Kevin O’Leary reveals next move after FTX Crash, and tries to save SBF

  • Kevin O’Leary spoke to Insider about his next move after FTX (a company he invested) filed for bankruptcy. 
  • The “Shark Tank” investor stated that he will be moving his assets to Canada and will not keep funds in unregulated exchanges. 
  • He also gave details of his telephone conversation with Sam BankmanFried, founder and CEO of FTX. 

Kevin O’Leary, a “Shark Tank” investor, has been having a hard time deciding where to invest his money since gauging interest in a possible rescue of FTX.

The market veteran was paid to be a spokesperson and investor in the bankrupt exchange. He spent the weekend calling calls trying to sort out rumors surrounding founder Sam Bankman Fried and determine how much of his money can be recovered. 

O’Leary stated to Insider that he was writing it all down to zero. “It’s unclear what can be recovered. There are many claims. But, honestly, I’ve seen the movie before. It’s a difficult position, there’s no doubt about it. There will be a mountain in litigation.”

Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal report said that Bankman Fried is trying to raise money to pay back clientsFTX also warned that it could be owed more than 1,000,000 creditors.   

O’Leary, who is a native Canadian, began moving his assets around after the company’s collapse. He said that Canada is the only country offering fully-regulated broker-dealer accounts.

In his view, unregulated exchanges aren’t safe, regardless of their size, so he’s turned to crypto exchange WonderFiThe Ontario Securities Exchange regulates. He is a shareholder in the parent firm, which was also the first platform for crypto-trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

O’Leary stated that “we have confidence that Canada’s regulatory environment scrutinizes accounts that cannot be commingled.” “I can’t think of a safer place than Canada right now.”

Bankman-Fried can be reached by phone

O’Leary stated that he doesn’t believe the market has seen the bottom yet of the FTX collapse. This is a stark reversal in comparison to two-and-a half years ago when FTX’s management team approached O’Leary to arrange a 30-minute meeting for Bankman-Fried.

It turned into a three-hour lunch. O’Leary then met Bankman-Fried’s parents — both lawyers — and gained more confidence from seeing other large, global investors backing FTX. 

Federal regulators are reportedly investigating FTX as well as Bankman-Fried. Bankman Fried resigned last Wednesday as CEO of FTX for possibly mishandling client money. O’Leary claims he’s never met a more brilliant brain when it comes crypto and blockchain.

He said, “He is a savant.” “He’s probably among the most skilled traders of crypto in this world, so I was very surprised.”

O’Leary finds Bankman-Fried’s intelligence difficult to believe. According to reports, he transferred billions worth of FTX client funds from his Alameda Research trading division to his Alameda Research arm. He said that the founder, who is now 30 years old, will need to explain everything when all the facts are revealed.

O’Leary claimed that he spent Thursday taking calls from potential investors in FTX. O’Leary stated that sovereign wealth funds were interested in the amount of $6 billion to $8 billion, but it was unclear which amount. O’Leary sent Bankman-Fried a message asking about it. He received a call almost immediately. 

O’Leary said that O’Leary confirmed that the amount was $8 billion. “We had a brief discussion. He was very rational. We spoke about the timing of that $6 to $8 Billion. It was enough information for me, however, to go back to the sources interested and confirm the number of eight.

O’Leary also reported that Bankman Fried said on the call the regulators would “come down hard on the situation.” 

However, as news swirled that FTX was under threat from the Securities and Exchange Commission and global regulators, rescue offers ceased to be offered shortly after the call. 

O’Leary said that all of the interested parties had left. “I texted it back to Sam. I did not have a conversation and told him that that was not an option.

O’Leary believes investors would feel safe keeping their assets in FTX if a sovereign wealth fund, or another buyer, had contributed approximately $4 billion.

He said, “So, really what was on offer and being debated around the world was that you could buy an asset worth $32 billion for $4 billion.”

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