Scaramucci talks about FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried is ‘the worst week in the history of cryptocurrencies’

Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital and briefly director of communications for the Trump administration, spoke Friday morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” about friend and business partner Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of the crumbling cryptocurrency exchange FTX. .

FTX, which acquired a 30% stake in Scarmucci’s SkyBridge Capital in September, is risking potential bankruptcy after a “bank run” on the cryptocurrency exchange left it short of about $ 8 billion. Bankman-Fried says it is unaware of the extent of user leverage due to poor internal labeling of bank accounts.

Scaramucci hesitated to attribute the failure of the exchange to malice.

“I don’t want to call it fraud right now because it’s actually a legal term,” Scaramucci said. “I’d beg Sam and his family to tell their investors the truth, to go through with it.”

Bankman-Fried tweeted Thursday morning that he is “sorry”, admitting he “screwed up” and “should have done better.”

Bankman-Fried said his first mistake was bad internal tagging of bank accounts, which meant he was “substantially out” of his sense of user margin. “I thought it was much shorter.”

Scaramucci speculated that Bankman-Fried may have made mistakes in the face of the bear market in cryptocurrencies, particularly when Three Arrows, a huge cryptocurrency hedge fund, was liquidated in June 2022.

“When Three Arrows went down, it might be possible, Andrew, that Sam was having a hard time at the time, and then he made some decisions that turned out to be disastrous for him and both sides of this business,” he said on Friday. , speaking to Andrew of CNBC Ross Sorkin.

Scaramucci told Squawk Box that he visited Bankman-Fried at his home in the Bahamas as an investor and friend. When he got there, he says, it seemed beyond the point of a simple cash bailout.

Binance appears to have made the same assessment. The world’s largest cryptocurrency firm broke a non-binding deal to bail out FTX after conducting due diligence and news “regarding improperly managed client funds and alleged US agency investigations.”

Scaramucci said he saw no evidence of this mismanagement when he and other investors first selected FTX as a potential trading partner.

“Duped I think is the right word, but I am very disappointed because I like Sam,” said Scaramucci. “I don’t know what happened because I wasn’t an FTX insider.”

“There is a lot of suffering in the markets and many of my friends think it’s the worst week in cryptocurrency history,” said Scaramucci.

He said he plans to buy back his stake in SkyBridge from FTX, noting that his company did not hold any business in FTX due to a potential conflict of interest.

Partial FTX withdrawals resume at some global hubs, as Sam Bankman-Fried continues to search for a supporter

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