Sam Bankman-Fried is 31 years old and he is currently facing seven criminal counts for defrauding his customers. As the trial is underway I decided to read this recent release by Michael Lewis and here is what I learned.
Sam grew up in California. His parents are both law professors at Stanford. From a very young age it was clear that he thought differently from other children his age and did not have any friends. When he went to math camp he finally met others he felt a kinship with. After attaining an MIT degree in physics he used his extraordinary math and thinking skills to obtain a job with a very high caliber private equity fund in New York. It did not take long for him to learn about cryptocurrency and realize he could easily perform similar trading skills in this realm as well. He moved on to create a world he shared with a few key people where they created computer code that bought and sold cryptocurrency faster than any human trader could possibly imagine. Even if they acquired small profits per trade, the volume was so enormous they were making millions. Then billions. Alameda and FTX, his two trading companies quickly grew to unimaginable proportions for a group of “kids” that had little experience and scary accounting practices. And then it all came tumbling down. There is no doubt Sam is brilliant. I do not know how this trial will end but completely understand the depths of the unique and sensitive relationship author Michael Lewis built with this young entrepreneur years before any criminal charges were made. Highly recommend this easy to read synopsis of history as it is being made. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️