Last Updated on May 20, 2023 by Bitfinsider
The author of “Moneyball” and “The Big Short,” financial journalist Michael Lewis, revealed to a crowd at the Bitcoin 2023 conference that he is almost completed writing a book about Sam Bankman-Fried and the demise of the FTX crypto empire that the 30-year-old established.
Lewis claimed that he spoke with members of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle, as well as employees, investors, Bahamas government officials, and American regulators. Even though he has already sold Apple the movie rights, his final book won’t be due for another few months.
Before FTX’s bankruptcy and fraud allegations against the disgraced digital asset tycoon were made public, Lewis began writing the book. He opened up about how he first got the initiative off the ground, telling a Miami gathering that the whole concept began with an unexpected call from a friend who headed a Wall Street firm in 2021.
Lewis recalled the incident while sharing it at the Bitcoin 2023 conference, saying, “It was a really odd call.” ‘I’ve got a problem,’ he remarked. I’m preparing to conduct a transaction in which I will trade shares of my company with another company. It’s a contract of a few hundred million dollars, roughly. Additionally, I feel really at ease with the business. I simply don’t know the man who manages it, though. Simply put, I’m unable to read him. He goes under the name Sam Bankman-Fried.
Lewis claimed that the friend requested that he spend time with Bankman-Fried and report back; this marked the beginning of an expedition that would eventually take him to Hong Kong and the Bahamas and result in interviews with more than a hundred people.
“Two weeks later, he arrives at my Berkeley office tumbling out of an Uber. Shorts, the shirt, and a mop of hair,” Lewis remarked. Although he frequently dresses for hikes, he has never actually taken one.
But then, Lewis added, “we went on a walk and I asked him plenty of things. “First, I called my acquaintance and told him to proceed with the transaction. What possibly might happen? The second factor was that I simply wanted to watch what happened to this person.
Lewis claimed he requested permission to “just watch” and “be a fly on the wall” from Bankman-Fried. Alameda Research’s owner and the FTX concurred, and reporting continued until October of the previous year.
But Lewis wasn’t certain he had enough for a real narrative prior to FTX’s abrupt and spectacular implosion.
Lewis admitted, “I thought ‘I don’t have a book,'” I spoke with someone who I sometimes utilized as a sounding board about this.And he added: “your problem is you don’t have third act. You have the first two acts, but you don’t have a third act. That’s absolutely right. I don’t know how to end it.’ A week later, FTX blows up. I was so grateful.”
Lewis said the book is “great stuff,” though he didn’t go into great depth about its topic. He recalled once breaking into a closed office in Hong Kong and commented that the Bahamas’ workplace had a “feeling of Pompeii” to it after having been evacuated.
“It aims to read like a piece of fiction,” Lewis stated. “If you didn’t know anything about crypto. If you didn’t even know who Sam Bankman-Fried was. You might think ‘this is just a made up story.’ It’s an incredible story.”
Lewis did not provide a firm publishing date but stated that, should one be held, he wants the book’s release to coincide with the beginning of Bankman-Fried’s criminal prosecution. The trial was originally scheduled to begin in October, but Bankman-Fried’s attorneys have indicated they may try to move the date up.
Lewis said, “I’m grateful for the invention of crypto.” He mentioned that he once owned some cryptocurrency that is currently involved in the FTX bankruptcy proceedings.
“It wasn’t much,” he remarked. “I didn’t put all our money into bitcoin.”
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