In Michael Lewis' new book, "Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon," it is revealed that Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of FTX, had to teach himself how to make facial expressions. Bankman-Fried questioned the purpose of facial expressions, stating, "What's the whole point of making facial expressions in the first place? If you're going to say something to me, just say it." Lewis explores Bankman-Fried's struggle with conveying emotions and the impact it had on his relationships.
The release of Lewis' book coincided with the start of Bankman-Fried's criminal trial in New York. Bankman-Fried is facing charges of manipulating funds to defraud depositors and investors of FTX, his collapsed crypto exchange. The combination of the trial and the book has brought attention to Bankman-Fried's life and personality.
Bankman-Fried's difficulty in showing emotions created a barrier between him and others, according to Lewis. People found him unapproachable, negative, intimidating, and untrustworthy. Bankman-Fried attempted to practice showing emotion but found it physically painful and unnatural.
His lack of empathy also affected his relationship with his former romantic partner, Caroline Ellison, who was the CEO of Alameda Research, a trading firm launched by Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried reportedly sent Ellison a list of pros and cons of being in a physical relationship with him, stating, "In a lot of ways I don't really have a soul."
Bankman-Fried's fashion sense has also been criticized, including an incident where he argued with his mother over text about wearing cargo shorts during his arrest in the Bahamas. However, on the first day of his trial, Bankman-Fried appeared with a new haircut.
The details revealed in Lewis' book and the ongoing criminal trial have shed light on Bankman-Fried's struggles with expressing emotions and the impact it had on his personal and professional relationships. These revelations have sparked discussion and interest in the life and personality of the former crypto billionaire.