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Episode 4: It Takes a Village

The Naked Emperor

03-04-2023 • 34 mins

Sam Bankman-Fried couldn’t have marketed FTX to the masses on his own. He had help – from the institutional investors who brought in the big bucks, to the celebrity endorsers who told the public that FTX was “a safe and easy way to get into crypto.” One FTX brand ambassador was Kevin O’Leary, from the reality show Shark Tank. Host Jacob Silverman questions O’Leary about his due diligence before accepting the multimillion dollar endorsement deal. We also hear from everyday investors and hopeful beneficiaries of SBF’s charitable largesse and learn how their hopes were dashed on the rocks of alleged fraud. Zooming out, we learn that a lot of people may be responsible for what happened to FTX and that the losses, especially in a big alleged financial fraud scheme, can reverberate widely. Fourteen years into the crypto experiment, we survey the damage and the successes, and ask what we can learn from the disaster that Sam Bankman-Fried left in his wake. For transcripts of this series, please visit: