Elon Musk on meeting FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried: ‘This dude is bullshit’

  • Elon Musk said his “dummy meter was red-lined” after meeting with Sam Bankman-Fried before the Twitter acquisition to discuss an investment.
  • His remarks came during a Twitter Space discussion with 60,000 attendees early Saturday morning, per Coinbase.
  • Musk said he felt “something wasn’t right” during the conversation.

Elon Musk is piling on after the fall of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, claiming his “dummy meter had a red line” in an earlier meeting with the disgraced crypto leader to discuss a potential investment in Twitter.

Musk’s remarks came around 2:30 a.m. ET Saturday during a Twitter Space chat with 60,000 listeners, according to Coinbase. The debate began shortly after news broke on Friday night that FTX was investigating “anomalous trading” in an apparent hack, the cherry on top of a very bad week for the crumbling crypto exchange.

“To be honest, I had never heard of him,” said Twitter’s new CEO, according to Coinbase. “But then I got a ton of people telling me that [that] he has, you know, huge sums of money he wants to invest in the Twitter deal. And I talked to him for about half an hour. And I know my softener was red. It was like, this dude is bullshit — that was my impression.”

On Friday, FTX announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after failing to secure emergency financing. Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO, lost 94% of his net worth and admitted to “fucking twice” in a Twitter apology. He explained that FTX’s decline was a result of large customer withdrawals and his misjudgment of the amount of debt the company had accumulated.

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

While it’s unclear exactly when the meeting between Bankman-Fried and Musk took place, it appears to have been in the early days of Musk’s plans to acquire Twitter and well before FTX’s public downfall. However, Musk now says he felt “something was off” during the conversation.

“Man, everybody including the big investment banks — everybody was talking about him like he’s walking on water and he’s got a billion dollars. And that [was] I don’t get my impression… that the dude is just — something’s wrong, and he’s got no capital, and it’s not going to go away. That was my prediction,” Musk said.

Musk tweeted early Saturday morning “FTX crash/collapse being watched in real time on Twitter” and also posted a crude Bankman-Fried meme.

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

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

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