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Covered here: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/11/in-new-interview-sbf-talks-gop-donations-fraud-polyamory.html

And here: https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/11/29/sam-bankman-fried-addresses-withdrawals-ftx-collapse-in-newly-released-audio-interview/

Disclaimer: My transcriptions might contain some inaccuracies.

The section beginning 11:31 in the second interview might be especially interesting for the readers of the forum. From this and other publicly available information, it seems likely to me that Sam acted as a naive consequentialist. This, of course, isn't mutually exclusive with having elevated dark triad traits (as mentioned here and here). 

Quotes from that section:

"Honestly, I like, right now, I'm mostly focusing on, what I can do, and like, where I can be helpful, and like, it's... there will be a time and a place for (...) ruminating on my future, but [sighs] I, right now it's more one foot in front of the other, and you know, trying to be as helpful and constructive as I can, and uh, that's all I can do for now, and there's no (...) I don't know what the future will hold for me - it's pretty unclear - it's certainly not the future I once thought it was (...) my future is not the thing that [inaudible] not the thing that matters here - what matters is the world's future -I'm much more worried about the damage that I did to that than whatever happens to me personally."

"I made a decision a while ago that like, I was gonna, like you know, spend my life trying to do what I could for the world, and like obviously it hasn't turned out like how I had hoped." 

"I feel really really bad for the people who trusted me and believed in me, and, then, you know, we're trying to do great things for the world and tied it to me - and that got, you know, undermined so I fucked up.  And that's like... I don't know, that's the shittiest part of it. If it were just myself that it hurt, like, then whatever, but it wasn't."

 

Other highlights:

Sam claims that he donated to Republicans: "I donated to both parties. I donated about the same amount to both parties (...) That was not generally known (...) All my Republican donations were dark (...) and the reason was not for regulatory reasons - it's just that reporters freak the fuck out if you donate to Republicans [inaudible] they're all liberal, and I didn't want to have that fight". (EDIT: My initial interpretation of this was that Sam believed that some Republicans would be helpful to fund to advance altruistic causes he supports, e.g. pandemic prevention, which may suggest donating for reasons other than public image. A comment below pushes back at my idea that the potential selfish reasons to donate can only be because of PR reasons, and notes that donating to both parties is a common practice among corporations/powerful individuals pursued for self-interested reasons. It is also possible that it could be for both self-interested and altruistic reasons, in addition to one, or the other.)

In response to to his lawyers' advice regarding his public apologies, Sam says he told his lawyers "to go fuck [themselves]" and claims that they "know what they talk about in extremely narrow domain of litigation - they don't understand the broader context of the world, like, if you're a complete dick about everything, even if it narrowly avoids maybe moderately embarrassing statements, it's not helping [mostly inaudible - but maybe he said 'any of them'?]".

Sam describes the collapse as a "risk management failure". Fong asks: "I mean, you can't be the only person that was like, aware - in charge of all of this." Sam replies: "I think the bigger problem was that there was no [...] person who was chiefly in charge of monitoring the risk of margin positions on FTX. Like there should have been but there wasn't". Later, Sam also says "at the same time, I think, you know, we stretched ourselves too thin. And we're doing a lot of things at the company - and, you know, I think we should have cut a few of them out and focus more on making sure that the fundamental, like, the most important things we were doing well at". Malice and incompetence can mix and match, so that might be the case (in addition to a lack of moral qualms).

 

Other relevant videos from Fong:

Why is Sam Bankman-Fried Talking To Me? (AUDIO CLIP) Phone Call with SBF - Former FTX CEO / Founder

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHtThZ4717U

CONTEXT: My Phone Call with SBF / Sam Bankman-Fried- Former CEO of FTX - Phone Calls About Ch 11

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmk3QQ1_9xw 

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Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 3:58 PM

Thanks for the link and highlights!

Sam claims that he donated to Republicans: "I donated to both parties. I donated about the same amount to both parties (...) That was not generally known (...) All my Republican donations were dark (...) and the reason was not for regulatory reasons - it's just that reporters freak the fuck out if you donate to Republicans [inaudible] they're all liberal, and I didn't want to have that fight". If true, this seems to fit the notion that Sam didn't just donate to look good (i.e. he donated at least partly because of his personal altruistic beliefs)

What do you mean that this donation strategy would be from Sam's "personal altruistic beliefs"? Donating equally to both political parties has been a common strategy among major corporations for a long time. It's a way for them to push their own agenda in government. It's generally an amoral self-interested strategy, not an altruistic one.

I read somewhere (sorry can’t remember where) that he only donated to republicans that were pushing longtermist things like pandemic preparedness

That's a good point. I hadn't thought about that. I've added your observations to that part.

In this case, it seems like a very good strategy for the world, too, in that it doesn't politicize one issue too much (like climate change has been in the US because it was tied to Democrats instead of both sides of the aisle).

I don’t think we should give too much information value to SBF's interviews, considering his track record and his writing that ethics was mostly a front to build his reputation.

It might be useful to note that from the context of the Kelsey Piper interview, "ethics" might have referred to the ethics of 'rule-following/deontology" (also noted here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/vjyWBnCmXjErAN6sZ/kelsey-piper-s-recent-interview-of-sbf?commentId=ZqbYkJrmeRNnmaoio). The part where he sounds like he's talking about EA (he doesn't mention EA directly in the video) would be consistent with that particular interpretation of "ethics was mostly a front".

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