Sam Bankman-Fried on Failure, FTX, CFTC, Regulation and Crypto

    Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sam Bankman-Fried.Photo: Getty Images

Sam Bankman-Fried had $100,000 left in his bank account when he last checked. In an interview, the former FTX CEO pointed to personal failures and regulatory loopholes to help explain his company’s implosion.

why is it important: Bankman-Fried’s phone interview with Axios late Monday comes as FTX is going through a messy bankruptcy process, and the company’s creditors are still unclear about what, if any, they’ll be able to recover.

What is he saying: “Can I say negative numbers?” he said when asked about his personal finances. “I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know. I had $100,000 in my bank account last time I checked,” he said.

  • “It’s complicated. Basically everything I do has to do with the company,” he added.
  • At one point, his personal wealth reached $26.5 billion.

yes, but: Bankman-Fried says regulation and proper oversight could help protect FTX from collapse.

  • “I think one thing is … if you look at the report and the CFTC application, it’s very helpful for international rigor,” Bankman-Fried said.
  • “At some point, I certainly hope that someone other than me is in charge of managing conflicts of interest,” he said, agreeing with the bankruptcy court’s assertion that he runs FTX like a personal fiefdom.
  • “I wish I could provide more reporting and transparency to outside parties.”

enlarge: However, Bankman-Fried added, he bears the brunt of it.

  • “I wish I had been more careful … I obviously deeply regret this. I’ve been looking at volume, not balancing positions,” he said. “I should have been more responsible, I should have been more in control of what was going on.”

Bottom line: Tens of billions of market value were wiped out in just a few days, and investors and creditors also have their own regrets.

Read more from this interview in tomorrow’s Axios Pro Fintech Deals


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