February 8, 2023

While many of us would have kept a low profile, Sam Bankman-Fried decided to give a prime time interview at the DealBook Summit hosted by the New York Times, against the advice of his lawyers. For the record, prior to Bankman-Fried’s live interview, NY Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin spoke with a panel of notable figures and respected business leaders, including Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, BlackRock‘s Larry Fink and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. So, Bankman-Fried’s interview was not conducted in a small, closed circle of cryptosphere aficionados.

“We screwed up,” he said, shaking steadily, sipping from a cup and looking at the floor as he spoke. “I was responsible, ultimately.” Bankman-Fried took responsibility for a lack of oversight that he said led to a discrepancy related to risky market positions that Alameda Research, his trading firm, held with FTX, the ruined cryptocurrency exchange platform. SBF said these risky positions were not displayed on the dashboards – that’s a bummer – from which the former CEO had worked to assess the creditworthiness of both companies.

When asked whether or not he knowingly committed fraud and illegally commingled client assets to support Alameda, Bankman-Fried flatly denied any deliberate wrongdoing. “I never tried to commit fraud,” he said, adding that a month earlier he was “excited about the prospects” of FTX.

In addition, SBF appeared to anticipate his exposure in civil court by disclosing that…

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