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Monday, Feb 06, 2023

'This dude is bullshit': Elon Musk describes the first time he met now-disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried

'This dude is bullshit': Elon Musk describes the first time he met now-disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried

Musk said during a Twitter Space chat he formerly met with the cryptocurrency exec to discuss a potential investment in Twitter prior to the takeover.
Elon Musk is piling on after the downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, claiming his "bullshit meter was redlining" in a previous meeting with the disgraced crypto leader to discuss a potential Twitter investment.

Musk's remarks came at around 2:30 a.m. ET Saturday during a Twitter Space conversation with 60,000 listeners, Coinbase reported. The discussion began shortly after news broke on Friday evening that FTX was investigating "abnormal transactions" in an apparent hack, the cherry on top of a very bad week for the imploding crypto exchange.

"To be honest, I'd never heard of him," the new Twitter CEO said, per Coinbase. "But then I got a ton of people telling me he's got, you know, huge amounts of money that he wants to invest in the Twitter deal. And I talked to him for about half an hour. And I know my bullshit meter was redlining. It was like, 'This dude is bullshit' — that was my impression."

On Friday, FTX announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after failing to secure emergency funding. Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO, lost 94% of his net worth, and admitted he "fucked up twice" in an apology on Twitter. He explained FTX's decline was a result of high customer withdrawals and his incorrect assessment of the amount of debt the company had accrued.

On Saturday, the Financial Times reported that FTX carried just $900 million in sellable assets against $9 billion of liabilities one day before the company announced it was filing for bankruptcy.

While it's unclear when exactly the meeting between Bankman-Fried and Musk took place, it appears to have been in the early days of Musk's plans for a Twitter takeover, and well before FTX's public downfall. Still, Musk said he felt there was "something wrong" during the discussion.

"Man, everyone including major investment banks — everyone was talking about him like he's walking on water and has a zillion dollars. And that was not my impression … that dude is just — there's something wrong, and he does not have capital, and he will not come through. That was my prediction," Musk said.

Musk tweeted early Saturday morning "FTX meltdown/ransack being tracked in real-time on Twitter" and also posted a crude meme of Bankman-Fried.


The comments come as other crypto and tech leaders speak out about their own recent interactions with Bankman-Fried, including Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, who told CNBC earlier this week that the FTX founder reached out to him to raise emergency funds for the struggling company.

"I was basically reading the room, and it felt like a pretty bad situation that we wanted to stay away from," Armstrong said.
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