of domain expertise of a white-collar worker to be able to judge the veracity of charitable activities.
I mean, maybe if we had flush teams of water quality experts in every state with the time and expertise to judge whether water supplies are safe. But as it is, a team from Virginia Tech had to high tail it to Flint during their water crisis based on the reports they heard about lead levels there.
If there are too few domain experts or even too weak a web of trust to connect them to white collar donors, what you describe doesn't sound like an effective strategy. (Not to mention whatever it is that causes you to think that the approach is obviously superior to drilling down in some domain.)
I don't get what you're arguing here. The white collar worker lacks the expertise to "judge the veracity of charitable activities" therefore we should...
* fly over to africa so hey can dig a well and find out first hand whether it's actually doing good? Leaving aside the massive amounts of resources needed for this endeavor, there's no evidence that the same unqualified white collar worker would be qualified to judge what's happening on the ground
* not practice effective altruism, and donate to whichever feels the cutest and/or is in vogue?
* when we're 18, choose a random field and hope 18 year old self is qualified to figure out which field would do the most good?
>I mean, maybe if we had flush teams of water quality experts in every state with the time and expertise to judge whether water supplies are safe. But as it is, a team from Virginia Tech had to high tail it to Flint during their water crisis based on the reports they heard about lead levels there.
I'm baffled as to why you think sending a team from virginia tech was the best course of action here. Google maps says that such a trip would take over 8 hours. Assuming the "team" had at least 2 people, then that's at least 32 man-hours for such an excursion. At median college graduate wages that translates to $880 in travel time alone. They couldn't have crowdsourced water collection and had it delivered via courier (maybe $20/package) to their campus?
That's why the first thing EA did is evaluate which charities are most effective. In a few seconds you can find things like https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/donate/organizations
Bill Gates has been trying to do this ever since the year 2000. Transfering quality of life from Seattle or Pasadena to a slum in Lagos or Nairobi is the hardest thing you could possibly do.
Humans are selfish so the moment the decision is made to allocate an X amount of money Piranhas start to attack the loot, both at home and abroad.
The dynamics of negotiations, pricing power, elasticity of supply and demand don't go out of the window just because a sum of money is destined to Africa or has "philantropy" stamped across.
At the end of the day you need people who do it for their own satisfaction, not for the money
Charities in general aren't exactly known for conducting thorough due diligence on their donors. Sure, it might make sense to make sure the person you're getting money from isn't some sort of ruthless dictator or embroiled in some scandal, but "runs crypto trading firm" is a pretty plausible story.
At least one of the people involved (MacAskill) is a big name in EA circles.
People in general don't do thorough due diligence on who they work with. As long as there isn't anything obviously bad about a person, it seems fairly reasonable to cooperate with someone who shares your goal and is willing to contribute resources. From what I can tell, SBF/FTX's public image was reasonably clean prior to the blow up. The wikipedia article only lists some minor controversies (eg. FDIC cease and desist). This definitely isn't something like bitfinex/tether where there's a long controversy spanning years.
Why should I trust my (or other people's) ability to act to maximize long term good when I (or other people) aren't smart enough to avoid landmines like FTX?
2. My previous comment asserts that SBF/FTX was reasonably clean prior to the collapse. If someone seemed reasonably clean, but then it turned out that he was a Bad Person or whatever, should everyone associated with that person be chastised for not being "smart enough to avoid landmines"?
2. Even if we accept your conclusion, what does that mean in practice? Wikipedia describes effective altruism as:
>a philosophical and social movement that advocates "using evidence and reason to figure out how to benefit others as much as possible, and taking action on that basis".
Should we not use evidence and reason to figure out how to benefit others as much as possible? Should we revert back to donating based on whatever makes us feel fuzzy? It's easy to dunk on something because it supposedly failed, but what's your proposed alternative?
...yes? Or at the very least, qualify the brand. I've seen founders use XYZ-backed to great effect with investors, customers and even public officials. Making it clearer that Sequoia investing in a company isn't Sequoia saying it's done deep diligence is good for everyone.
Many of them fully endorsed or implicitly endorsed SBF.
That SBF was revealed as a fraudster should update your belief on the quality of these people, but not outright scratch them out.
For example, I have severely downgraded my opinion of Sequoia.
There is a bright side on this. If you didn't get funding you don't need to feel guilty.
But if I were positioned in one of the funds that invested heavily into a company that even a surface-level check would have revealed to have the controls, governance, and risk management of a lemonade stand, I would be withdrawing all my money, post-haste. You literally had one job to do.
How so? The fact that people make decisions based on only what they actually know is in no way a lapse of judgement. I mean what else are they supposed to do?
Sam was not doing what EAism says you should do.
But he was embedded in the EA movement, close to many of its other members, and abetted by people like Will.
So if you look at EA descriptively, Sam was very much doing EA.
He was lying about his business. But he wasn't lying about giving the money away. That was very real, and a big part of what "doing effective altruism" is.
Sam/Caroline were also doing crypto.
The two movements -- EA and crypto -- clearly want to excommunicate them. But both those movements were happy to work with them when they appeared to be successful, non-fraudulent billionaires.
Nobody knows you when you're down and out.
Yes? I don't understand the point of this statement.
"When Alice appeared to donating to her local charity, we liked her, but when it turned out she was lying to us, we didn't like her anymore.
We like charity/EA/crypto, and think those are all good things. So when people are doing them, that is good. If they use that goodwill to exploit other people, we don't like that.
That is a functioning system.
Are you claiming failure to do "due diligence" ? Because otherwise, that seems fairly normal.
1) EA as a movement and as a principle has been at best equivocal on whether or not it's OK to deliberately harm a few people in order to benefit many people. There's a very strong argument that SBF was pursuing utilitarian goals as espoused by EA. Riches amplify our flaws. He committed EA on a grand scale, and it turns out that SBF's version of take-no-prisoners utilitarianism is a) illegal, b) harmful to millions of people, and b.1) that includes his own movement.
2) SBF and Caroline did crypto. They didn't do crypto and secretly scam people and therefore they are not really doing crypto. Scamming is at the heart of crypto. If you want scamming not to be at the heart of crypto, then accept that you will need a centralized authority with a mandate for violence to impose rules of behavior, much as we have with the rest of finance.
There’s the EA movement proper, which I don’t know much about. And then there’s EA the principle, which just says that you should probably prioritize giving that is effective rather than giving that makes you feel good (since human ethical intuition isn’t tuned very well here). Not much to disagree on there. It’s unfortunate that SBF’s fall has diverted attention from this.
(Paraphrasing Sam Harris’s most recent podcast here, https://www.samharris.org/podcasts/making-sense-episodes)
The people who want to take these shortcuts tend to be the least moral people. Same force that leads the immoral to be more likely loudly publicly identify with a religion.
EA may be an interesting perspective, but I'm immediately wary of anyone who self-identifies as an "effective altruist".
The logic makes sense on the surface. For instance, if someone self-identifies himself as a philanthropist/altruist and makes an effort to make that known I'll be a bit suspicious. However, effective altruism is a movement/community, so it seems reasonable to be able to identify yourself as belonging to that community. For instance, if you're part of the YIMBY movement, and you're involved in a significant way (eg. are a leader, gives talks, and contributes financial resources), it seems reasonable for you to mention that at least occasionally. It just so happens that the community that SBF is involved with is called "effective altruism", so if you're a member of the community you get called an "effective altruist". Given what they do, I think the naming is entirely reasonable and nothing cynical is happening.
Is there evidence backing this assertion? Or are we just going with "SBF was an effective alturist, SBF was bad, therefore self identifying EAs are disproportionately bad people"?
1. They can band together to save the EA brand by demonstrating an unusually high commitment to accountability. The simplest way I see to do this is to contribute 2x what they received from FTX (as a group, it's impractical for them to do this on the individual level) to making the financial fraud victims whole.
2. They could "declare bankruptcy", switching to less ambitious but epistemically safer approaches to philanthropy. I wouldn't blame them for doing this, (1) is a big ask.
Like it or not, the execution of EA is to make as much as possible without regard for the consequences of how you make it. The whole premise is that the ends justify the means.
What they really mean by "honestly" is in a manner that doesn't reflect poorly on EA, which is tangential to whether or not the money is earned morally.
SBF definitely seems like a sociopath in this model.
BTW: the best criticism I have read on Effective Altruism is: https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/criticism-of-criticism...
I don’t believe that, but seems equally valid
When it has a negative impact it's definitely NOT EA. Do I have that right?
Is el Mencho doing EA? He gave some toys and even suggested that they will stop killing priests.
what "behavior" are you talking about? The second paragraph of the wikipedia article on EA says:
>Common practices of effective altruists include choosing careers based on the amount of good that the career achieves, donating to charities based on maximising impact, and earning to give. Popular cause priorities within EA include global health and development, animal welfare, and risks to the survival of humanity over the long-term future.
I'm not sure how any of those causes can be considered "simply injurious to the broader population".
Sorry, but this whole FTX thing isn't just an "oopsie." They knew exactly what they were doing and tried to justify it with a few targeted donations. The landing page alone only showcases 6 initiatives, 50% of which are exactly what I described above.
This seems totally expected if you think of effective altruism as a movement focused on figuring out where your money would be best spent, rather than as some sort of organization that wants your money. This is reflected in what SBF did. He didn't donate all his money to effective altruism like it's a cult or whatever, he set up a charity and hired various people to decide which worthy projects should be funded.
>(relative to the billions moving through FTX).
And why would you compare that to "the billions moving through FTX"? FTX isn't EA, nor does FTX operate as some sort of non-profit. FTX does have a charitable arm, but they only issued $160 million worth of grants, nowhere near "the billions" you speak of. You can see their grant list here: https://ftxfuturefund.org/our-grants/
Because they were parading SBF around as this bastion of EA. No doubt a lot of people anchored their ships to FTX because of this and used his affiliation as evidence of FTX being "the good guys." Is it a direct relationship? Not as far as I've seen, but I wouldn't be surprised to find a lot of the money they were taking in (as investment and deposits) as a low-key slush fund for people tied to EA.
What actually surprises me is that EA was apparently taken seriously. It does explain a lot of the fake goodness Silicon Valley is well known for.
What's the appropriate level of seriousness to take stuff like effective altruism or other charitable endeavors? Should we go full nihilist and assume that everyone is greedy and only donating for selfish reasons?
And before you say it, it's meaningless to donate even 90% of your fortune to someone like them. Specially to those glorified PR operations that are the charities they tend to support.
I can see how "Main Street" investors got completely screwed over, but what I don't understand is how any sort of institutional money flowed into FTX and propped it to the massive scale it achieved. That deserves closer examination.
By "buying out", do you mean literal bribery, or just lobbying? If it's the latter, are you also against other organizations (eg. unions, environmental groups, activists) that try to fund raise/lobby for their preferred candidates?
I thought this was covered in any ethics class before highschool, I cannot see what is so interesting about it.
What makes you think that he wasn't doing effective altruism
Those directly effected and their friends and family are hurt and angry. Those are the normal feelings to have. They will express them. Now is the time for listening and supporting, not correcting details.
There are other parties that have long standing disagreements with both the EA and crypto communities. Many of them are taking this moment to dogpile and dump on those movements to prove their point. I believe the right response is to reflect and self improve. The crypto community is drastically embracing self custody and defi. Moving transactions on chain will help prevent this type of fraud (and it's the core point of crypto to begin with). This is a reasonable path forward. I'm not plugged into EA but I hope there are similar efforts being made to learn and rebuild.
The best parts of both communities is focused on changing core primitives of human society at a scale never attempted before. If they're going to succeed they will have to overcome much bigger challenges than what this recent disaster caused. It will take time, openness and dedication.
I think both communities really need to realize and prepare for the fact that they're challenging areas that are extremely attractive to sociopaths and psychopaths - money, morality and ultimately power. The community must be able to identify, contain and limit the damage caused by bad actors.
This is not the main pattern in either BTC or ETH.
The former was, what, 4% of all BTC that will ever be, and the latter was socialism for those close to the developers, capitalism for everyone else.
Those were really big deals. It's just that they happened when it was less mainstream. Doesn't make it not a pattern.
The most fascinating part of this whole story to me is just how few checks and balances there were in this company. Even without a board, did major investors not get his quarterly financials? If the leaked balance sheet was any indication of their level financial engineering capabilities, it's hard to imagine there weren't major red flags through most of 2021.
More generally, we (as a society) seem to be worshiping those who make a fortune, and forget that they too are just as faulty as the rest of us. Initial innovative success gets projected to mythical proportions, and once the investment streams are open there is no limit to the wealth they accumulate. Looking at you Elon and Zuck.
Customers were owed better, but large scale investors who don't do due diligence and end up losing their shirts deserve every bit of it.
Sam playing league of legends during his pitch meeting with squioa capital gets memed a lot but it truly is absolutely staggering that so little common sense was applied here.
But they'd still have a case as victims if FTX signed contracts and then violated them. Or broke laws which cost them money.
earned income exceeding $200,000, or $300,000 when combined with a spouse, during each of the previous two full calendar years, and a reasonable expectation of the same for the current year
a net worth greater than $1 million (either by yourself or combined with a spouse), excluding your primary residence.
and is therefore expected, rightly or wrongly, to be able to judge the riskiness of a potential investment and absorb the loss without being crippled.
Overall though, this isn't really surprising. I think generally no one really knows what's going on in a private company like this if the CEO is the founder and has all the power. It's exceeding possible and common for them to mix personal and company finances. Probably the norm.
It's like working out which return value from a comparison operator is the right one - +1 or -1?
I think it's fair to say earned when it comes to the literal founder.
The whole point of defi is to build systems where nobody can do what FTX did. Uniswap for example doesn't even have admin functions. Nobody can move your funds on Uniswap besides you.
“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
People like to joke that cryptocurrency is just right-libertarians speedrunning financial legislation history but the reality is more that a lot of the tools that governments use to make finance "safe" don't have well established parallels that work on a decentralised platform. A lot of that "speedrunning" is the people who are actually building things trying to figure out how to still have reasonable safety and stability without relying on a single government or power to enforce policy.
Things like privacy preserving transactions/communication and decentralised consensus are useful and valuable features but it's taken years for game theorists and cryptographers to work out schemes that are even close to being sustainable at scale without compromising on priorities. Doubly so to build those tools for stability that are essential for a well functioning society such as the capacity for KYC, tax, and regulatory compliance without compromising on the above priorities.
So in a sense that argument that "this is good because it shakes out the bad actors before they can do too much more damage" is accurate but not in the sense that it allows the "good guys" to continue in their glorious libertarian fantasy. Rather it's a good thing because it minimizes the potential damage that can be done until researchers and engineers can develop the technology to a degree that the average person could actually use it.
It's a race against a regulatory clock and when it strikes midnight, unless there is a working example of a "good" and "safe" cryptocurrency, regulators will absolutely go for the throat. Unless the tech is sufficiently mature, they will divide the space into one that is illegal & only used by criminals and another which throws any semblance of decentralisation or privacy preservation out the window. This take is unfortunately fairly US- and Euro-centric but the reality is that those two sets of governments and regulatory bodies will be the ones to decide what form digital currency/digital assets take going forward.
That said, I think this is as insightful a summation of the situation I see in crypto as I've read recently.
It's a race against a regulatory clock and when it strikes midnight...
I may steal this gem. :-)
Government and Wall St. (but _especially_ government bare at least some responsibility for letting the pot get too big.
By being a passive investor, they can write off their investment and move on.
Is Sequoia going to need to rebrand itself after this? Sure does raise some questions about their judgement and professionalism. Hey Investors, we're raising a round of almost half a billion dollars and the theme is...
If they did then their record is looking pretty poor right now.
What am I missing? Or are you making a prediction that is the opposite of available evidence?
It is likely at peak MAU because a lot of people want to be “in” during what they _think_ is the crash (think of crypto a year ago when it was a peak, but now it’s way down). Current MAU may or may not be reflective of MAU in a month or two since the reason is so weird.
The old financial statements are probably meaningless at this point given how much has changed and how many advertisers have reportedly pulled out.
Not saying that I think Twitter will “fail” or even that it won’t be profitable. Just saying your metric is likely meaningless and is just a snapshot of a weird time.
If salary expenses are halved, the company is cash flow positive next year.
I guess what I'm saying is, I'd rather trust financial statements than CNN articles about how Twitter is supposedly burning to the ground (CNN is a direct competitor and has a conflict of interest).
1. That’s basically nothing compared to the big names.
2. This tweet is intentionally using _rates_ but I don’t see absolute values. If I spend $2 vs $1, I’ve doubled my spending, but I also haven’t really spent anything. Last week my coffee spend was about 700% higher than usual! Because I bought a single coffee from a coffee shop instead of making it at home.
3. This sample seems to be just of a very small number of small companies (which are this tryramp’s customers). Again, this is pretty useless on its own. Especially when we have statements that large companies are pausing spending.
4. If big names are pulling out, the ad space may be cheaper (due to less demand) at which point they are giving more to Twitter but Twitter is still taking in less.
We don’t know either way, but that tweet gives no real information on its own.
The fact that a massive number of high-profile advertisers have announced they've stopped buying ads?
> > Audi of America, United Airlines, General Mills, General Motors, Volkswagen, Modelez International (which makes popular products like Oreos), and Omnicon (which manages advertising for brands like McDonalds and Apple)
So two of the world's largest automakers, the world's richest computer company, one of the largest food companies in the US, the largest fast food chain in the world....yeah, I'm sure they'll keep right on with that "upward trajectory" with revenue falling like a lead balloon.
...and not just because of a risk of hate speech and other not-brand-safe stuff happening, but because they rightly feel that the company losing half its staff (the half too stupid to leave) has serious implications for almost every aspect of Twitter's operations, including minor little things like cybersecurity. Who's going to be doing pentesting? Who's going to be patching exploits in the mobile clients and website? Who's monitoring for things like bot networks registering fake accounts (remember when Elon was concerned about that?) and pushing tweets full of political, economic, or social misinformation? Dollars to donuts twitter starts having problems with shit like tiktok's endlessly destructive "challenges."
Hell, advertisers are probably wondering whether they'll even get a bill or know where to send a check.
That it's not "personnel changes" but thousands of their best employees leaving? (It's not the worst people that leave.)
That it took barely 48 hours for Musk to cause a major outage, accidentally killing the services that handled 2FA because he thought "bah, all these silly microservices"
That Tesla stock was at ~$380 this year and is now at half that? In less than a month it's gone from $230 to $180.2
If you pick a random 50% of people from ANY company, only 10-20% of that group are actually high performers. As Musk pointed out, there were several developers laid off who wrote zero lines of code in three months. Sorry, but that's unacceptable and is not indicative of high performance.
Top performers may write 1,000 lines of quality code per quarter, but it's never zero. If you're writing docs all day, you're useless.
Also consider the leaked Project Veritas videos of a Twitter senior engineer admitting he worked only 4 hours a week.
The "top performers" laid off you defend literally work less than 1 day a week.
It's the second largest advertising holding company in the world.
That's the biggest deal of all the names quoted by a LARGE degree.
They have 5,000 different clients.
I mean how did dozens of big investment firms put money into this thing without even seeing the balance sheet? Which would have immediately exposed them as fraudulent
Hmm. Binance triggered FTX's downfall by dumping FTT, causing the domino effect.
Does this mean that Sam was the one who sold Binance the FTT which Binance subsequently used to cause FTT to collapse? I just assumed Binance bought a bunch of tokens themselves for some reason.
That's quite the turn of events!
Binance triggered FTX's downfall by dumping FTT
I don't know if they actually dumped; they just announced it. It doesn't matter now.
Hilarious if CZ managed to sell 15% for the tools to get 100% though.
Are you saying we should allow companies with the level of oversight FTX had more free reign to operate and market their equity in the US?
Because this cannot stop ripoffs outside the USA, you propose ditching the within-borders effort?
The problem is that it's a dubious premise to begin with to assume that someone's knowledge or competence is tied to their salary or net worth. It's just baseless gatekeeping.
Suppose I have a net worth of $900k and want to invest $10k each into friends and family rounds of 5–10 startups. The Accredited Investor law in the U.S. makes that impossible today.
What if my net worth was $1M before the pandemic and is now ~30% below that threshold? Suddenly, I'm no longer accredited?! That makes no sense. The boundaries chosen are indeed arbitrary and baseless, designed to restrict access to opportunities for those in the case I describe.
Salary is also an arbitrary rule. One could make $200k/year, spend it all, and still qualify. But if someone makes $175k, lives minimally, and saves 50%+ of that, they are "unaccredited" and are blocked from accessing such opportunities. This also makes no sense.
Irrespective of my salary or net worth, I have enough experience in the tech industry to evaluate and do due diligence on small deals like that. But technicalities like this in the Accredited Investor rule block me from being able to access them.
Risk assessment is a personal choice. The Accredited Investor rule does more harm than good in this country today with its arbitrary pegs blocking access to good opportunities for those that are capable of vetting them.
Guardrails are for highways and bowling alleys. One can go blow their entire net worth on shitcoins and penny stocks and the Accredited Investor rule could care less. There are good and bad investment opportunities everywhere, but this rule is blatantly random and asymmetric.
The most experienced firms in the world got sucked into FTX. That's going to happen from time to time, and they're built to absorb the losses with limited social fallout.
Now, I do think that the rules as they are right now aren't great. They should be focused more on containing risk (we do this with systematically important financial institutions) and evaluating preparedness from a knowledge perspective.
The other thing you could do is try to increase access to registered security status from the venture side, with frameworks for disclosure, reporting, and accountability that don't require hiring millions of dollars worth of professional banking, accounting, and legal services.
Just like with Ponzi, you need new idiots to come along and dump their money into a pot so that the early investors can cash out.
The early investors need to be early! You can't have young idiots coming in at the beginning, they might cash out before you.
So a two-phase investment system is required: the old money that can invest early, and the new money that can be exploited by them.
Conveniently, the old money controls politics and gets to write the laws, which is why there is a law restricting only "accredited investors" as eligible for being in the first round.. the only profitable round.
A friend of mine sold a startup and spent months talking to the uber rich, people with net worths north of 500M. His eyes were opened when he realised that the entire system favours these people and the preservation and expansion of their wealth. It's not an accident. They buy these laws!
The crypto bubble crash was directly driven by the COVID bailout. People had pockets full of money from day trading on robin hood, money flowing out of Blackrock like it was the big rock candy mountain. Nobody should be shocked, and the professional pension fund managers should be ashamed.
FTX/Alameda had no company policies and in this case disclosed what they were going to do to investors. “Buyout binance’s stake”.
There is only so much the governments do to prevent you from wiring money to a sketchy opaque shadow bank in the Bahamas.
Of course, with the way he and his family are connected, it wouldn't surprise me if he eventually walks free.
For the others involved from investors to employees it's never good to be working with someone who could (theoretically) stand up from a meeting and walk out to go on and do whatever they want forever.
> And this stealth IPO has one more advantage: There’s nothing preventing Groupon from doing a real IPO in 2011. If anything, the reassuring cash pile makes it a more attractive investment.
It wouldn't be crazy sounding to require that companies worth over $10 billion USD disclose financial statements audited by reputable firms.
Like, can I look up the statements of a particularly profitable McDonalds?
I guess we need more blockchain! But what business will have 100% of their relationships, contracts and transactions publicly visible?
I took the comments to mean they wanted something to stop this from occurring, and I don't think that works well, criminals are going to do what criminals do. You can prosecute afterwards, but you can't easily stop them before they do it, see Theranos, WireCard, Nikola etc etc.