In confidential documents revealed to The New York Times, the FTX founder expressed worries about potentially becoming one of the most despised figures globally. The New York Times has recently obtained a collection of writings attributed to Sam Bankman-Fried, believed to have been composed during a period of house arrest. While the most captivating segments, such as a rumoured 70-page Twitter thread presenting the former FTX CEO’s perspective on the business failure where Sam Bankman Fried blames everyone, have not yet been disclosed, there are significant quotations and insights that provide additional context to SBF’s mindset both before and after the decline of his cryptocurrency empire.
Bankman-Fried’s Unwillingness to Acknowledge Responsibility Amidst Personal Reflections
Notably, Sam Bankman Fried blames everyone and continues to evade any responsibility for the unfolding events – refusing to acknowledge the inexplicable disappearance of $8 billion, the devastating loss of individuals’ life savings, or the looming possibility of spending decades in prison. Strangely, his paramount regret appears to revolve around his tarnished public image, as though the ongoing court hearings and bankruptcy proceedings are mere distractions from the life he believed he was destined to lead as a revered and generous statesman.
In all fairness, it’s essential to note that the New York Times did not provide sufficient context regarding why or when Bankman-Fried penned these sentiments. These writings essentially represent a personal diary that has been made public. Nevertheless, one cannot help but wonder at the astonishing degree of self-absorption required to express a sense of financial destitution after causing such profound losses for countless individuals.
The collapse of Bankman-Fried’s empire undeniably brought his lavish lifestyle crashing down as well, characterized by an affinity for opulent real estate, private jets, and instantaneous deliveries. It serves as yet another illustration of how his portrayal as an unassuming billionaire, reminiscent of an everyday person driving a Corolla, was merely a facade.
Family Philosophy: How Bankman-Fried’s Parents Shaped His Ethical Perspective
Even worse, he purportedly penned the words, “And the truth is that I did what I thought was right.” When taken in conjunction with the previous statement, this reflects the same “ends justify the means” mentality that initially landed Bankman-Fried in trouble.
Much has been discussed regarding SBF’s version of “effective altruism” and why individuals who prioritize profit above all else, believing they can make a more significant impact by personally directing their philanthropy, often prove to be ineffective. A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article delving into SBF’s parents, Stanford Law School professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, illustrates how certain philosophical leanings seem to run in the family.
Bankman and Fried supported SBF on his ascent to fame and continue to do so despite his notoriety, even though he jeopardized their multi-million-dollar property by violating his bail conditions. Bankman, in particular, reportedly made regular appearances at FTX, attending what could loosely be described as board meetings within the grossly mismanaged company.
Consequentialism and the Bankman-Fried Legacy
If SBF may have inherited his “business sense,” for whatever it’s worth, from his father, it appears that he has also embraced his mother’s entire ethical framework. SBF has gained recognition as a prominent consequentialist philosopher—a group of thinkers who delve into profound moral dilemmas like the Trolley Problem or engage in abstract scenarios that ponder whether it’s ethically superior to allow a train to harm one person or actively switch a lever, leading to the harm of many.
Therefore, it’s a family deeply committed to the pursuit of doing good, including Gabe Bankman-Fried, Sam’s younger brother, who oversaw a charitable organization predominantly funded by FTX proceeds. Interestingly, Gabe often entertained the idea of purchasing a private island dedicated to pioneering research in life extension without external interference.
A Narrative of Blame-Shifting and Consequences
While Bankman-Fried appears either unwilling or unable to confront his own decisions, his private writings reveal a fixation on the errors of those around him. Most notably, he seems to have crafted a narrative placing blame on his former girlfriend and ex-employee, Caroline Ellison. In one instance, he explicitly states that Ellison was responsible for a detrimental trade that resulted in financial distress for both FTX and Alameda, as she failed to hedge the hedge fund adequately.
What’s peculiar is that prior to encountering this cascade of problems, Sam Bankman Fried blames everyone and seemed relatively unconcerned with the consequences of his actions. Now that his once-attainable goals have become seemingly unattainable, he continues to display an unconcerned demeanour. It’s disheartening, particularly when considering his assertion in a “Truth” document where he stated, “It’s something that I believe fairly strongly in.”
Sam Bankman-Fried’s private writings reveal a complex narrative of evasion and blame-shifting. Despite the gravity of the situation and the consequences of his actions, he appears reluctant to take responsibility for the downfall of FTX. Instead, he points fingers at others, constructing alternative narratives. This highlights the challenge of reconciling his previous indifference to consequences with his current predicament. Ultimately, Bankman-Fried’s journey serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of prioritizing personal ambitions over ethical considerations.