Michael Lewis’s new book reveals ex-FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) considered offering Trump $5B to forgo a presidential run.
In a recent revelation, Michael Lewis’s latest book exposes a previously unknown episode involving Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, the former FTX CEO. Lewis uncovers that Bankman-Fried once contemplated offering Donald Trump $5 billion to dissuade him from pursuing the U.S. presidency. This episode, among other critical events, is highlighted in Lewis’s latest offering titled Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon.
For those unfamiliar, Sam Bankman-Fried had skyrocketed to billionaire status due to his involvement with the cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. However, his journey wasn’t always smooth sailing. The latter part of 2022 saw a massive blow to his fortune and reputation when FTX faced a significant collapse.
The idea of paying Trump such an enormous sum might seem shocking to many. Yet, according to Lewis, those familiar with Bankman-Fried’s audacious thinking wouldn’t find this out of character. The amount, a whopping $5 billion, wasn’t random. However, it’s unclear if Trump himself suggested this figure.
Another intriguing part of this revelation involves SBF’s exploration of the legal implications of such an offer. Before FTX’s unfortunate downturn, discussions surrounding the legality of the offer continued. But, with the collapse of FTX and Bankman-Fried no longer possessing the $5 billion, the discussions and the idea itself halted.
From the author’s insights, it’s evident that Bankman-Fried viewed Trump’s political ambitions critically. He perceived Trump as a potential threat to U.S. democracy. SBF apparently felt that Trump might be counted among the significant existential risks facing the nation.
Lewis’s Deep Dive into SBF’s World
To gather in-depth insights for his book, Michael Lewis invested considerable time and effort. He visited SBF multiple times in 2022, spending over 70 days in the Bahamas. The two shared a close rapport, with Lewis even having access to all areas of Bankman-Fried’s residence, as indicated by his admission to having codes to every room.
Furthermore, Lewis’s accounts paint a vivid picture of the aftermath of FTX’s collapse. The situation resembled a scene from a disaster movie, with belongings left haphazardly, reminiscent of the aftermath of Pompeii.
When approached for comments, representatives for both Trump and SBF remained tight-lipped. Mark Botnick, responsible for handling communications related to the SBF case, offered no comment.
As the story unfolds, there’s more in store for Sam Bankman-Fried. A significant trial is slated to commence shortly. The trial’s initial phase will kick off on October 3rd with jury selection, with proceedings officially beginning on October 4th. The case against SBF is formidable, consisting of seven fraud charges. The prosecution will attempt to demonstrate Bankman-Fried’s direct involvement in two primary charges, along with five other conspiracy-related charges.
With the events leading up to the trial and revelations like the proposed $5 billion offer to Trump, the upcoming days promise to be eventful and closely watched by many.