Sam Bankman-Fried. Photo: Getty images
Sam Bankman-Fried had $100,000 left in his bank account the last time he checked. In an interview, the former FTX boss pointed to both personal failings and regulatory loopholes to explain the implosion of his company.
Why it matters: Bankman-Fried’s Monday phone interview with Axios comes as FTX works through a messy bankruptcy process and the company’s creditors remain in the dark about what, if anything, they will be able to recover.
What he says: “Am I allowed to say a negative number?” he said when asked about his personal finances. “I mean, I have no idea. I don’t know. I had $100,000 in my bank account the last time I checked,” he said.
- “It’s complicated. Basically, everything I had was just tied up in the company,” he added.
- His personal fortune at one point reached $26.5 billion.
Yes, but: Bankman-Fried said regulation and proper oversight could have helped protect FTX from the collapse.
- “I think one thing is… if you looked at the reporting and the CFTC filings, that would be extremely helpful here in terms of international rigor,” Bankman-Fried said.
- “There is certainly a degree to which I wish it had been someone other than me who was responsible for dealing with conflicts of interest,” he said, in a nod to the bankruptcy court’s claim that he ran FTX as a personal fiefdom.
- “I wish I had more reporting and transparency to external parties.”
Zoom in: Bankman-Fried added, however, that he bears the main responsibility.
- “I wish I had been more careful… I obviously deeply regret this. I have focused on volume, rather than positions for balances,” he said. “I should have been more responsible and I should have been more on top of what was going on.”
Bottom line: Investors and creditors also have their share of regret, given tens of billions in market value wiped out in a matter of days.
Read more from this interview in tomorrow’s Axios Pro Fintech special
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