Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of disgraced cryptocurrency exchange FTX, admitted he screwed up as the company’s leader.
He said it was not his intention and that he wasn’t trying to commit fraud.
Sam Bankman-Fried recently appeared on video at the New York Times DealBook Summit in New York.
“There are things I would do anything to do over again,” said SBF during the summit.
“I was shocked by what happened this month.”
In early November, Sam Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO after filing for bankruptcy with the company and dozens of its subsidiaries.
Clients from all over the world are now rushing to get back the billions they deposited on FTX.
SBF’s multi-billion dollar private wealth all but disappeared overnight.
Additionally, crypto companies with financial exposure to FTX are starting to succumb.
One of the questions surrounding SBF is whether the platform stole money from clients by lending money to its Alameda hedge fund.
“I didn’t knowingly commingle funds,” SBF said.
“I was frankly surprised by how big Alameda’s position was.”
FTX had a run on the banks early last month.
However, it quickly collapsed during a liquidity crisis.
“Look, I screwed up,” admitted SBF. “I was CEO of FTX… I had a responsibility.”
Sam Bankman-Fried admitted that FTX lacked corporate controls and risk management in the companies he supervised.
While filing for bankruptcy, FTX’s new CEO described the deal as a “complete failure.”
“There was no other person who was chiefly in charge of positional risk of customers on FTX,” said Bankman-Fried.
“And that feels pretty embarrassing in retrospect.”
It is still being determined how much FTX customers will recover during the company’s restructuring.
Sam Bankman-Fried hinted that American and Japanese customers could be made whole, but he didn’t suggest how it could happen.
Additionally, his previous progress statements are being reviewed after his lack of oversight came to light.
When the liquidity crunch started, SBF tweeted that its FTX business was doing well and said it had enough to satisfy customer interest.
However, he deleted the tweet within a day and attempted to orchestrate a bailout that ended up falling apart.
SBF’s admission that he had no oversight brought up questions about his knowledge.
Federal prosecutors are investigating FTX for Southern New York County after the company collapsed.
According to a person who knows the matter, authorities from the Bahamas, where FTX operated, are also investigating the company.
Additionally, financial regulators are working with the company’s new management.
The regulators are led by restructuring specialists who are guiding FTX through bankruptcy.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s appearance at the DealBook summit came weeks after he released several apologies.
His apologies surprised the press.
During his interview on Wednesday, SBF was asked if his lawyers had urged him to speak.
“They’re very much not,” he replied.
“And I mean, you know the classic advice, right? ‘Don’t say anything, you know, recede into a hole.'”
“I have a duty to explain what happened,” added SBF.
“I don’t see what good is accomplished by me just sitting locked in a room pretending the outside world doesn’t exist.”
Sam Bankman-Fried was also asked about his fortune, initially estimated at $26 billion when the company was at its peak.
However, according to the SBF, he gave everything to FTX and believes he has $100,000 in his bank account.