Sam Bankman-Fried Blames ‘Huge Management Failures’ for FTX Collapse

On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen called the demise of FTX a “Lehman moment” for the crypto industry, referring to the bankruptcy of Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers at the start. financial crisis of 2008. She pointed out that she views cryptocurrencies with skepticism, calling them “very risky assets” and adding that she is grateful for the recent volatility. They have not spread to the mainstream banking sector.

For someone who could face criminal charges, Mr. Bankman-Fried is surprisingly willing to speak out publicly. As the crisis unfolded in early November, he posted a series of apologetic tweets – statements his lawyer later chastised him for making, did he say?. Two days after FTX filed for bankruptcy this month, he speak with The Times for more than an hour about how he manages his business empire while dodging questions about his company’s use of client money.

On the video stream at the DealBook conference, Mr. Bankman-Fried, wearing a black T-shirt, fidgeted at times, as he often does in interviews. He said he was speaking publicly against the advice of his lawyers, who instructed him to keep quiet and “retreat into a hole.” He said he decided to ignore their advice.

“That’s not who I am,” he said. “I have a duty to talk.”

The relationship between FTX and Alameda has long been a source of criticism. Alameda trades heavily on the FTX platform, meaning it sometimes benefits when other FTX customers lose, creating a conflict of interest. Mr. Bankman-Fried lived with Ms. Ellison in a penthouse in the Bahamas, and at one point the two were romantically involved.

Mr. Bankman-Fried stated that he was “worried about a conflict of interest” with Alameda and in part for that reason he stayed away from the company’s activities.

When it comes to addressing the impact of the company’s collapse on his own future, he’s been underrated. “I had a bad month,” he said at one point, making the audience laugh.

Bankman-Fried also said the crisis has reduced his net worth to about $100,000. “I don’t have any hidden funds,” he said. “I put everything I had into FTX.”


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