Nearly a year on from the collapse of crypto exchange FTX - and on the eve of co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried's trial - author Michael Lewis has enraged those in finance and crypto alike.
He painted a empathy portrait of Sam Bankman-Fried. In an interview on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday, the author made Bankman-Fried out to be an unfortunate Robin Hood who stumbled into the multi-billion-dollar collapse of FTX last year.
tbe a run on customer deposits, they'd still be sitting there making tons of money, Lewis said. Sam Bankman-Fried, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, genuinely thinks he's innocent, Lewis said.
Lewis has chronicled Wall Street characters in s poker and his latest book, 'S Poker. '
The reaction from the interview shows that when it comes to FTX, crypto and traditional finance are really aligned, said Sean Tuffy, a regulation expert and former Citigroup executive.
T a fraud and was just undone by market rumours, Tuffy said, referring to Lewis comments that FTX was a good business, ultimately undoned by a run on deposits.
Short seller Jim Chanos likened the comments to those of Enron, the energy company he sounded the alarm of fraud on more than twenty years ago.
t for those meddling short-sellers and journalists causing a run-on-the-bank, we would've been fine, Chanos wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, making light of the argument.
Insolvency is when a company's debt exceeds its total assets, while illiquidity is when a company does not have enough liquid assets to cover its current debts.
The natives of cryptocurrencies agree. The comments were branded as 'insane' by Mike Dudas, the founder of The Block, while Messari's Ryan Selkis said he was infuriated by the interview.
The book is a letter to the jury, Lewis said, before adding that there was a'story war going on in the courtroom' between the prosecution and the defence.
Lewis said he was unable to comment on the decision.
Lewis met Sam Bankman-Fried in the behest of a friend who wanted to invest with him two years ago, and he took him on a hike in Berkeley Hills, California - his jaw was on the floor the entire time.
Lewis was surprised by his freshly minted billionaire, who had no interest in splurging his money on yachts, he wanted to'spend it to save humanity from extinction,' Lewis said.
The conversation put him on a red alert, but he didn't know what it was, but he knew something was going to happen to Sam Bankman-Friend. Then he did just that, following him around for the next two years, which culminated in the multi-billion dollar collapse of FTX and its trading arm Alameda Research last November.
Lewis' book will be released on October 3, the same day Sam Bankman-Fried's trial will begin.
The one-time Wall Street trader and crypto founder's charges include securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
Adam Morgan McCarthy, DL News' London-based Markets Correspondent, co-founded the DL News.