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SBF Ditched Speaking at the World Economic Forum at the Last Minute

  • Sam Bankman-Fried was supposed to speak at the WEF’s flagship event in Davos.
  • However, he decided not to show up the night before the event, per Michael Lewis’ biography on the disgraced FTX founder.
  • Lewis wrote SBF would cancel on people “because he’d done some math in his head that proved that you weren’t worth the time.” 

Sam Bankman-Fried was supposed to speak at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos — but decided to pull out at the last minute, according to Michael Lewis’ biography on the former FTX CEO.

An online program for the WEF 2022 showed Bankman-Fried listed as a speaker.

Lewis described Bankman-Fried’s messy and chaotic schedule – which often changed because he would decide not to show up for meetings he had agreed to.

“CEOs had flown to the Bahamas under the mistaken impression that Sam had agreed to buy their companies,” Lewis wrote in his book.

“The World Economic Forum had to scramble to fill a stage and cancel media interviews after Sam decided, the night before he was scheduled to deliver a big speech in Davos, not to,” he added.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is the organization’s flagship event held at the end of each January in Davos, Switzerland. Political leaders, CEOs, and leading figures in other fields routinely attend the event.

It’s not just his Davos showing, Bankman-Fried also ditched a high-profile Time magazine event.

“Sam had failed to fly to Dubai to give the keynote at Time magazine’s party for the world’s 100 Most Influential People, even after Time had named him to their list and flattered him in print,” Lewis wrote. The former crypto mogul was featured on Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list in 2022. 

But, Bankman-Fried wasn’t being personal when he canceled on people, according to Lewis.

“If he stood you up, it was never on a whim, or the result of thoughtlessness. It was because he’d done some math in his head that proved that you weren’t worth the time,” he wrote.

Lewis’ book, “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon,” was released on Tuesday — the same day Bankman-Fried’s criminal fraud trial started. 

Bankman-Fried faces seven charges, including fraud and conspiracy relating to FTX’s collapse. He has pleaded not guilty.

In his Wednesday opening statement, Bankman-Fried’s defense attorney, Mark Cohen, presented him as a “math nerd” who did not take risk management into account.

Crypto exchange FTX — which was worth $32 billion in early 2022 — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 11 of the same year after a week-long liquidity crisis.

A representative for Bankman-Fried declined to comment to Insider.

The WEF and Time magazine did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.

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