Things got particularly awkward for Sam Bankman-Fried when, during an interview on Good Morning America, he was questioned about having lost not just the money of those who invested in FTX, but also billions upon billions of customer dollars, dollars that FTX was supposed to be keeping safe. Well, really different crypto tokens, not dollars. But, still…tokens with billions of dollars in value up in a flash of smoke thanks to his mismanagement, and his silence when asked about it was deafening. Watch that here:
Watch the absolute squirming at 1:37 and 3:55 when pressed on stealing customer deposits.
— Cold Blooded Shiller (@ColdBloodShill) December 1, 2022
As you can hear, from the beginning George Stephanopoulos wasn’t put off by SBF’s attempts to dodge around responsibility, eventually asking him, after a brief introduction “One of the reasons FTX went bankrupt is because FTX deposits. Yep, were used to pay Alamitos creditors. Carolyn Ellison said you knew about that, is that true?”
And that’s when things got really awkward, as SBF had no good answer and did a good bit of squirming before going for the Karine Jean Pierre method of not answering tough questions and giving a total non-answer, saying:
“You know, best I can tell. I only did have a big position open on FTX. That position, I think was, you know, very over collateralized a year ago, there is a total market collapse and, you know, specifically large correlated claps and its assets, you know, over the last month, and to some extent over the last year that I you know, threatened that position quite a bit. And I think that’s, you know, as best I inserted a lot of what happened.”
Once again, Stephanopoulos wasn’t fooled by the non-answer. Demanding a real one, he said “I am no cryptocurrency expert of no finance yet, but I don’t think you answered my question. I was asked, Did you know that FTX deposits were used to pay off Alameda creditors?”
SBF again gave a non-answer and the back and forth ensued, but the SBF awkward silence and non-answer routine came up again later when Stephanopoulos pressed him on if what FTX and Alameda were doing was illegal, asking “It says that the digital assets may not be loaned to FTX trading, they can’t be loaned out.”
Once again SBF did the awkward silence routine before giving a sad attempt at a non-answer, saying “…there existed a borrower lending facility on FTX. And I think that’s probably covered. I don’t remember exactly where but somewhere else in the terms of service.”
But Stephanopoulos kept pressing, saying “They’re saying they didn’t approve of it here. They’re saying you approved of it.”
Caught, SBF then had to try and defend what he did and why, saying “rewind, to the beginning of FTX. Where, you know, some customers were, you know, I think in line with sort of existing relationships that they’ve had, at least in some cases, wiring money straight to Alameda research, in order to trade on FTX.”
Catching him in yet another snare, Stephanopoulos asked “So you do know and you did know that FTX deposits were being funneled to Alameda?”
That catching him in admitting then led to this exchange:
SBF: So I was vaguely aware that that was how some wires were being sent in the first place.
Stephanopoulos: Didn’t that set off alarm bells in your head?
SBF: So there are a lot of people who are involved in that process. And look, I really I deeply wish that I had taken, like, a lot more responsibility for understanding what the details were of what was going on there. I knew that legal was involved. I knew that other groups at the company were involved that, you know, there were agreements drafted up, but you’re ultimately responsible. And ultimately, absolutely, like, I look, I should have been on top of this, and I feel really, really bad and regretful that I wasn’t, and a lot of people got hurt. And that that’s on me.
Stephanopoulos: Here’s what Mark Cuban has to say about that. Yep. He said, If I were him, I’d be afraid of going to jail for a long time.
SBF: At the end of the day, you know, it’s not my call, what happens and the world will judge me is it will,
Yikes. So he better be getting ready for prison. Maybe he’ll meet our nuclear waste manager there.
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