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sambankmanfried

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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Sam Bankman-Fried Unsure if He Will Testify on Capitol Hill Before December 13; Twitter Hits Out at Maxine Waters

FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried can not promise when he will appear before the United States Congress to testify on the collapse of his multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange, but he agreed to make the appearance after he has reviewed the circumstances on how the events unfolded.

“Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain,” the former FTX CEO wrote on Twitter.

“I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th.  But when it does, I will testify.”

He was responding to a polite tweet by Maxine Waters, the Democratic congresswoman who chairs the Financial Services Committee.

“We appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX. Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors and others.

“To that end, we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th.”

Last month the committee announced it wanted to meet directly with Bankman-Fried and his executive team stating that the collapse of FTX  harmed a million users who invested “their hard-earned savings” into the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, “only to watch it all disappear within a matter of seconds.”

Sam Bankman-Fried poses with Congresswoman Maxine Waters and his lawyer former Bahamian Attorney General Allyson Maynard in a past congressional hearing.

But Water’s latest tweet requesting Bankman-Fried’s presence drew strong criticism with some users stating that it appears not to hold Bankman-Fried accountable for the billions of dollars in customer funds lost on his platform.

Jake Chervinsky said, “I am certain that factfinding will show that SBFTX has not in fact been candid in his discussions. He committed fraud, full stop.”

Another said, “Imagine stealing Bernie Madoff-level money and being politely asked to participate in a congressional hearing. This is what corruption looks like.”

And another social media user said, “I hope folks are paying attention to all of this, eyes open. The entire system is corrupt on all levels.”

Many speculate that Bankman-Fried will not be held accountable since he was the second largest donor of the Democratic party contributing nearly $30 million to the party’s primary elections and was reported to have given $5 million to President Joe Biden’s campaign when he ran for the post against Trump.

Authorities in the USA and the Bahamas said they are investigating the handling of customer funds believed to be misappropriated when Bankman-Fried borrowed billions of dollars from FTX to use in his sister company Alameda Research.

Friends Turned Their Backs on Sam Bankman-Fried After He Loses Billions in FTX Fiasco

With only $100,000 left in his bank account, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has only a few friends left.

The disgraced crypto celebrity said many of his friends abandoned him after the rapid and stunning collapse of his 32-billion dollar exchange.

“If you rewind a year ago, everyone wanted to be seen to be my friend. Although very few of them I think actually had a personal interest in it. It meant that I had thousands of fake friends and very few meaningful real ones,” he said during an interview in the Bahamas with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Bankman-Fried was the billionaire CEO of crypto currency’s third-largest exchange and donated millions of dollars to charities and political groups. The 30-year-old became a sensation and hosted conferences in the Bahamas where FTX had a headquarters, mingling with celebrities and politicians like baseball star Tom Brady, model Giselle Bundchen, former US President Bill Clinton, and former British PM Tony Blair.

When asked if he knew he had ‘fake friends’, Bankman-Fried struggled to answer saying it was complicated. “They had an angle, there is a thing they wanted. Maybe there was a way they could be helpful. In some cases, I enjoyed talking to them. They were nice, smart interesting people.”

In the seemingly repentant interview, he said after his fall, he received a few positive messages from celebrities who once endorsed FTX, some saying, “’Can’t imagine what you’re going through.’”

“Most [of the celebrities] are trying to process it and understand it,” he added.

After filing bankruptcy and stepping down as CEO, his wealth evaporated and now against the advice of lawyers, he is making the rounds in the media, expressing regret for how events unfolded that led to the loss of billions of dollars that customers deposited on the platform.

US and Bahamas authorities are reported to be investigating Bankman-Fried for alleged misappropriation of customer funds when FTX allegedly lent billions of dollars to his trading company Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried has denied allegations of fraud. In an interview with New York Times, he rejected the notion. “I did not try to commit fraud on anyone.”

In a bankruptcy court filing in Delaware, it was revealed Bankman-Fried owes 3.1 billion dollars to 50 of his top creditors.

He has since been replaced by new CEO John Ray III who said Bankman-Fried operated FTX like his “personal fiefdom.”

Twitter Lashes Out at Attorney General Ryan Pinder After FTX Address

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Ryan Pinder was hit with harsh criticism on Twitter following a televised national address on the FTX fiasco.

On Sunday, Pinder attempted to defend the government of the Bahamas, and the country’s reputation after FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried was accused of mishandling billions of dollars at his exchange, which is headquartered in the Bahamas.

The collapse and questionable dealings have led many to ask whether or not the Bahamas government will hold Bankman-Fried responsible for any violations as customers grieve the loss of billions of their funds.

One Twitter user likened Pinder’s speech to “a campaign promise.”

“Twenty-three minutes long speech in defense of the Bahamas but no information as to the preliminary findings of FTX investigation apart that’s ongoing. This talk is like a campaign promise that does not move the needle. Bahamian government promo. We are nowhere closer to what happened with FTX.”

Another user attacked Pinder for praising the government in the midst of the debacle. “Patting yourself on the back at how great your regulations were when you let fraud and theft occur right under your noses, is grotesque.”

And CanCon said, “Bribery works better in the Bahamas,” adding “SBF bought all those nice Bahamian properties with stolen money and you guys are singing their praises? This will not end well for second-rate politicians running around in a banana republic acting like you’re God’s gift to modern finance. You blew it.”

Efraim Tepes said, “This speech is the definition of verbal farting.”

While Coin-Wee-boo stated, “This is as corrupt as it gets for the Bahamian authorities…And no mention of customer funds at all. We now have to wonder how much is the Bahamian government paid by SBF.”

Bankman-Fried known on social media as ‘SBF’ retweeted Pinder’s national address which surprised many users.

He donated millions of dollars to Bahamian charities in the name of altruism and is believed to have squandered millions of dollars on properties in the Bahamas.

It was revealed in a bankruptcy court filing, he owes his creditors 3.1 billion dollars.

Will Sam Bankman-Fried Go to Jail for Alleged Violations in FTX Fiasco?

Following the rapid collapse of crypto giant FTX and its founder Sam Bankman Fried’s questionable handling of millions of dollars of customer funds, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Ryan Pinder sought to defend the Bahamas which is caught up in the middle of the fiasco.

“The Bahamas is a place of laws. The rule of law, and the exercise of due process, characterize the integrity of our jurisdiction.”

The Bahamas has hosted FTX’s headquarters since 2021 and when allegations surfaced that Bankman-Freid was engaged in unscrupulous financial dealings, many questioned how the country would execute its laws in regard to the exchange and its founder, who stepped down from the troubled company.

“The Securities Commission, Financial Intelligence Unit, and the Financial Crimes Unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force will continue to investigate the facts and circumstances regarding FTX’s insolvency crisis, and any potential violations of Bahamian law.

“They will hold accountable any responsible companies and individuals, and act in cooperation with other regulatory agencies and law enforcement bodies, both here in the Bahamas, and in other countries affected,” Pinder said on Sunday night in a televised national address.

Bankman-Fried has since retweeted Pinder’s 23-minute remarks, which mostly recapped the fiasco.

Pinder’s speech was prerecorded which meant journalists could not ask questions.

As Pinder concluded, he said, “while new facts emerge every day, there is still much to discover.”

Pinder suggested that the Bahamas should not be entirely blamed for the fiasco as it is a complex matter.

“Any attempt to lay the entirety of this debacle at the feet of the Bahamas, because FTX is headquartered here, would be a gross oversimplification of reality,” he said.

“And it is deeply misguided to conclude that reluctance to communicate the details of an active investigation means that nothing is happening.”

It remains to be seen what actions if any, the Bahamas will take.

Sam Bankman-Fried Will Appear at New York Summit Next Week After Fall as Crypto King

Fallen crypto knight Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear at New York Times Summit-Deal Book next week, joining USA Former Vice President Mike Pence, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerburg, Ukraine President Volodymer Zelensky and Isreal Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu.

This is surprising since the tumultuous collapse of FTX into bankruptcy. The exchange which he founded and once led has since been rattled with alleged mishandling of customer funds and other corporate failings.

Bankman-Fried will be interviewed by journalist Andrew Sorkin on November 30. He posted the announcement to social media.

Sorkin responded, “There are a lot of important questions to be asked and answered.

“Nothing is off limits. Looking forward to it.”

Bankman-Fried has been using his Twitter account to speak directly to customers since the collapse, promising to make them “whole.”

The fee to attend the summit is $2,499, and other speakers include New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Actor Ben Affleck.

New York Times says the summit will give attendees “the opportunities to join more intimate discussions with some of today’s most compelling leaders through networking opportunities and special Groundbreakers lunches.”

“From the biggest business stories of the day to the emerging trends that will shape tomorrow, this is your chance to hear directly from changemakers, and deepen your understanding with the journalistic rigor of the DealBook team.”

Shocked Twitter users responded angrily to the announcement:

 

Next month, Bankman-Fried will appear on Capitol Hill to answer questions pertaining to the fiasco at the exchange where billions of dollars are purported to be lost.

It remains to be seen if Bankman-Fried will be tried before a court for alleged crimes of fraud.

FTX Employees Say Goodbye to Perks Like BMWs. Bankman-Fried Apologizes

Since the collapse of crypto giant FTX, Bahamian employees have been out in the cold, some wondering about their next move after their dream job vanished.

Working for FTX, once valued at 32 billion dollars, meant a hefty salary, a right to company cars like BMWs and Jeeps, a daily intake of steaks and seafood for lunch, and the purchases of groceries bought by the company.

They never imagined the rapid collapse of the company that changed their lives. Now some are locked out of the company’s headquarters and said they cannot reach Vice President of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Valdez Russel, the company’s Bahamas liaison, Forbes reported.

An anonymous employee still working for the company said, “It’s messed up because in the Bahamas this has happened a couple of times. Big foreign entities come into town and we get these big things. Then the sh-tshow comes down.”

A current employee said he was bothered by Bankman-Fried’s incessant tweets. “He’s not taking it seriously. You’re writing this cryptic bullsh-t and the only thing you have to say is ‘sorry.’”

“It’s f-ked up man.”

Bankman-Fried who stepped down as CEO on Nov. 11, recently released an apologetic letter on Tuesday, to be shared among FTX’s employees.

“I didn’t mean for any of this to happen, and I would give anything to be able to go back and do things over again. You were my family,” he said. “I’ve lost that, and our old home is an empty warehouse of monitors. When I turn around, there’s no one left to talk to.

“I froze up in the face of pressure and leaks and the Binance [letter of intent to purchase FTX], and said nothing,” he said.

The letter continued, “Maybe there is still a chance to save the company.”

“I believe that there are billions of dollars of genuine interest from new investors that could go to making customers whole. But I can’t promise you that anything will happen, because it’s not my choice.”

John Ray, who was at the center of Enron bankruptcy filings, is now the CEO of FTX and while at FTX bankruptcy filings, revealed corporate failings at the exchange headquartered in the Bahamas.

Bankman-Fried revealed in tweets that he was “reluctant” to file bankruptcy but was “pressured” to do so.

Sam Bankman-Fried Spent an Insane $100,000 a Week On Meals

It is no secret, FTX’s former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was a billionaire and he had lots of money to spend and give away.

And Bankman-Fried knew how to eat. The disgraced crypto king spent a whopping $100,000 a week on food.

Reports are that he ordered massive amounts of food in a week from local restaurants in Nassau.  And what he could not eat, he donated or threw away.

Forbes reported Bankman-Fried had a weekly catering schedule where eleven restaurants rotated daily, delivering food every hour.

His $ 100,000-a-week order of food included steaks and seafood platters.

And much of what he did not eat remained in the lobby which he transformed into a makeshift kitchen.

Bankman also frequented Shima, The Island House, where staffers recalled the group of “socially awkward” crypto executives visited for lunch.

“It was like there was a fresh air blowing through here,” one said. “It felt like things were changing for the better…like there was hope.”

Another staff member said, “They were spending other people’s money.”

And when Bankman-Fried felt like eating elsewhere, he frequently visited Cocoplum on West Bay Street, where he dined on French and Mediterranean cuisine served with an island twist, Fox News reported.

Cocoplum Bistro Nassau Restaurant - Nassau, New Providence | OpenTable

Staff members said he stopped by often spending $2,500 a day on meals, and FTX employees also held business meetings at lunchtime, but never returned for happy hour.

“They’re geeks man. They don’t hang out.”

‘I Do Not Know’: Prime Minister Davis Addresses Governing Party’s Tie to FTX

Following weeks of speculations on the governing party’s connection to FTX, the billionaire exchange headquartered in the Bahamas, Prime Minister Philip Davis addressed speculations that the Progressive Liberal Party received money from the exchange.

“Not to my knowledge,” he said when reporters asked whether or not FTX donated to the party’s campaign in 2021 or whether or not anyone in the party took any money from FTX.

He clarified, “I do not hold any wallets. In fact, I’m agnostic to it.”

Davis said he does not know if any Cabinet minister held digital wallets with the crypto giant.

“I do not know that.”

Why it matters

Former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is known for his altruism and has given away millions of dollars to international and national charities.

US politicians have also received millions of dollars in campaign donations from ‘the crypto genius.’

Sam Bankman-Fried is thought to have close ties to the Progressive Liberal Party. The Opposition has questioned the governing party, asking, whether or not the PLP accepted donations from Bankman-Fried, did the party hold digital wallets with FTX, and whether it did its due diligence to screen the company before its operation in the Bahamas.

The big picture

FTX, valued at 32 billion dollars, filed for bankruptcy last week. And Sam Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO.

John Ray, the man known for overseeing the Enron scandal in the US, is the new CEO of FTX.

The collapse has caused chaos in the financial market. However, Bankman-Fried, now a crypto villain, says he is still working to recoup customer funds, purported to be billions of dollars lost in the collapse.

FTX has a big hole in its balance sheet and owes its top 50 creditors alone, some 3.1 billion dollars.

State of Play

Davis’ expressions like “Not to my knowledge” and “I do not know” may not be outright denials as reported by some local media. It can mean that he is not completely certain or the information has not been officially presented to him.

 

FTX Sam Bankman-Fried Says He Is Bunkered Down in His Bahamas Home, Trying to Bail Out Customers

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, the billion-dollar exchange, told CNBC, he is trying to secure a deal to bail out his customers caught in the company’s catastrophic bankruptcy.

CNBC caught up with Bankman-Fried at his home in the Bahamas where FTX was headquartered. Though he declined an on-camera interview, he told the reporter he was focused on recovering customer funds and is working to secure a deal.

“I think we should be trying to get as much value to users as possible. I hate what happened and deeply wish that I had been more careful,” Bankman-Fried lamented.

Bankman-Fried also maintained that the company had “segregated balances,” in other jurisdictions including the US, adding “there are billions of dollars of potential funding opportunities out there” to restore customer monies.

Why it matters

Bankman-Fried is no longer the CEO of FTX, but stepped down after the crypto scandal. The question remains can he broker a deal because he no longer has access to the company’s systems.

Venture capital investors told CNBC that since the bankruptcy, Bankman-Fried has been calling to secure funding.

Which venture capitalist would be willing to bail out the exchange?

The big picture

FTX has a big hole in its balance sheet and owes its top 50 creditors alone, some 3.1 billion dollars.

 

Photo credit: Fox News

Prime Minister Davis ‘Us vs Them’ Mentality on the FTX Fiasco Is Manipulative

FTX, the 32-billion dollar exchange, with its headquarters in the Bahamas has made a mess of the crypto market since its collapse and has now become a global conversation.

As scrutiny arises, Prime Minister Philip Davis who has welcomed former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to the Bahamas has remained mum on the fiasco, only to say “those who care about our country’s reputation” should tread carefully when they speak about the complex matter involving FTX which he says is still “unfolding.”

“There is a reason that the Bahamas won international praise for the approach we have taken, to date, on digital assets, and there is also plenty of room to have a healthy debate about the industry, but this is a story that has the world’s attention, and those who use it to mislead and score cheap political points are no patriots,” Davis said.

His comments in the House of Assembly are manipulative and are steeped in an antiquated belief system.

It’s an attempt to keep the public quiet while the world talks about the issue and suggests that to ask questions, you’re doing something wrong.

It also suggests that any attempt to discuss FTX is “unpatriotic” and will ruin the country’s image.

Davis attempts to implement an ‘us versus them’ mentality which can be destructive, divides the Bahamas from the rest of the world, and forces Bahamians to pick a side and automatically make judgments about the other side without taking a realistic view of what happened.

Opposition Leader Michael Pintard then responded stating that he was surprised “at the brevity and to a large extent, the hollowness” of the prime minister’s remarks on the downfall of FTX.

“We are facing a substantial risk to our financial services sector and one would’ve expected that since the international community’s eyes are trained on the Commonwealth of The Bahamas that on this occasion that this Davis-Cooper administration would’ve thought it necessary to break its silence much earlier with a far more comprehensive statement given the gravity of this.”

There may be circumstances where Davis’ concept of waiting until all the evidence is brought to the forefront before making allegations, could be applied, but FTX is global.  The fiasco is not a secret. The world’s a global village.

Bankman-Fried was a crypto sensation living and working in the Bahamas and rubbed shoulders with prominent US politicians and A-list celebrities. Therefore, his headquarters in the Bahamas will bring scrutiny.

Of course, Bahamians have questions and they deserve to be answered and one’s patriotism should not be based on the questions they have about FTX’s dealings and connection to the governing party.

Bahamians deserve to know more from Davis and he should willingly answer any of the questions from the Opposition leader such as did the PLP accept donations from Bankman-Fried, did it hold digital wallets with FTX, and whether it did its due diligence to screen the company before its operation in the Bahamas.

Davis should not expect Bahamians to stick to his script.