“I don’t really have a soul.” This admission was made by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) in the book Going Infinite by Michael Lewis, writes The Block.
The biography reveals the ex-crypto billionaire’s internal struggles stemming from his contentious relationship with former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison. The writer concluded that Bankman-Fried found himself in a difficult position due to the need to combine a public role at FTX with responsibilities at Alameda.
“In many ways I have no soul” — admitted SBF in a note to his ex-lover.
The former head of FTX used a pros and cons analytical approach to assess his relationship with Ellison. The latter included both perceived shortcomings and the potential PR disaster that their relationship could lead to. The list of “pros” was laconic, reflecting his affection.
SBF decided to delegate day-to-day operations at Alameda to Sam Trabucco and Allison. He entrusted the first one with trading risk management, the second one — team management. Bankman-Fried later promoted his lover to co-CEO, allowing her to combine both functions, becoming her sole boss.
According to Lewis, this change created some complications because they had more than just a professional relationship. Allison, in turn, counted on their development, and SBF — opposed.
“There is a pretty good argument that my empathy and feelings are fake. I’m worried about the leadership dynamic between us. This could ruin Alameda if things go really badly from a PR standpoint.” — said in his message.
On the other hand, Bankman-Fried was attracted to Allison, feeling able to speak openly with her and considering her “good, smart and impressive, with sound judgment.”
The response notes revealed the desire of the ex-CEO of Alameda for a more traditional relationship. The ex-lover complained that they had to hide their relationship. She thought SBF was ashamed of her.
“If I felt like you were also positive about people knowing we were dating but just thought it was a bad idea to share it, it would be easier for me. I feel like if I were better/more interesting, you wouldn’t be ashamed if people knew we were dating.”, — Allison explained.
Lewis’s book also includes a chapter on the collapse of the platform. It states that ex-CTO Nishad Singh pleaded with the SBF to insist that he was not involved even though changes in the code directly indicated this. The former top manager gave instructions to Bankman-Fried regarding the necessary actions after a request from law enforcement agencies.
Michael Lewis’ biography also states that the former FTX CEO once discussed paying off all of the Bahamas’ government debt with the country’s prime minister. It was about $10 billion.
In February 2023, the ex-CTO admitted his guilt. Caroline Ellison and technical director of the exchange Gary Wang, as well as ex-CEO of the Bahamas division of FTX Ryan Salame also agreed to cooperate with the investigation. The SEC later charged Singh with defrauding investors.
Let us remind you that the first hearing in the case of FTX and SBF will take place on October 3. Before the hearings, ForkLog collected current news from the defense and prosecution.