He made a massive fortune. Now he’s facing 110 years in jail

2 Min Read

At Jane Street, Bankman-Fried’s most ambitious number-crunching exercise involved the 2016 US presidential election, for which he designed a model that accessed local voting data more quickly than the television networks, and computed the probability that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would win. In a narrow sense, it worked spectacularly well, informing Jane Street traders that Trump would win before anyone else caught on. Throughout the campaign, Trump’s success had been inversely correlated with the strength of the sharemarket, so Jane Street bet several billion dollars against the S&P 500. Yet within hours, the markets had changed their mind about the likely economic effect of Trump. Bankman-Fried and his colleagues had devoted their energy to hoovering up and analysing voting data, but failed to anticipate how the markets might react to the news. If they had been right about a Trump slump, it would have been Jane Street’s most profitable trade. In fact, it was the company’s worst ever deal, costing around $US300 million. Bankman-Fried became curious about cryptocurrencies, digital currencies that owe their existence to an electronic blockchain ledger rather than a national government. Jane Street did not trade crypto, so Bankman-Fried left to establish a trading company, Alameda Research, and build a cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. He was a savant, but also chaotic. He played video games during vital meetings and while being interviewed on live television. In the space of a few days, he had brunch with Shaquille O’Neal, dinner with the Kardashians and met with the CEO of Goldman Sachs. He toyed with paying Donald Trump $US5 billion not to run for president.

Share This Article
By admin
test bio
Leave a comment
Please login to use this feature.