Sam Bankman-Fried: Reflections on FTX's Collapse

Tanya Sharma
Tanya Sharma Published on September 16, 2023 09:46 PM

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Sam Bankman-Fried: Reflections on FTX's Collapse
Source: Unsplash

Recently, private writings belonging to Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, were leaked to the New York Times, offering a rare glimpse into his state of mind during the tumultuous period surrounding the collapse of his crypto empire.

While the full context remains unclear, these writings unveil a perspective marked by a lack of accountability and a focus on personal reputation. Let's delve into the revelations and what they reveal about Bankman-Fried's outlook.

A Disconcerting Lack of Responsibility

Absence of Acknowledgment

One striking aspect of Bankman-Fried's writings is his apparent unwillingness to accept any responsibility for the catastrophic events that transpired.

There is no mention of the staggering $8 billion loss, nor the impact on individuals who entrusted their life savings to FTX. Instead, his concern seems centred on his own public image.

A Baffling Self-Centeredness

“I’m broke and wearing an ankle monitor and one of the most hated people in the world,” he lamented. This statement showcases a level of self-involvement that is hard to fathom, given the gravity of the situation.

It raises questions about his understanding of the immense repercussions of FTX's collapse.

Challenging Notions of Impact and Responsibility

A Troubling Perspective

Bankman-Fried's assertion that he did what he believed was right, despite the circumstances, reflects a problematic "ends justify the means" mindset.

This mindset likely played a role in the events leading up to FTX's downfall, suggesting a need for deeper reflection on his approach to business and responsibility.

Effective Altruism Reconsidered

His adherence to a brand of "effective altruism," which centres around pursuing profit with the intent to later distribute wealth for maximum impact, comes into question.

The revelations shed light on the limitations of this philosophy, particularly when profit is pursued at any cost.

The Family Connection

An article delving into the lives of Bankman-Fried's parents, both Stanford Law School professors, offers a unique perspective on the philosophies that may have influenced his own approach.

It underscores the idea that certain beliefs and attitudes can have a generational impact.


The leaked writings provide a rare opportunity to gain insights into Sam Bankman-Fried's mindset during a critical period in his life.

They highlight a concerning lack of accountability and a focus on personal reputation, raising questions about the values and philosophies that guided his actions.

As we reflect on this revelation, it serves as a reminder of the importance of ethical decision-making and responsibility in the world of finance and entrepreneurship.

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