When cryptocurrency exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy November 11, the company’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, announced the news in a contrite message on Twitter.
But his attempt to calm the situation belied what had just taken place within the company. As the crisis unfolded, a group of FTX lawyers and executives moved to strip authority from Bankman-Fried and urged the company’s top leaders to prepare for bankruptcy. For days, Bankman-Fried ignored their warnings and clung to power, seemingly convinced that he could save the firm, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
“The exchanges must be halted immediately,” Ryne Miller, a top FTX lawyer, wrote in an email to Bankman-Fried and other staff November 10. “The founding team is not currently in a cooperative posture.”
Bankman-Fried eventually relented, stepping down as FTX’s CEO and authorising the company to file for bankruptcy. Dozens of pages of internal company emails and texts obtained by The New York Times offer a detailed look at those chaotic final days, as messages flew back and forth among FTX officials who seemed to be growing increasingly irritated with the 30-year-old founder.
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Throughout, Bankman-Fried appeared deluded about FTX’s prospects, insisting that he could find a way to keep the company running, the documents show. A day before the bankruptcy filing, he told employees that he was trying to raise new funding, and as recently as last week he said he regretted authorizing the bankruptcy.
The messages reviewed by The Times and interviews with insiders show how a small group of lawyers and executives struggled to get through toRead more on moneycontrol.com