Bankman-Fried Apologizes to FTX Staff, Particulars Quantity of Leverage in Inside Letter



FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried “froze up within the face of stress” as his firm collapsed, he wrote in a brand new letter despatched to staff of the corporate he as soon as helmed.

Within the letter, shared internally in FTX’s firm Slack and obtained by CoinDesk, Bankman-Fried stated he felt “deeply sorry about what occurred” and what that meant for the corporate’s staff. He didn’t tackle allegations that FTX diverted buyer and company funds to prop up Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Analysis, revelations that Alameda had an exemption from FTX’s regular liquidation course of or statements that Alameda had loaned funds to FTX officers together with himself.

“I did not imply for any of this to occur, and I’d give something to have the ability to return and do issues over once more. You had been my household,” he stated. “I’ve misplaced that, and our previous house is an empty warehouse of displays. After I flip round, there is not any one left to speak to.”

“I froze up within the face of stress and leaks and the Binance [letter of intent to purchase FTX] and stated nothing,” he stated.

Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO of FTX on Nov. 11, proper earlier than his firm filed for chapter. He’s not a present worker of the corporate, new CEO John Ray III has stated after Bankman-Fried tweeted a number of threads and spoke to a reporter in regards to the firm. Tuesday’s letter to FTX staff was posted by a present worker, as Bankman-Fried not has entry to the corporate Slack.

In response to Bankman-Fried, FTX had round $60 billion in collateral and $2 billion in liabilities this spring, however a market crash meant the collateral’s worth was halved.

The “drying up” of credit score within the business additional meant FTX’s collateral was value round $25 billion, although his liabilities measurement jumped to $8 billion.

One other crash in November “led to a different roughly 50% discount within the worth of collateral over a really brief time period,” which he valued at $17 billion on the time.

The financial institution run, brought on by what Bankman-Fried termed “assaults” in November, diminished one other $8 billion in collateral, he stated.

“As we frantically put every thing collectively, it turned clear that the place was bigger than its show on admin/customers, due to previous fiat deposits earlier than FTX had financial institution accounts,” he stated. “I didn’t notice the total extent of the margin place, nor did I notice the magnitude of the danger posed by a hyper-correlated crash.”

Learn extra: Attorneys Element the ‘Abrupt and Troublesome’ Collapse of FTX in First Chapter Listening to

Bankman-Fried “didn’t notice the total extent of the margin place” or the danger {that a} correlated crash meant, he stated.

“The loans and secondary gross sales had been usually used to reinvest within the enterprise – together with shopping for out Binance – and never for giant quantities of private consumption,” he stated.

Bankman-Fried didn’t tackle considerations that buyer funds had been despatched from FTX to Alameda, which had been raised anew through the firm’s first chapter listening to earlier Tuesday.

James Bromley of Sullivan & Cromwell, who offered FTX’s present state of affairs on the chapter listening to in Delaware, stated that “substantial funds seem to have been transferred” to Alameda from different corporations throughout the FTX umbrella, a few of which had been invested in crypto and know-how ventures.

“There have been additionally substantial quantities of cash that had been spent on issues that weren’t associated to the enterprise. For example, one of many U.S. debtors is an entity that’s operated that bought nearly $300 million value of actual property within the Bahamas,” Bromley stated. “Primarily based on preliminary investigations, most of these actual property purchases [were] associated to properties and trip properties that had been utilized by senior executives.”

Nonetheless, the doc gives perception to Bankman-Fried’s considering, together with his obvious perception that he shouldn’t have filed for Chapter 11 chapter, which he first informed a Vox reporter final week.

FTX filed for chapter attributable to “an excessive quantity of coordinated stress,” which Bankman-Fried stated he agreed to “reluctantly.”

“Perhaps there may be nonetheless an opportunity to avoid wasting the corporate,” he stated within the letter Tuesday. “I imagine that there are billions of {dollars} of real curiosity from new buyers that would go to creating prospects entire. However I can not promise you that something will occur, as a result of it isn’t my alternative.”

Danny Nelson contributed reporting.

CORRECTION (Nov. 22 22:30 UTC): The FTX chapter listening to was held Tuesday.

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