Morning Coffee: Insights of the inhouse psychiatrist at FTX Markets. The easiest way to earn $35k a month
As days pass and the FTX Markets/Alameda Research saga unfurls in all its outrageous glory, more is becoming known about the misdemeanours that led to this situation and the individuals who perpetrated them.
A video seen by 2.5m people+ (shown below) has been doing the rounds on Twitter, showing Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison discussing the inadvisability of stop losses and the simplicity of her role. The Wall Street Journal says Sam Bankman-Fried wasn't the laid back guy everyone thought he was: he swore a lot and could be a curiously aggressive negotiator. Ellison was all for working long hours and having one good person doing a job instead of two less good ones. The source of the best revelations, though, should really be George Lerner, a psychiatrist who worked in-house at FTX, offering coaching services to 20-40 employees, plus private psychiatric services on the side.
Gawker has unearthed a nugget of a now-removed article on Sequoia Capital's site in which Lerner discusses Bankman-Fried's effective altruism and seeming inability to "enjoy earthly pleasures". It's not pathological, says Lerner: effective altruists like SBF genuinely "want to make a difference," even if that does mitigate the enjoyment they feel themselves.
In fact, it's becoming apparent that SBF might have been having more pleasures than everyone thought. Not only was he allegedly engaged in a sometime relationship with Ellison and possibly other women at FTX, but they were all living in the Bahamian penthouse below, which doesn't look like the sort of place you'd live if you were strictly into a non-Dionysian ideal.
Via Ellison's now deleted Tumblr, it's also becoming apparent that she was partial to powerful men, and not averse to polyamory. A post on her Twitter account also intimates a possible interest in amphetamines.
Separate posts on Twitter allege that stimulant use was common at FTX and that an in-house psychiatrist prescribed them. We understand, however, that the stimulants were mostly prescribed for ADHD and that FTX had around 10 people in the US diagnosed with the condition and on medication, which doesn't actually sound like many in proportion to its 300+ employees...
Absolute disbelief pic.twitter.com/QjoZrWlz8v— Howie (@HowieBTC) November 11, 2022
Separately, if you've been working 80-hour weeks to earn $200k a year, you're doing it wrong. The Wall Street Journal reports that there are people out there making good money simply by filming themselves sleeping and streaming it on the internet. One of them is 28-year-old Jakey Boehm, who makes $35k a month by streaming his sleep to more than one million people.
Sam Bankman-Fried's father, Joseph Bankman, a professor of law and business at Stanford University, helped launch his son's career by putting him in touch with private equity investor Orlando Bravo. (Financial Times)
The new CEO at FTX worked on Enron's bankruptcy. And Alameda didn't trade much crypto - it invested $8B across 448 venture-stage startups, most of which have ‘1-10’ employees and zero documentation. (Bitcoin.com)
Hedge fund Galois Capital had nearly half its assets on FTX. (Financial Times)
A spreadsheet listing FTX international’s assets and liabilities references $5bn of withdrawals on Sunday 6th December, and a negative $8bn entry described as “hidden, poorly internally labled ‘fiat@’ account.” (Financial Times)
Elon Musk had doubts about SBF. (Twitter)
FTX's org chart is pretty wild. (Twitter)
Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX co-founder Gary Wang and director of engineering Nishad Singh are understood to be under supervision in the Bahamas. Caroline Ellison is said to be in Hong Kong. (Coin Telegraph)
There were initial indications that $473mn in cryptoassets had been stolen from FTX late on Friday night. (Financial Times)
Journalist Michael Lewis spent the past six months embedded with SBF and will now be writing a book. (Ankler)
Quant hedge fund Quadrature Capital pays its staff an average of £3.6m each. Most of the staff are in their late 20s or early 30s. (The Times)
Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng is suing his former boss Tim Leissner for allegedly defrauding him of his investments so that Leissner could pay his defence costs in the $4.5 billion 1MDB embezzlement case. (Reuters)
Morgan Stanley is advertising an executive-assistant role that pays from $75,000 to $120,000. Hedge fund Two Sigma has a similar opening offering between $100,000 and $150,000. (WSJ)
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