Monday, April 01, 2024

Crazy Like A Fox

I don't know what he believes, or if he has some grand long term plan (cunning or not), but he has convinced a lot of people both that this is basically true and that it's relevant.
“They could have been paid back,” he said, sounding almost incredulous that it hadn’t been done yet. “There were enough assets, there are enough assets to pay back all customers, all creditors in full at current prices, at prices at the time, with interest.”

The scale of Bankman-Fried’s delusion was breathtaking. Whatever set of figures he was working from bore no resemblance to the reports of prosecutors, forensic accounts, and bankruptcy lawyers. Perhaps he knew what was in his disordered financial empire better than anyone—or maybe he would lie for as long as he could, insisting that while he was responsible, he had just made some “bad decisions.” The central article of his delusive management regime at FTX was always that things could have been fixed—if only people had listened and given him more time.
This was Michael Lewis:
Late in the book, you talk about trying to find where the lost billions of FTX customer deposits, before concluding that most of it wasn’t actually lost in the first place: “Where did all that money go? The answer? Nowhere. It was still there.” Can you explain this to me? If we are now at $8.6 billion in customer deposits lost, Mr. John Ray [who was brought in as FTX CEO after its collapse] has actually collected, as he claims, $7.3 billion of liquid assets. And he has not sold a lot of the VC [venture capital] portfolios. I’ve interviewed a couple traders who actually think they might get 100 cents on the dollar. I think this is a really interesting thing that has not gotten enough attention: how much of the money is still there.
He slides quickly from "it was still there" to a somewhat less confident claim, but he basically believes that SBF would've figured out how to cover his losses if he had a bit more time and that this is somehow important.