Sorkin, Alameda, SAM discussed on CoinDesk Podcast Network


Hedge fund was leveraging long all of these coins? Please ask him if he thinks what happened was fraud. These are the kind of letters I've been getting repeatedly over and over the past couple days. What do you tell this man? Now Sam for his part chose not to answer any of the actual questions about his decision, which was of course the question subject to give customer funds to Alameda. Instead he talks about Alameda's positions on the platform. Sorkin then cuts him off, the bigger question is where Alameda got the loan from. There is a view that this is about commingling of funds. In that letter, this gentleman actually copy and paste the terms of service for FTX into the email. None of the digital assets in your account are the property of or should be loaned to FTX trading, FTX trading does not represent a treat digital assets and user accounts belonging to FTX trading. So how is it possible that Alameda had this loan of such a large size? Sam says in one of the sleaziest answers, there's that piece of the terms of service, but there were a number of other parts of the terms of service in a number of other parts of the platform on top of that. He then talks to the borrow and lend portion and the futures portion claims that the platform could margin call all of those positions and close them when needed, but Sorkin cuts him off again and says, let's make this very straight. Was there comingling of funds? That's when it appears like. It appears like there was a genuine commingling of the funds of FTX customers that were not supposed to be commingled with your separate firm. Sam says I didn't knowingly commingle funds. I wasn't trying to commingle funds. Now the savvy observer here will note that it's not totally clear how much it matters whether he was quote unquote trying to or not. It certainly reads again like someone mounting a defensive gross mismanagement not fraud. But I wasn't trying to commit fraud might not be the strongest argument. Later on in the interview, Sorkin brings up Carolyn Ellison from Alameda, who had told staffers that Alameda used FTX client funds to cover loans that were being recalled because of the Luna triggered credit crunch. According to The Wall Street Journal, Caroline said that she, Sam and Gary were all aware of that. Sorkin asks how do you square that with what you said on Twitter that this was an $8 billion accounting mistake? Sam didn't really answer this one. Now a little later, Sorkin does push hard and lead Sam to start to reveal what sort of seems like another part of his plan, which is to pin this all in Alameda. At one point he said I wasn't running Alameda. I didn't know exactly what was going on. I didn't know the size of their position. To that, Jake stravinsky wrote, if you're Carolyn Ellison or Sam trabuco right now, I assume you're watching this and thinking very hard about your options. DoJ is only a phone call away. Another part of the interview that has gotten much coverage was when Sorkin asked Sam if he could go back to the U.S. to which Sam said to my knowledge I could, which short can then followed with how concerned are you about criminal liability at this point? Sam says I don't personally think that I have. It's a long interview so I'm skipping over a lot, but one of the more egregious seeming lies was when Sam said, I don't know the details of that house for my parents, but I know that it was not intended for their long-term property. Barf. Anyways, at the end, Sorkin asks were you truthful with us today and Sam says he was. And then Sorkin says I want to thank you for this interview. I hope that some of the answers have been helpful as we try to understand and entangle what is still a tangled story. I know this has been a difficult conversation and a tough conversation. On behalf of everyone here and on behalf of the public, I want to thank you for engaging in at a time and truth when I know you've been advised not to. At that point Sam gets a round of applause, which is just super weird. Now clips of that round of applause have caused a lot of folks on Twitter to be very angry at the interview as a whole. For me, I would give it like a solid C to C plus. Maybe graded on the scale of the rest of the media coverage up to this point, maybe it ekes into the bees, the reason for that is that Sorkin did ask some hard questions. But there can be too many points awarded for that as those are the clear questions. Second, Sorkin did try to drag Sam back to get answers when he obfuscated at least the beginning, he just wasn't really that successful. The third, there were some really big things he missed. Alex Krueger pointed out the Sorkin didn't ask about the $3.3 billion in loans to himself or the Alameda God mode where they didn't get liquidated as they were trading. Now some folks thought it made Sam look bad. Niraj from coin center says, as expected Sam looked terrible and had no answers. Slate wrote a piece called Sam bankman Friedman and other risky bet that didn't quite go as planned. With the juicy line whether the hole that the disgraced crypto Titan finds himself in is merely a reputational or legal or financial, he's now eagerly grabbed a shovel offered up by The New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin. Others though thought this was extremely calculated. Ledger status says I think the play on intent or lack thereof is extremely calculated and may even work. Jake stravinsky said I agree that's the play. It has a nonzero chance of tricking a jury if he wants to go to trial. That's a high risk play since the downside is a life sentence. But hey, Sam never was one to shy away from risk. Still, better chance if he shuts his mouth. Nick Carter took it even farther. This morning he wrote, Sam isn't behaving like a renegade who is ignoring the advice of his lawyers. He's behaving like he has a world class crisis management firm and legal team constructing a very specific and deliberate public narrative. It's not ten D underwater chest. It's just basically legal positioning. Obviously he has an interest in representing that he had no knowledge of Alameda and had no intent to commit fraud. Perceived intent matters. Manslaughter is a lot less worse than first degree premeditated murder. Even simpler Vinnie lingam echoed this point saying the SPF legal strategy is to attempt to characterize fraud as incompetence in order to stay out of jail. In any case, this was the entire conversation for all of last night, but shockingly. I think it was completely upstaged by an interview this morning with of all institutions, Good Morning America. George Stephanopoulos apparently flew to The Bahamas recently and had a two hour conversation with Sam, which was condensed down to what is for my money the best 9 minutes of any interview so far.

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