Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, was questioned by New York Times journalist Andrew Sorkin in his very first public appearance through a video call. Sorkin threw a barrage of questions towards the former CEO and also questioned him about the money that had vanished from the exchange immediately after it had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Bankman-Fried briefly touched on this subject while stating that he was currently cut off from FTX’s systems.
The FTX US team and Bahamian regulators had both seized some, along with some “actual improper access,” which he was unable to detail. This was the “answer to the extent that I know it,” SBF said.
Talking about his contributions and donations which made headlines, SBF said that lawmakers were not ruling FTX. When asked about who’s money they were using to make donations to the Democratic party, SBF said that it was mainly from the profits they made.
“So I mean, lawmakers were not ruling on FTX. FTX didn’t have an application before Congress for anything. You know, my donations were mostly for pandemic prevention. And they were looking at primary elections where there were candidates who are outspoken in favor of doing things now to prevent the next pandemic.”
SBF speaks about properties in The Bahamas
Bankman-Fried also clarified his real estate in the Bahamas and explained that his parent’s property was not intended to be their long-term property. He said that there were a lot of property purchases in the Bahamas because top Silicon valley employees came down to work there
“And, you know, we were trying to incentivize that and to, you know, make sure that they had an easy way to find a comfortable life that they’d be willing to move and, and help build out the product,” SBF said.
But he also said that he feels ‘bad’ for them because they bought properties of their own in the Bahamas.
“And so, you know, those hundred people put together here did end up buying a substantial amount of property. So it kind of, I feel bad about some of how those investments may turn out for them ….”