It feels like Season One of FTX: Trouble in Paradise has drawn to a close. SBF narrowly avoided jail thanks to a last-minute $250 million bond and is now chilling at home with his parents. Season Two will see him fighting for his freedom in court as his former friends, colleagues and lovers queue up to spill the beans. Everyone just wants to get the lightest sentence possible.
SBF’s next court appearance is scheduled for the 3rd of January, so it won’t be long before Season Two is up and running. In the meantime however, it feels like a good opportunity to pause and try to make sense of what has happened in the last few weeks. How on earth was it possible for this disaster to happen? When did everything start going wrong? And, how did a bunch of maths geeks who clearly weren’t very good traders manage to mislead the whole industry for so long?
To answer these questions and many others, I got together with Ram Ahluwalia, the co-founder and CEO of Lumida - an investment advisory firm that focuses on digital assets. Ram has worked in finance for most of his career and has a level of knowledge and experience that few can match. He recently published some intriguing threads on Twitter that delved into the FTX/Alameda debacle and, having read them, I knew I had to talk with him in depth.
In our discussion we drilled down into Ram’s thoughts on the disaster and why he believes it was a long time coming - longer perhaps than many people believe. He also talked through some of the mysteries of high finance that seem to have helped thwart SBF and his cronies and explained how those who were able to play the game better were able to profit at FTX and Alameda’s expense.
This was a fascinating conversation to have and I’m grateful to Ram for taking the time to talk to me. A few developments - including the arrest and extradition of SBF - have taken place since we talked, but what we discuss here is still hugely relevant to the situation and how things may play out in the coming months.
Follow Ram on Twitter: @ramahluwahlia
Follow Lumida on Twitter: @lumidawealth or visit https://www.lumida.co/
We hope you enjoy the show.
Producer for iHeartMedia: Noel Brown
Editor: Semir Mutapcic
Theme music composed by: Noel Brown
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.