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With a Controversial Interview, Sam Bankman-Fried Breaks the Silence

In an interview on November 30, SBF talked about everything that investors and people who use the FTX platforms wanted to talk to him about. He started by saying that he had made a lot of mistakes but had never tried to cheat anyone.

Andrew Ross-Sorkin began by reading a letter from an investor who said he lost $2 million on the platform. Then SBF gave a reply:

“I feel very bad about what happened. The US [FTX] platform has enough money to cover all of its costs. I think that cash withdrawals could start today.”

He said that Alameda Research had been involved with the international platform for a long time. He put together what he thought happened with Alameda and their positions on the FTX international platform.

As he said, Alameda had 10% leverage, but the assets that Alameda owned lost value over the course of the year. These assets were used as collateral, so when it came time to sell them, FTX couldn’t do it because there wasn’t enough money on the market.

Ross-Sorking asks SBF a lot of tough questions during the interview, which lasts for more than an hour. Many of the questions were ones that tens of thousands of users and investors would like to ask the former CEO of FTX.

SBF said that there were several reasons why he didn’t want to get involved in Alameda. The first reason he gave was that he didn’t have a lot of time. He could only run one of these two companies as CEO. The second reason he gave was that he would have been in a conflict of interest if he had worked for both companies.

SBF said that Alameda’s share of FTX volume went from 40% in 2019 to 2% in 2022 when asked about Alameda’s involvement with FTX. He did, however, admit that Alameda had a big open collateral position at FTX, which pushed the whole market down and caused FTX to collapse.

During the interview, he talked about account issues. He said that many traders from different countries used Alameda to get credited in FTX. This happened because it was hard for FTX to open bank accounts around the world, and it took many years for this to finally happen.

“On November 6, I really realized there was a problem,” SBF said. “That’s when the tweet about FTT went out, and by the end of the 6th, we were putting together all the information that should have been in the dashboards.” After which we realized there could be a big problem.

 

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