Brett Harrison Shares some very strong opinions about Sam Bankman-Fried
A wild ride
It’s been a wild ride in the world of crypto and for FTX, and the latest drama comes from none other than the former President of FTX US, Brett Harrison. In a series of tweets, Harrison spilled the tea on his time working under the controversial and now-disgraced crypto mogul, Sam Bankman-Fried.
Harrison, who stepped down from his position in September, just weeks before Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire began to crumble, accuses the former CEO of “gaslighting and manipulation.” He claims that while he worked to build out the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange’s presence in the US, he was isolated as a leader.
28/49 In early April 2022, my eleventh month, I made one last try. I made a written formal complaint about what I saw to be the largest organizational problems inhibiting FTX’s future success. I wrote that I would resign if the problems weren’t addressed.— Brett Harrison (@BrettHarrison88) January 14, 2023
Harrison’s issues with Bankman-Fried began long before September. In April of the previous year, just 11 months into his role, Harrison threatened to leave the company due to “organizational problems” that he identified within the company’s structure.
One of these issues was the separation of FTX’s legal, development, and executive teams, which had influence over both FTX US and the company’s international exchange. Harrison suggested structural changes, but Bankman-Fried disagreed and Harrison describes the FTX founder as stubborn and spiteful when his authority was questioned.
15/49 Six months into my time at the company, pronounced cracks began to form in my own relationship with Sam. Around then I began advocating strongly for establishing separation and independence for the executive, legal, and developer teams of FTX US, and Sam disagreed.— Brett Harrison (@BrettHarrison88) January 14, 2023
No Disagreements Allowed
Harrison also faced “tremendous pressure not to disagree with Sam” as President of FTX US, along with other employees who worked within the cryptocurrency exchange’s U.S. division. He said the team’s professional background was rendered “irrelevant and valueless.”
22/49 I wasn’t the only one at FTX US who disagreed with Sam and members of his inner circle. FTX US was staffed with experienced professionals from US finance firms, law firms, and regulated exchanges.— Brett Harrison (@BrettHarrison88) January 14, 2023
Harrison wasn’t the only one at FTX US who disagreed with Bankman-Fried and members of his inner circle, as the company was staffed with experienced professionals from US finance firms, law firms, and regulated exchanges. Another issue Harrison identified was “the delegation of managerial responsibility and controls,” which he said were handled by Bankman-Fried and other company executives based in the Bahamas, where FTX was based.
He also wanted to make more transparent the software development responsibilities of FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Nishad Singh, the former FTX engineering chief who is now seeking a cooperation deal with federal prosecutors in New York pertaining to Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial.
Attorneys in the Southern District of New York filed charges against Wang last month and the former CEO Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison, who led the trading firm founded by Bankman-Fried before FTX. Wang and Ellison are both cooperating with investigators.
A Mental Issue?
18/49 Like many of us, I have family and friends who live with addiction and mental health problems, and I’ve seen how these problems often manifest without much warning in early adulthood. I thought that might be a contributing factor, and initially felt sympathetic.— Brett Harrison (@BrettHarrison88) January 14, 2023
9/49 Beyond that, he seemed like a sensitive and intellectually curious person who cared about animals, and that endeared him to me.— Brett Harrison (@BrettHarrison88) January 14, 2023
Harrison went on to say that maybe Sam wasn’t quite right in the head and most of the situations that have transpired as of late may be due to certain mental illnesses that have just suddenly crept up. He stated there was a dramatic change in Sam and that the cognitive issues may have been a contributing factor to all of the issues and dramatic realizations that many are making during this time where all of the dirty laundries of the main three , Fried, Wang, and Ellison, are being aired out. There isn’t much proof to this nor is it a main part of any investigation or the trial. Sam does seem pretty chill about the entire situation and there are some that may say he is crazy for that but there is no proof of mental illness, perhaps the ex-president just gave Sam a way out of this.
It’s not just the former President of FTX US who has spoken out against Sam Bankman-Fried, as other employees and investors have also come forward with similar accusations. As the investigation into the collapse of FTX continues, more information is likely to come to light about the inner workings of the company and the role of its leadership in the company’s downfall. But one thing is for sure, it seems that working under Bankman-Fried was a wild ride and not one for the faint of heart. It’s like the crypto version of “Survivor” with less tropical islands and more legal trouble.
A New Light
Brett I am proud to be an investor in your new company. Go forward. Don’t look back. Wishing you the best.— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) January 14, 2023
Not all is bad for the ex-president who is currently working towards his own new project with support behind it as well from some very high-level players including Anthony Scaramucci. We all wish Mr. Harrison the very best with his new project and hope that he has learned from the mistakes made by a few of the bad players in the crypto industry, perhaps he can create something more positive and trustworthy for crypto users in the future.
Still some secrets though…
The entire 49-tweet rant about Sam Bankman-Fried did however come with some people having questions. It would appear Harrison was not in the mood to answer all of them as one person – Ed Zitron explained via tweet that the ex-president blocked him after questioning. The question was in relation to FTX being given a cease-and-desist letter from the FDIC for Harrison stating “direct deposits from employers to FTX US are stored in individually FDIC-insured bank accounts in the users’ names.” That tweet has since been deleted by Harrison, probably in an effort to distance himself from the entire debacle.
The ceo of FTX US, after posting a 48 tweet long tweet storm about how sorry he was and how honest he is, blocked me for asking why he said FTX US accounts were FDIC insured. My guess is because he doesn’t want to say “I lied” or “I was lied to” or “hee!! im da hobgoblin!!” pic.twitter.com/PVVtSBlYq2— Ed Zitron (@edzitron) January 15, 2023
The FTX situation is just a complete mess with many victims in tow and others feeling as if justice may never truly be served. Harrison has a chance to do some real good but the question is whether people will want that good to come from him or even believe it can. With all that has transpired in 2022 the crypto community is in need of some good news, not bad. Here’s hoping for a more positive 2023, hey Solana has gone back up these past two weeks, so there is hope! #keephopealive2023