Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of FTX, the crypto exchange that declared bankruptcy this month after there were billions of dollars wiped out, and investors left helplessly with not just FTX but over 100 affiliated companies filing for bankruptcy, has given an interview at the Dealbook Summit and this is important to know what he has to say about the entire saga where the users are still left out with no clue on what will happen ahead and what was the reason for FTX to go into bankruptcy.
“There’s a time and a place for me to think about myself and my own future,” he said. “I don’t think this is it.”
Without any proper explanation, as it has been in the past too, SBF said that customers can still be made “fully whole”. SBF also mentioned that he personally has close to nothing and is left with only one working credit card, and has not got any hidden funds.
SBF’s lawyers apparently didn’t want him to show up and speak but he still decided to give the interview. “I have a duty to talk and to explain what happened,” he said. He still says that he “didn’t know of times” that he had lied, “I was as truthful as I’m knowledgeable to be,” he said.
Sam Bankman-Fried still denies that he knowingly committed any fraud, “I did not try to commit fraud on anyone,” and he also says that he never intended to commingle customer assets with Alameda. He did admit the fact that client assets ended up at Alameda but the reason for that was the loans Alameda had taken to facilitate trades for FTX’s clients. “Margin calls, customers borrowing from each other, and from Alameda was one of those,” he said for the reasons why FTX went down.
“I was as truthful as I am knowledgeable to be. There are some things I wish I knew more about.” “There was no person chiefly in charge of positional risk of customers of FTX, and that feels pretty embarrassing in retrospect,” he said.
Alameda Research was founded by SBF, and it was a sister company that was deeply involved with the trades happening in FTX. With regards to the ties between the two companies, he said “I didn’t knowingly commingle funds” “It was, in effect, tied together substantially more than I would have ever wanted it to be,”
One of the usual red flags about the intentions from here could still be the fact that he says he is “looking through what happened” in FTX, even though we know that he doesn’t have any role anymore in the company, and this could still be a try to get into the good books after what happened.
With regards to the donations made by SBF to both parties in the U.S., “My donations were mostly for pandemic prevention,” he said when asked about the nature of his donations to various political campaigns. “It was on both sides of the isles. I was not viewing it as a partisan exercise.”
He was asked about getting preferential treatment in the media, for which SBF replied “I was looking to support journalists doing great work because I think what they do is really important,” he said, adding the media focus on him has been just. “I think it’s healthy for the world that there is real investigative journalism.”
Mario Nawfal, the host of Roundtable Space has put out an entire thread from the interview for an easier read,
Do you think SBF told the truth today at the Dealbook summit?
Here's a summary of what he said to help you make up your mind
— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) November 30, 2022
While the customers and thousands of users have been vocal about the entire FTX downfall saga, there are some who are still showing their support towards Sam Bankman-Fried, and they seem to think that he does not have bad intentions even after what happened. Bill Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square has said that he thinks SBF is telling the truth.
Call me crazy, but I think @sbf is telling the truth.
— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) November 30, 2022
SBF has responded to the tweet saying he messed up and is going to do everything to make it right, even though he knows it might never be enough, and he deeply appreciates the trust Bill Ackman showed towards him.
I deeply appreciate that.
I messed up. I'm going to do everything I can to make it right–even though I knew it might never be enough.
— SBF (@SBF_FTX) December 1, 2022
Kevin O’Leary popularly known as Mr. Wonderful had huge investments in FTX, and he has been supporting SBF even after the downfall of the company. He agreed with Bill Ackman and is in his camp about the trust in SBF.
I lost millions as an investor in @FTX and got sandblasted as a paid spokesperson for the firm but after listening to that interview I’m in the @billAckman camp about the kid! https://t.co/5lWzTT7JEv
— Kevin O'Leary aka Mr. Wonderful (@kevinolearytv) December 1, 2022
Wherever this entire episode heads, Sam Bankman-Fried has either messed up badly or is still doing rounds of chasing good journalism and saving his image for the second episode of known mess-ups that can happen in the future.
What do you think about this? Would you support SBF from here or is he a criminal in your eyes?