Sam Bankman-Fried says he was ‘a little cocky’ before FTX crashed

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Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of now-bankrupt FTX, has fallen from the heights of crypto fame, but he’s not going quietly. In back-to-back interviews, he has portrayed himself as an incompetent and remorseful businessman.

“I think I got a little cocky — I mean, a little bit more,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview on Good Morning America.

an important question for Whether crypto exchange platform FTX misused customers’ money in lending billions of dollars to hedge fund Alameda, Bankman-Fried said.

Echoing his comments to The New York Times on Wednesday, Bankman-Fried denied knowing of any improper transfers of client funds between the exchange and Alameda.

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“I would really like to have taken a lot more responsibility to understand the details of what was going on there,” he told Stephanopoulos. “Many people were injured and it’s my fault.”

Ever since Bankman-Fried went from crypto celebrity to pariah almost overnight, commentators have drawn comparisons to financier Bernie Madoff, who was convicted of running a multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme that defrauded thousands of investors.

“I don’t think it’s me, but I understand why they’re saying that,” Bankman-Fried told Stephanopoulos. “When you look at the classic Bernie Madoff story, there was no real business there… FTX – it was real business.”

The ABC interview, recorded in the Bahamas last week, aired just hours after Bankman-Fried’s live-streamed interview with The New York Times on Wednesday night. In that interview, Bankman-Fried admitted that he had made mistakes as managing director, but said he “didn’t try to scam anyone”.

Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO of FTX after he and dozens of affiliates filed for bankruptcy on November 11 in one of the most dramatic corporate booms ever. Almost overnight, customers around the world were scrambling to save billions of dollars. dollar in the funds they deposit on the platform. Bankman-Fried’s own billions of dollars of personal wealth evaporated, and crypto companies with financial exposure to FTX began to collapse.

The collapse of FTX is being investigated by federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York and officials in the Bahamas, where the companies are located, according to a person familiar with the matter. Many Financial regulators are also in touch with the company’s new management, led by restructuring experts tasked with steering FTX through bankruptcy.

Bankman-Fried’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

— Kara Scannell of CNN contributed to the reporting.

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