I have been reading the latest book from Michael Lewis, Going Infinite which is about Sam Bankman-Fried (often referred to as SBF). Lewis was thinking about the topic of his next book when he took SBF on a hike in the Berkeley Hills. He knew he had the subject for his book when SBF told him that his financial goal was “infinity dollars.”
Lewis had unprecedented access to a crypto king worth billions who walked around in cargo shorts and limp white socks. SBF also practiced “effective altruism” and spread lots of money around to companies and political campaigns. CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin called him the “J.P. Morgan of crypto.”
After writing most of the book, Michael Lewis had a problem. He didn’t have a third act. Then the SBF company FTX declared bankruptcy, and he was now being compared to Bernie Madoff. He had his third act, which now appears to be coming to a conclusion.
Earlier this month, a jury found SBF guilty on all seven criminal charges. Damian Williams (US Attorney) declared after the trial that, “Sam Bankman-Fried perpetrated one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.” He went on to add that, “While the cryptocurrency industry might be new and the players like Sam Bankman-Fried might be new, this kind of corruption is as old as time.”
The lesson in all of this is “buyer beware.” Celebrities in nearly every field of endeavor invested in SBF’s company. The FTX logo was on the Miami Heat arena and on the uniforms of baseball’s umpires. SBF operated a crypto casino with tokens that were unregistered securities, yet only a few expressed their concerns.
We now know how the third act ended.