Sam Bankman-Fried, whose founding and subsequent cratering of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange has already been well documented and publicized, is in a much different financial situation than he was only a few weeks ago. While many would probably be thrilled to log onto their online bank accounts and see a $100,000 balance, for a former billionaire like Bankman-Fried it’s basically the financial equivalent of running on fumes. But in a sign of just how far the collapse of FTX has brought him, he recently estimated that he had about that amount left to his name.
In Bankman-Fried’s first public remarks about the state of his own personal finances, he laid it out out in a discussion with Axios on those grim financial details:
“Am I allowed to say a negative number? I mean, I have no idea. I don’t know. I had $100,000 in my bank account last I checked…It’s complicated. Basically everything I had was just tied up in the company.”
That’s enough for walking around for a while but for somebody whose net worth once climbed as high as $26.5 billion, it’s a pretty steep drop (and from $15 billion where it was the night before the crash, the steepest single-day wealth drop in history). Bankman-Fried didn’t go into much more detail about his finances, not mentioning any of the allegations of improper spending (to say the least) he engaged in while at the top of the FTX heap, including he and others in the FTX inner circle spending a reported $300 million on luxury properties in the Bahamas, except to make this concession:
“There’s certainly an extent to which that I wish there had been someone who wasn’t me who was in charge of managing conflicts of interest…I wish that I had more reporting and transparency to outside parties.”
Whether Bankman-Fried’s estimate is accurate or even intended truthfully is anyone’s guess. In a separate story, the Wall Street Journal reported that Bankman-Fried took a $300 million payday last year following a successful round of fundraising for FTX.