Former FTX Boss Speaks at Dealbook Event, Says He ‘Didn’t Knowingly Co-Mingle Funds’
On Nov. 30, 2022, the former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) discussed FTX’s collapse at the New York Times’ Dealbook Summit with Andrew Ross Sorkin in his first live-appearance interview since the crypto exchange’s downfall. SBF told the Dealbook Summit host that he was “deeply sorry about what happened” and further stressed that he “didn’t knowingly co-mingle funds.”
NYT Dealbook Summit Host Andrew Ross Sorkin Questions Sam Bankman-Fried, Former FTX CEO to Appear on Good Morning America
FTX co-founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) sat down for a long interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin, the host of the New York Times’ (NYT) Dealbook Summit. SBF’s Dealbook appearance followed the SBF interview published the day prior with crypto supporter and reporter, Tiffany Fong. Appearing virtually at the NYT conference, SBF was asked whether or not he was worried about criminal charges being brought against him.
“There’s a time and a place for me to think about myself and my own future,” SBF told the NYT Dealbook event host. “I don’t think this is it.” The former FTX CEO explained that he was still located in the Bahamas and that coming back to the U.S. has crossed his mind. “I’ve thought about coming to the U.S.,” the former FTX executive said.
I can’t even begin to explain the vibes of this SBF interview at DealBook pic.twitter.com/uziar5K4bl
— nilay patel (@reckless) November 30, 2022
As far as his net worth, SBF said there are no hidden funds, he has “close to nothing” left and he was down to a single credit card. Sorkin asked when SBF realized things were going downhill and SBF replied it was Nov. 6 and at that point “we were putting together all the information.”
As far as Alameda Research is concerned, SBF seemed to shift the blame away from his role by insisting he “didn’t know the size of their position.” “I wasn’t running Alameda,” SBF said fidgeting in his chair. “I didn’t know exactly what was going on.” In the interview, SBF told Sorkin that he thought it was possible FTX customers could get their money back and cited how Bitfinex made customers whole after the exchange was hacked in 2016.
“I obviously wish that I spent more time dwelling on the downsides and less time thinking about the upsides,” SBF said. The FTX co-founder also remarked that he “didn’t knowingly co-mingle funds” and he couldn’t recall a time when he told a lie. SBF said:
I was as truthful as I’m knowledgeable to be — I don’t know of times when I lied.
Sorkin asked SBF whether or not the company had any formal corporate board structures and SBF replied that there were too many boards across the FTX empire. While FTX had a slew of board members, when it came to risk management SBF told the Dealbook attendees that he “completely failed” on that end. “There was no person in charge of positional risk on FTX,” SBF admitted. The NYT reporter also asked SBF what he thought about the idea that the FTX empire was simply “a bunch of kids on Adderall having a sleepover.” SBF responded:
Look, I screwed up. We messed up big.
SBF also contended that his parents and his upbringing had nothing to do with the FTX collapse. When asked what he told his parents about the situation, SBF said: “Hey guys, I think there might be a problem … Looks like Alameda’s position might be imploding here.” SBF touched up on his political contributions and he said “my donations were mostly for pandemic prevention.” Bankman-Fried’s brother operated the left-leaning advocacy group Guarding Against Pandemics. “That was the primary thing that I was supporting with those contributions,” SBF told the Dealbook Summit host.
“I wasn’t spending any time or effort trying to manage risk.”
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells @GStephanopoulos he “wasn’t even trying” to manage risk at the company. Watch the full interview tomorrow on GMA. pic.twitter.com/MOBBzWDlYu
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 1, 2022
During his video call, SBF was of the opinion that all of FTX’s American customers would be made whole, but didn’t really detail how that was the case. He noted that he was “confused” why FTX US customers were not allowed to process withdrawals. “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,” SBF remarked to Sorkin. “Clearly, I didn’t do a good job of that. I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone.”
Call me crazy, but I think @sbf is telling the truth.
— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) November 30, 2022
In addition to the NYT Dealbook video appearance with Sorkin, Bankman-Fried also discussed the subject with the broadcast Good Morning America, and the show will air on December 1, 2022. In a video clip published by GMA, SBF tells the host George Stephanopoulos “I wasn’t spending any time or effort trying to manage risk.”
What do you think about the NYT Dealbook Summit interview with Sam Bankman-Fried and Andrew Ross Sorkin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.