Michael Lewis talked to 60 Minutes about Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon, his upcoming book on indicted cryptocurrency executive Sam Bankman-Fried.
The book, by the author of Moneyball and The Big Short, tells the story of the founder of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed in 2022. Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas later that year and now faces charges including fraud and money laundering.
Lewis told 60 Minutes correspondent Jon Wertheim that he met Bankman-Fried more than 100 times over two years.
“The story of Sam’s life is people not understanding him, misreading him,” Lewis said. “He’s so different, he’s so unusual. I think in a funny way that the reason I have such a compelling story is I have a character that I do come to know, and that the reader comes to know, that the world still doesn’t know.”
Lewis revealed that Bankman-Fried floated the idea of paying Donald Trump not to run for president in 2024.
“The number that was kicking around when I was talking to Sam about this was $5 billion,” Lewis said. “Sam was not sure that number came directly from Trump.…The question Sam had was not just, ‘Is $5 billion enough to pay Trump not to run,’ but ‘Was it legal?’”
Going Infinite is slated for publication on Tuesday, the same day Bankman-Fried’s trial is scheduled to begin in Manhattan.
Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.