FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (“SBF”) has been attracting attention for the past two days with a thread of mysterious tweets in the form of single letters. A few hours ago, he made it complete:
WHAT HAPPENED? [NOT LEGAL ADVICE. NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE. THIS IS ALL AS I REMEMBER IT, BUT MY MEMORY MIGHT BE FAULTY IN PARTS.]
As Bankman-Fried promised a few days ago, at some point he will give his perspective on the story of FTX’s downfall. An article published late yesterday afternoon by the New York Times (NYT), which interviewed SBF, falls far short of those claims.
The article, titled “How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire Collapsed,” does not even mention the words “Fraud,” “Enron,” “Crime,” “Illiquid,” “Stolen,” “Hidden,” Criminal,” or “Back door.”
As the NYT reports, SBF gave interview on Sunday that lasted until after midnight. During it, he seemed “surprisingly calm” according to journalist David Yaffe-Bellany. “You would’ve thought that I’d be getting no sleep right now, and instead I’m getting some,” SBF said. “It could be worse.”
Further, SBF expressed little remorse, stating that FTX “expanded too quickly” and that he “missed the warning signs.” At the same time, he provided only very squishy and shifty details about his handling of FTX clients’ funds.
Alameda had amassed a large margin position on FTX, which essentially meant it had borrowed money from the exchange, Bankman-Fried said. “It was substantially larger than I had thought it was,” he said. “And in fact the downside risk was very significant.”
“Had I been a bit more concentrated on what I was doing, I would have been able to be more thorough,” SBF further elaborated. “That would have allowed me to catch what was going on on the risk side.”
These are scary words from an actor the cryto community now doesn’t believe a word of after it was revealed in recent days that SBF and his closest confidants installed a backdoor to falsify FTX and Alameda’s books.
The backdoor was so good that even the most reputable investors, such as BlackRock or Sequoia Capital, were fooled.
Crypto Leaders And Elon Musk Respond To FTX CEO
Leading crypto personalities as well as Elon Musk expressed harsh criticism on the article. Musk wrote, “Why the puff piece NY Times?”. A few hours earlier, Musk commented on a tweet that raised the question of whether the Democratic Party used FTX to launder money?
A question worth asking
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 14, 2022
Kraken founder Jesse Powell had strong words for the NYT, stating that media must be held accountable for their role in legitimizing and elevating the status of this insolvent ponzi.
Even now, they downplay the story. At the same time they were pumping the FTX scam, they were writing defamatory gossip pieces about industry stalwarts, driving their audiences away from safe, reliable and proven venues. It’s too generous to call these people clowns. They betray their duty.
Zooko Wilcox, CEO of the Electric Coin Company behind ZCash, also accused the NYT of “disgusting complicity.”
He has ruined the lives of countless people through theft and fraud, and the NYT is now helping him delay or evade justice by whitewashing him in their respected, influential newspaper. I doubt that this is just a mistake on their part.
Ryan Selkis, founder of Messari, added that the NYTimes was tougher on Brian Armstrong at the time for saying “we shouldn’t talk politics at work” than it was on SBF, who embezzled $10 billion in client funds.
At presstime, the Bitcoin price showed a slight upward trend, following the weekend pump by Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO tweeted: “BTC will make it, but might be a long winter”.