- Those who think he was being too sympathetic to Sam Bankman-Fried are “crazy,” says author Michael Lewis.
- Lewis, the author of “Going Infinite,” has come under fire for his comments on the former crypto titan.
- Bankman-Fried is on trial for criminal charges relating to FTX’s collapse.
Author Michael Lewis has a strong message for critics who say he has been too sympathetic to Sam Bankman-Fried in his book about the fallen cyrpto mogul.
“I think they’re crazy,” Lewis told ABC News on Wednesday. He was responding to ABC News anchor Linsey Davis’ question on whether he feels such criticism is wrong.
“They’re two stories — the defense is offering one and the prosecution is offering another,” Lewis added. “I have a completely different one with lots of other stuff that they haven’t been mentioning that leaves the reader with the possibility of thinking lots of different things.”
He also likened the response to FTX’s collapse to a “lynch mob mentality” with a “very quick rush to judgment when it all fell apart.”
“I think a lot of people are certain about what happened when they don’t actually know what happened,” he added to ABC News. Lewis met Sam Bankman-Fried more than a hundred times in two years while writing the book about the FTX cofounder and former CEO.
Lewis told ABC he has avoided answering the question of whether he feels Bankman-Fried has knowingly committed fraud — “because I want the reader to answer that question.”
“If no one had ever cast aspersions on the business, if there hadn’t been a run on customer deposits, they’d still be sitting there making tons of money,” Lewis told CBS.
During the interview on Wednesday, Lewis said FTX’s business didn’t fit the definition of a Ponzi scheme — which is one that pays existing investors from funds from new investors. In contrast, FTX had two key businesses — the Alameda Research hedge fund and FTX’s exchange business, he added.
Even so, Lewis acknowledged there was harm done to investors — and he is including himself in that list.
The author said he is, in fact, a creditor too. “He took my money, it’s mixed up in there,” Lewis told ABC, without elaborating further. A filing listing out FTX’s creditors did not include Lewis’ name and Insider could not independently verify the information.
A representative for Lewis did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.
Lewis’ book, “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon,” was released Tuesday — the same day Bankman-Fried’s criminal fraud trial started.
Bankman-Fried seven faces charges including fraud and conspiracy relating to FTX’s collapse in the ongoing trial. He has pleaded not guilty.