I caught his eye a couple times but couldn’t get a read. However, I think his emptiness of expression helped me to make some sense of all this. Sam Bankman-Fried, known as a math nerd and effective altruist, saw the world in probabilities and calculations, going so far as to figure out he had a “5 percent chance of becoming president someday,” per his ex-girlfriend and most damning witness, Caroline Ellison. What did he think were the odds he could get away with losing billions of dollars of fiat and cryptocurrency capital from customers, investors, and friends who’d trusted him? Maybe the exact number doesn’t matter, and never did; SBF presented himself as someone willing to bet on just about anything, even if such a bet gambled with the entirety of human existence. If there were a nonzero chance of a truly positive outcome, no matter how dire the alternative, it might have been a chance worth taking. SBF clearly thought he had a worthy-enough shot at a lot of things—at ballooning his wealth and influence in perpetuity, at remaking significant aspects of the world in the way he deemed best, at getting himself out of any scrapes along the way. Yet in the long term—ha?—he overplayed his hand and destroyed himself, as well as a lot of other people’s savings and livelihoods. In the end, that was just the cost of some ill-fated gambling. It’s not really a tragedy, but it’s not a farce either. It’s kinda just pathetic.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
Join Us On LinkedIn
Join the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Group on LinkedIn