The Naked Emperor

By CBC Podcasts

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Subscribers: 125
Reviews: 2
Episodes: 5

 Apr 5, 2023

 Mar 28, 2023
high quality, well produced, well narrated. i liked it a lot.


Sam Bankman-Fried was at the top of the game. He was a billionaire by the time he turned 30, and the trusted face of crypto with his trading platform FTX. Its logo was on the Miami Heat’s arena and the uniforms of Major League Baseball umpires. Despite his dorm room lifestyle he charmed celebrities, politicians, and Silicon Valley. That is, until it all came crashing down. Today Sam faces charges that could send him to jail for the rest of his life. The Naked Emperor is a 4-part series about the stratospheric rise and spectacular fall of Sam Bankman-Fried. Tech/crypto journalist and host Jacob Silverman takes listeners on a wild ride in search of an answer to the question ... 'How did Sam Bankman-Fried happen?' (Familiarity with crypto very much not required). From CBC News and the team that brings you Front Burner.

Episode Date
Episode 4: It Takes a Village
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:
Apr 03, 2023
Episode 3: Busted
In the weeks after FTX filed for bankruptcy Sam stuck to his story: he did not commit fraud. FTX’s post-collapse CEO claimed the company had been a managerial and financial disaster, writing that he had never seen “such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information.” In response to his cratering public image, Sam Bankman-Fried talked. A lot. He exhibited an almost reckless desire to tell his side of things, insisting he could explain – and vindicate – himself. It was an exceptionally bizarre move for someone who had lost not just his personal fortune, but potentially the funds of millions of customers. Even as U.S. prosecutors filed charges, and his former friends turned on him, SBF was unwavering. With the legal odds against him, why would SBF risk so much by refusing to shut up? Update: Since this episode was published, U.S. prosecutors have added a new charge against Sam Bankman-Fried, accusing him of conspiring to bribe one or more Chinese government officials. The charge has not been proven in court. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
Mar 27, 2023
Episode 2: The Beginning of the End
We return to the beginning of Sam Bankman-Fried’s lucrative foray into crypto and ask: how did it all fall apart? Sam Bankman-Fried rose to the top of the crypto world with help from his friends. Gary Wang was a former fellow math-camper and brilliant programmer; Caroline Ellison was a former colleague at an elite Wall Street firm and an avid LARPer on the side. While still in their twenties, they were entrusted with billions of dollars of customer and investor funds. But in retrospect there were signs that maybe their enormous fortunes weren't created simply through their supposed technological and financial genius. For transcripts of this series, please visit:
Mar 20, 2023
Episode 1: The Hype
Sam Bankman-Fried wasn't like other crypto moguls: he drove a Toyota Corolla, he was an advocate for government regulation, he said he would give billions away to charity. That is, until he lost it all in what has been called “one of history’s greatest-ever destructions of wealth.” Sam Bankman-Fried, aka SBF, had an empire. His cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, and hedge fund, Alameda Research, together were worth billions. Celebrities sang his praises, and politicians took his donations. Then, it all collapsed – almost overnight. There were millions of FTX customers. Now, they don’t know where their money is. Host Jacob Silverman, co-author of a forthcoming book about crypto and fraud, takes a closer look at the hype around SBF and FTX, and how it only grew, even as other crypto companies crashed around them. How powerful was Sam Bankman-Fried? And how did he initially manage to hang on, to thrive even, as other giants tumbled towards bankruptcy?
Mar 13, 2023
Introducing: The Naked Emperor
In The Naked Emperor journalist Jacob Silverman explains how Sam Bankman-Fried built and destroyed FTX, a multi-billion dollar crypto currency empire. Who helped? Who was hurt? And will anything change following one of the most stunning financial collapses in modern history? Four episodes released weekly starting March 13. From CBC News and the team that brings you Front Burner.
Feb 22, 2023