Tom Brady and FTX

Tom Brady and FTX

I don’t like Tom Brady. I’m convinced he and his teammates cheated the Rams out of a Super Bowl. I’m certain he was heavily involved in Deflategate. He left his pregnant wife for a super model. I don’t think he’s a good person. I think he’s a liar and a cheat.

There are now news stories he and his super model ex-wife were heavily invested in FTX and they might well face financial ruin. Am I happy about that? Does it make me feel good to see someone I dislike so intensely suffer? It’s a good question and I think it goes to the heart of a lot animosity we see in world today, particularly with politics.

Is the Tom Brady and FTX Misery my Joy?

The real question becomes, should I take joy in the misfortune of others if I don’t like them? I totally understand why people feel this way. If I don’t like a person then their misfortune makes me feel good. I’m guessing to feel this way is human, normal.

Then I start thinking about it a little more. Do I really want to be the person who cheers in joy when someone else is suffering? There is not only Tom Brady to think about. What about all those other investors in FTX who are suffering? People I don’t hate, probably people I like.

Then there is Brady’s family, his children, his friends. They also count on the money Brady provides to enjoy their life.

Should I feet bad about Tom Brady and FTX?

Taking into account the general misery of the entire situation and the total number of people affected, should I feel bad? I’ve spoken about the nature of Cryptocurrency scams. How the lure of easy money causes people to lose sight of their better judgement. How scammers steal from people with false promises.

Now Tom Brady is a victim, just like any other. I’ve written that I feel bad for people who are taken in by such scams but I also don’t excuse their greed. Tom Brady, like a lot of other people, got greedy. Maybe it was his financial advisors, maybe it was all Brady, I don’t know. Someone got greedy and is paying the price.

I feel bad for Brady and others, I do. It’s a terrible blow to lose your fortune like Kevin Bacon and so many others did in trusting Bernie Madoff. This disaster might well have played a role in Brady’s divorce, his decision to return to the football field and risk his health. Lack of money, or the pursuit of it, makes people do things they don’t want to do, sometimes dangerous things.

I really do feel bad for Brady.

The Bigger Picture

It’s my opinion this wishing ill upon people we don’t like his problematic in the United States these days. Every time I see thousands of likes on stories where a Democrat or a Republican figure suffers misfortune I think about it. Thousands of people relishing the horrific car crash that killed Anne Heche. Why are so many people happy to see those they dislike suffer, die? Suffering is terrible. I wish we lived in a world where no one suffered.

I’m not the most empathetic person in the world. I don’t feel the suffering of others. I’m far more intellectually inclined. Still, I do feel bad for Brady. I don’t like him, never will, but I get that his suffering isn’t my happiness. Anyone’s suffering is not my happiness.


Does this all make me a better person? I actually think so. I think people who relish in the suffering of those they dislike are not doing themselves or anyone else any good. I certainly understand it’s human nature. Believe me, when I first heard Brady may have lost his fortune, it made me smile. “Good,” I said. “No one deserves it more.”

Then I started to think about it and changed my mind. Maybe you can do the same when you see the misfortune of someone from the opposite side of the political spectrum. Maybe you can admonish friends who do the same. Maybe you can’t.

Tom Liberman

BitCoin and the Value of Fake Money

BitCoinThere are a lot of stories in the news these days about BitCoin and the idea of digital currency as a whole. After a few conversations with people I’ve found there is a lot of confusion about how it works and the potential benefits and liabilities of such systems.

I’ll tell you immediately that I’m a huge proponent of digital currency although I agree that in its early stages there are many dangers. I think the forces arrayed against digital currency do not have the best interests of the individual in mind.

To understand digital currency we really have to understand modern currency as a whole. The coins and bills in your pocket, wallet, and purse have little to no intrinsic value. Even if made of real silver and gold they just don’t. See my post about Elastic Currency and my other post about the Gold Standard for more in-depth discussion on this idea.

What makes such currency valuable is that other people are willing to trade you goods and services in exchange for that currency. This is achieved through backing of the currency, generally by a government agency although not always.

When you win tickets at Dave & Busters you are purchasing currency which can be used buy things. Resort towns sometimes have a currency system for tourists. It’s all the same idea. Rather than carrying around a chicken to trade for something else of value, we use currency.

When a currency backing agency fails then the people who own that currency have nothing of value anymore. Confederate Money after the Civil War for example. When you purchase stock in a company that goes bankrupt so too is your money gone. During the Bank Runs that precipitated the Great Depression people lost all their money because the banks could not back it up. What happened to your retirement account during the recent financial crisis? You didn’t spend the money, you didn’t lose the money, but it still lost value.

No currency is perfectly secure; some are more secure than others and the U.S. Dollar has been among the most secure since the end of World War II.

Digital Currency is like other currencies except it has no physical presence. It is merely a number in an account that you can draw upon. In this it’s not much different from about 99% of your wealth. You don’t have bills and coins; you have bank statements, stocks, equity, homes, etc.

So, why is digital currency better? Because it means your wealth is with you at all time but cannot be stolen, at least in the traditional sense of the word. Yes, your account might be broken into but no one can mug you of digital currency. When you need to go into town to make purchases you are not subject to bandits.

The biggest advantage from a Libertarian point of view is that encrypted digital money is anonymous money. Government officials do not know who holds what. Governments can’t easily control the flow of money and have few if any regulatory powers. Purchases with such currency cannot be involuntarily taxed because of this complete anonymity.

There are dangers in the early days as we see in the headlines. Backing agencies can be corrupt and fail. But this is not a reason to give up on this form of currency.

Imagine a world in which every person has instant and complete access to all their money. You can go anywhere and purchase anything without worrying about tariffs and taxes. It is, after all, your money.

I’ve only touched the very surface of benefits and drawbacks to digital currencies. There are legitimate law enforcement issues in regards to illegal transactions. There are astounding possibilities about alleviating wealth inequality.

It’s a complex subject with no simple answers. I’m of the opinion that those who wish to control money, control freedom, and control the individual don’t like the idea of digital currency. Therefore it appeals to me.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Spear of the Hunt
Next Release: The Broken Throne