Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former CEO of FTX, appeared before the public for the first time in person since FTX’s demise at the DealBook Summit in New York.
Journalist Andrew Sorkin from the New York Times spoke to Bankman-Fried via video call during the hour-long interview, which took place on stage.
The two talked about a variety of topics, including whether or not FTX and Alameda Research were commingling customer funds, what Bankman-Fried would say to clients who had lost everything in FTX, and whether he was worried about being held criminally responsible for FTX’s demise.
SBF speaks about the commingling of funds
SBF asserts that he “unknowingly commingled funds” between Alameda and customer funds at FTX in one of the earlier segments of the interview.
The customers’ funds that were deposited with FTX and loaned to its sister company Alameda were referred to in this case as “commingling.”
Sorkin cited a comment made earlier by a viewer who noted that this incident occurred despite FTX’s terms of service stating that they would act as if the customers’ digital assets were their own even though they are not.
There appears to be a genuine commingling of funds belonging to FTX customers that aren’t supposed to be commingled with your separate firm, according to Sorkin.
However, Bankman-Fried denied being aware of the combined funds and attributed it to inefficient oversight.
“I unknowingly commingled funds […] I was frankly surprised by how big Alameda’s position was which points to another failure of oversight on my part and failure to appoint someone to be chiefly in charge of that.” “But I wasn’t trying to comingle funds.”SBF
By claiming he wasn’t aware of all the company’s activities, Bankman-Fried further appeared to deflect responsibility for Alameda’s actions.
When Sorkin questioned Bankman-Fried about whether he was worried about his potential criminal liability at this point, the former CEO replied that it wasn’t his main concern.
Even though he’s had a “bad month,” Bankman-Fried insisted that he isn’t worrying about his own future and that what matters is doing everything in his power to support FTX’s stakeholders and customers.