"If I'm alone, then maybe I'm wrong."
We the Baddies
Wondering if ex-FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who's currently on house arrest at his parents' crib awaiting both criminal and civil trial for fraud, campaign finance law violations, and other very serious charges, did something wrong? He is, too.
"Just, everyone left," SBF told The Financial Times, detailing how, in his eyes at least, the last few days at the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX went down. "I couldn't do it alone. And, if I'm alone, then maybe I'm wrong."
"I am pretty impervious to pressure, but at some point," he continued, "I started to feel like maybe I'm the one who's wrong here."
Us too, Sam. Us too.
Adults in the Room
In the article, the FT lays out a seriously detailed account of the last few more-or-less-functioning days of the once high-flying crypto exchange, reconstructed by way of interviews with unnamed former FTX employees, in addition to written internal and external FTX correspondence. Unsurprisingly, the word "chaotic" seems to barely even cut it.
"It was this combination of a real, physical hurricane and a psychological hurricane," said one former employee. "It was the most crazy, hectic 24 hours of my life. I felt like my worldview was falling apart. FTX was not just a job for me and for other people. FTX was my life."
While most of the fallen FTX's former execs are said to be working with the US government in the case against Bankman-Fried, the 29-year-old Palo Alto native has maintained his innocence, continuing to insist that if he'd been left to helm the company, FTX investors would have already gotten at least some of their money back.
"It felt to me like everyone around me had lost their minds all at once. And everyone is behaving bizarrely poorly," Bankman-Fried told the FT, explaining that, as the walls started to close in, his friends and advisors all seemed to crumble under the pressure. "I did feel sort of like there were no adults left in the room, like everyone is a child now."
Indeed, from the outside, it certainly does seem like FTX was run by too many too-young kids. That, said, though, whether he's criminally convicted or not, Bankman-Fried was the 20-something-in-chief, allegedly still managing billions of assets in Quickbooks and chatting with fellow execs in a groupchat called "Wirefraud." His employees may not have acted like perfect grown-ups, but neither, it seems, did he.
READ MORE: 'Sam? Are you there?!' The bizarre and brutal final hours of FTX [The Financial Times]
More on behaving like an adult: SBF and Caroline Ellison Allegedly Had a Secret Groupchat Called "Wirefraud"