Disgraced Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Speaks At New York Times Event, Claims There Was No Fraud

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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried spoke Wednesday at the New York Times DealBook/Summit event.

Bankman-Fried’s inclusion was decided long before the collapse of his cryptocurrency company. But his continued participation became extremely controversial after details of FTX’s issues became public.

Especially because the Times charged an exorbitant amount of money to attend. Their $2,500 fee went to promoting someone who’s faced substantial accusations of fraud.


Unsurprisingly, Bankman-Fried defended his actions, claiming over video that he “didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone.”

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried
Andrew Ross Sorkin speaks with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried during the New York Times DealBook/Summit. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Perhaps his most unbelievable assertion was a claim he had no idea how comprehensive FTX’s problems were until recently.

FTX was a “thriving business,” Bankman-Fried said and continued by saying he “was shocked by what happened this month.”

While defending his actions, Bankman-Fried did apologize for the harm he caused. For reference, one of the pending lawsuits pegged that harm at $11 billion.

Somehow, saying he “didn’t do a good job” isn’t likely to cut it for former investors and users.

FTX Founder Claims Ignorance of FTX Problems

Bankman-Fried also said his lawyers counseled him against appearing, but he did it anyway. Presumably he appeared to claim ignorance of what his associated companies were doing.

“I wasn’t running Alameda, I didn’t know exactly what was going on, I didn’t know the size of their position,” he said. “A lot of these are things I’ve learned over the last month.”

He may not have been running Alameda, but it strains credulity that Alameda employees let the situation get to the point of collapse without warning him.

Bankman-Fried also avoided questions about FTX allegedly lending out consumer investments.

The most charitable interpretation of his statements is that he was incomprehensibly ignorant and incompetent.

He went on to claim that he was nervous when Coindesk exposed “the Alameda balance sheet.” But somehow, he thought only Alameda was in trouble, not believing it was an “existential” crisis for FTX.

The collapse of FTX has caused billions in damage, permanently ruined reputations, and harmed millions.

Yet the founder of the company claims he had no idea what was happening under his nose.

It’s hard to take his defenses seriously. Yet the media has treated him with kid gloves, possibly due to donations to their political party.


Bankman-Fried also told attendees that he’s had a “bad month.”

But it’s been much worse month for the people he and his company hurt.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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