The Chair of the Advisory Board to Binance – a Chinese cryptocurrency exchange platform that waited until the day after America’s midterm elections to announce a reversal of its decision to purchase FTX – is Max Baucus, whom Joe Biden has described as a “good friend.”
Binance announced its intentions to purchase the ailing FTX on November 8th, the day of the midterm elections, but walked away from the deal the following day, citing the company’s problematic structure and mishandled funds. Binance’s temporary and widely publicized decision to purchase Binance, however, appeared to stave off FTX’s bankruptcy filing to November 11th – three days after the midterm elections.
FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was the second-largest donor to Democrats during the most recent election cycle, deploying nearly $40 million.
Binance’s key role in pushing the FTX crisis to occur after the midterm elections comes amidst a “good friend,” frequent donor, and presidential campaign endorser of Joe Biden recently being promoted to Chair of the company’s Global Advisory Board in September.
Baucus previously joined the cryptocurrency exchange Binance as a policy and government-relations adviser in March 2021 before earning the recent promotion.
“Baucus’s role will be focused on providing guidance and policy advice covering some of the world’s most important financial jurisdictions and agencies. He will also play a key role consulting and liaising with U.S. regulators and authorities on decisive policies that affect the larger global industry and best practices to further guide sustainable developments for Binance and the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem,” the company explained.
Baucus, a former U.S. Senator from Montana, retains close ties to Biden, who led the charge for Baucus to become an Ambassador to China during the Obama administration.
As “chief advocate” of Baucus’s ascension to ambassador, Biden was pivotal in his nearly four-decades-long friend’s path to assume the role, despite Baucus publicly admitting he was “no real expert on China.”
As Politico reported:
“The vice president — an old friend of Baucus’s dating back to their three decades serving together in the Senate — had emerged as a chief advocate for his nomination, a topic they discussed over lunch at Biden’s residence near the Naval Observatory several weeks ago, according to several sources familiar with the meeting. That friendship, along with Baucus’s close ties with his former chief of staff, Jim Messina, who was also the president’s 2012 campaign manager, helped make what seemed like a pipe dream a reality.”
Biden has publicly commended then-Ambassador Baucus as “a great friend and doing a great job.”
Baucus has donated to Biden’s Senate and presidential campaigns, endorsed his bid for the presidency with “no question in mind,” and even invited Biden to his third wedding. Biden took Air Force Two to the event.
Baucus’s unearthed leadership role within Binance calls into question the timing of the company’s decision to announce – and ultimately retract – its offer to purchase FTX.