Instead, MacAskill is the thinker perhaps most associated with the moral philosophy known as “effective altruism,” which was profoundly influential on Bankman-Fried, Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and others in their intimate circle.

While many moral systems maintain that human suffering could be best alleviated by spreading both wealth and power more democratically, effective altruism essentially argues the opposite: that the very smartest and hardest-working individuals should pursue wealth and influence, then leverage it to the greater good. Many if not most members of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle professed effective altruist beliefs.

Who’s Who in the FTX Inner Circle (

“Effective altruism” is a way to present yourself as saintly and forgoing life’s pleasures – while treating yourself quite well: Bankman-Fried’s FTX, senior staff, parents bought Bahamas property worth $300 million

As long as you believe you are a saint, any level of financial shenanigans is cool.

LA Times Column: How Sam Bankman-Fried exploited the ‘effective altruism’ fad to get rich and con the world

Basically, “effective altruism” is cause marketing on steroids. That’s where a company links itself to a hopeful cause, hoping the cause’s good will creates an emotional tug leading you to buy their products or services.

The moral failing of ‘effective altruism‘. It’s a form of technocratic elitism – the rich are rich because they are smarter, so they should make as much money as fast as possible, any way possible, and then choose what to fund with that money: Like hundreds of millions of dollars of property, yachts, and business jets. Because.

Coldstreams Skeptic