The Interview – Sam Bankman Fried

the interview sam bankman fried

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the co-founder and CEO of FTX, sat down for an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin, the host of the New York Times (NYT) Dealbook Summit. The interview with Dealbook came a day after the crypto supporter and reporter Tiffany Fong interviewed SBF. At the conference, SBF questioned whether criminal charges were a concern for him. 

Bankman-Fried answered, “There’s a time and a place for me to think about myself and my own future, I don’t think this is it.” He explained that he was in the Bahamas and coming to the U.S. “crossed his mind.” 

SBF mentioned that his net worth was “close to nothing.” Detailing that he was even down to one credit card. Sorkin questioned SBF whether he knew that the situation was on a downtrend. SBF answered Nov 6th was when they “were putting together all the information.” 

Alameda Research

Concerning Alameda Research, Sam Bankman Fried shifted the blame from him. He insisted that he “didn’t know the size of their position. I wasn’t running Alameda. I didn’t know exactly what was going on.” 

During the interview, SBF mentioned to Sorkin that he believed FTX customers could recover their money. To support his claim, he noted how Bitfinex compensated customers when the exchange was hijacked in 2016.

SBF said he regretted not focusing more on the downsides. He said, “I obviously wish that I spent more time dwelling on the downsides and less time thinking about the upsides.” Sam “didn’t knowingly co-mingle funds” or lie, for that matter. He said, “I was as truthful as I’m knowledgeable to be – I don’t know of times when I lied.”

SBF said there were too many boards within the FTX empire when Sorkin questioned whether the corporation had any corporate board structures. He informed the members of Dealbook that even though FTX had a sizable board, he “completely failed” in risk management. SBF said, “There was no person in charge of positional risk on FTX.” In the end, Sam Bankman Fried confessed, “Look, I screwed up. We messed up big.”

U.S. Customers

In the interview, Sam Bankman-Fried mentioned he needed clarification on why FTX US customers could not process their withdrawals. SBF said, “Whatever happened, why it happened, I had a duty to our stakeholders, our customers, our investors, the regulators of the world, to do right by them. Clearly, I didn’t do a good job of that. I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone.”

The Interview – Sam Bankman Fried
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