Those of you who do will know that Lewis has been generating almost as much controversy as the alleged criminal himself over the past week. But it wasn’t so much the book — the publication of which was timed to coincide with the beginning of SBF’s trial — that provoked the outrage; it was a clip from an interview Lewis gave on CBS’s 60 Minutes that was really getting people riled up. I was one of those people.
“This isn’t a Ponzi scheme,” he tells host Jon Wertheim in the short video. “In this case, they actually had a great, real business. If no one had ever cast aspersions on the business, if there hadn’t been a run on customer deposits, they’d still be sitting there making tons of money.”
Lewis’s take is a terrible one. To call a crypto exchange that managed to lose $8bn in customers’ money — even if this failing was somehow completely innocent and accidental — a “great business” is a bizarre and unsound assessment. In case we’ve forgotten: FTX held just 10 per cent of its liabilities in liquid assets the day before the exchange collapsed into bankruptcy. It was not allowed to do this; FTX was not a bank.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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