Minutes after I last published a column questioning the role of FTX’s equity investors in the massive collapse and unwinding of the firm, my phone started ringing. “What were you thinking—listing us as an investor?” one caller said to me. The implication was that the investor had only a small stake—and shouldn’t be subject to scrutiny for their involvement in what they painted as an ordinary bet gone bad. I was honestly stunned. The buck-passing on display was astounding.
But I once again have to ask the question of how the heck world-class investors gave FTX more than a billion dollars without realizing the CEO—out of malice, ineptitude or sheer laziness—was directly borrowing money from the company, commingling corporate accounts and using customer deposits to bail out his own personal crypto-trading giant.