even as critics he was furious that he was no longer in jail and it was rumored that he would cancel his risky public appearance, Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of the failed film. cryptocurrency exchange FTXgave a live video interview New York TimesDealBook Summit conference call on Wednesday.
Speaking from the Bahamas, where the headquarters of the FTX is located, Bankman-Fried said Time financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, “I never tried to defraud anyone.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the US Department of Justice are currently investigating how the third largest FTX. crypto The exchange, which is valued at $32 billion worldwide, opened within a few days in early November. Binance, a rival exchange, moved to save it with a buyout withdrew FTX’s problems are “beyond our control or ability to help,” he said.
Amidst the chaos, Bankman-Fried was forced to resign as CEO and allowed the company to file for bankruptcy, but only days later to cling to power despite company executives urging him to resign.
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes, I’d give anything to be able to do it again,” Bankman-Fried told Sorkin in an hour-long conversation during which he drank pamplemousse LaCroix, stomped his foot, and stopped often. his eyes rolled down. Another of his conclusions: “I’ve had a bad month.”
At one point, Sorkin pushed him to the irresponsibility of FTX management and reports hedonistic luxury where they live, quipped: “A bunch of kids on Adderall are having a sleepover.”
Bankman-Fried replied, “We got very confused.” However, he denied that the FTX team in the Bahamas had an out-of-control drug culture. “We used to play board games at our parties,” he said. “I didn’t see any illegal drug use” He said he was prescribed drugs to help focus and concentrate.
FTX’s burning baddies are now overseen by CEO John J. Ray III, the corporate turnaround expert who famously managed the aftermath of that event. The Enron accounting scandal In 2001. In the bankruptcy petition of FTX, he he wrote: “Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate control and complete absence of reliable financial information as occurred here.” Investors were removed, there is something unexplained 8 billion dollars has a deficit on its balance sheet and the stock still owes its top 50 creditors 3.1 billion dollars🇧🇷
Many hold Bankman-Fried personally responsible for the crisis, and significant questions remain about whether FTX and Alameda Research — the sister trading firm it co-founded — misappropriated client funds. Lawyers said on November 22 Delaware Bankruptcy Court Bankman-Fried ran FTX as a “personal robbery,” describing the company’s massive real estate deals in the Bahamas (where it is headquartered) and publicly stating that a “significant amount” of its assets had been “stolen or missing.” The ripple effect of the collapse reached Congress as Bankman-Fried set in motion. millions in political donations to both Democrats and Republicans lobbying in Washington on behalf of crypto industry.
During the first half of the interview, Sorkin pressed the connection between the FTX and Alameda, with Bankman-Fried repeatedly claiming she had little idea what happened in the latter case. “I was nervous because of the conflict of interest, because I was so involved,” he said. “I didn’t have the latitude to run two companies at once.” At issue are the large sums of client money owed by FTX to Alameda to cover the firm’s mounting losses, which, as with almost every bad decision that has come to light, suggests that Bankman-Fried was more of a mistake than an intentional wrongdoing. “I didn’t knowingly pool the funds,” he said.
As for staying out of the U.S. for fear of charges or arrest, Bankman-Fried said she believes she can travel freely and is considering it. “Personally, I don’t think so [criminal liability],” he noted, though “that’s not what I focus on,” because “all the customers are important here.” He estimated that he would be able to answer questions at congressional hearings. Billionaire Mark Cuban recently said TMZ that if he were in the place of the young man, he would “be afraid of going to prison for a long time.”
We agree to a live broadcast New York Times It seems like poor legal strategy for someone under the intense scrutiny Bankman-Fried faces, but it’s uncharacteristic of the 30-year-old former billionaire. On November 18, it was thrown out by his lawyers At Paul Weiss’s firm, she cited a conflict of interest in representing him and also complained that he sabotaged himself with “incessant and disruptive tweets.”
When asked what Sorkin’s current attorneys thought about her agreeing to an interview — a question that drew laughter from the audience — Bankman-Fried said they were adamantly opposed, adding, “I have an obligation to speak up and explain what happened.”
Bankman-Fried is now claiming justice $100,000 at the bank and told Sorkin he had a working credit card. Add to cypto watchers he believes there is a larger sum he is hiding. “I have no hidden funds here,” he said.
The Time and other major media outlets have also been neglected as they continue to write what some consider to be “puff pieces” about the disgraced entrepreneur, and several prominent investors were outraged that The newspaper again gave him a big platform to weave his story about the sudden death of FTX. Before introducing Bankman-Fried, Sorkin defended the interview’s journalistic importance, calling it “one of the most important” of the day.
Sorkin read an angry letter early on from a man who claimed he had lost his life savings on FTX — about $2 million — but Bankman-Fried was able to talk about the exchange’s implosion, mostly due to the failure of the venture. Management continues to express surprise at the speed and scale of the accident. Several times he claimed that he simply did not have access to relevant information or details.
At the end of the interview, Sorkin asked if he had been honest throughout their discussion. Bankman-Fried stuttered a little instead of saying “yes,” and finally settled into a less confident expression.
“I was as true as I was knowledgeable,” he said.
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