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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried to be subject of ‘high-octane’ book by Michael Lewis | Books

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Michael Lewis, the bestselling author of The Big Short and Flash Boys, will tell the story of the cryptocurrency exchange founder and alleged fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried in his next book.

Going Infinite: the Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon by Michael Lewis will be published on 3 October, and is described by its publisher Penguin Press as a “high-octane story of the enigmatic figure at the heart of one of the 21st century’s most spectacular financial collapses”.

Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, became the world’s youngest billionaire before the age of 30, having founded the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. At one point he considered paying off the entire national debt of the Bahamas so he could take his business there.

Then his net worth suddenly evaporated in 2022, and shortly afterwardshe was arrested in the Bahamas and was subsequently extradited to the US on charges including wire fraud and money laundering. Bankman-Fried could be sentenced to up to 115 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Author and financial journalist Michael Lewis was there when it happened, having got to know Bankman-Fried during his rise to wealth. “This book came about in an unusual way: I didn’t go looking for Sam Bankman-Fried, and he didn’t go looking for me,” he told the Guardian. “A friend of mine came to me and said, ‘I’m thinking of doing this massive business deal with a person I don’t know. He’s called Sam Bankman-Fried. Nobody knows him, he’s come out of nowhere. Forbes says he’s worth $23bn, he’s 29 years old … I’ve seen you sit down and make sense of all these other people: make sense of him for me.’”

Lewis agreed, Bankman-Fried visited him at home and the pair went on a hike together. “At the end of the hike I turned to him and said: ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen to you, I don’t know where your story is going, I’ve never seen anything like this.’ I just thought to myself I wanted to be a fly on the wall and he said yes. And to this day he’s never limited my access.”

There were “two things that have been peculiar about writing this book”, Lewis said. “One was, he’s let me see everything. When it all comes crashing down last November it’s literally me, his parents and his therapist. And I can hang around as long as I want, see whatever I want. And this is the other odd thing. Not only has he never sought to control anything I think, or anything I might write, he’s never even asked: what are you doing? He has just allowed me freedom, a freedom which is really unusual, especially given the circumstances, to just try and understand him and his situation.”

It has been “an unusual literary exercise”, he added. “It’s almost as if I was attached to a character who was insistent on generating a beautiful work of fiction for me in real time, in the real world, and allowing me to watch.”

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“Sam Bankman-Fried was worth billions; now, he’s worth nothing. And still nobody really knows anything about him,” said Tom Penn, Lewis’s editor at Penguin Press. “Nobody, that is, except Michael Lewis, who was by his side as it all happened, and who leads us deep into the mind and world of a figure whose phenomenal rise and jaw-dropping fall encapsulates our dizzying, disorientated age. It’s compulsive, revelatory, edge-of-your-seat storytelling by one of the greatest chroniclers of our times – and his biggest story yet.”


Michael Lewis, the bestselling author of The Big Short and Flash Boys, will tell the story of the cryptocurrency exchange founder and alleged fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried in his next book.

Going Infinite: the Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon by Michael Lewis will be published on 3 October, and is described by its publisher Penguin Press as a “high-octane story of the enigmatic figure at the heart of one of the 21st century’s most spectacular financial collapses”.

Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, became the world’s youngest billionaire before the age of 30, having founded the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. At one point he considered paying off the entire national debt of the Bahamas so he could take his business there.

Then his net worth suddenly evaporated in 2022, and shortly afterwardshe was arrested in the Bahamas and was subsequently extradited to the US on charges including wire fraud and money laundering. Bankman-Fried could be sentenced to up to 115 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Author and financial journalist Michael Lewis was there when it happened, having got to know Bankman-Fried during his rise to wealth. “This book came about in an unusual way: I didn’t go looking for Sam Bankman-Fried, and he didn’t go looking for me,” he told the Guardian. “A friend of mine came to me and said, ‘I’m thinking of doing this massive business deal with a person I don’t know. He’s called Sam Bankman-Fried. Nobody knows him, he’s come out of nowhere. Forbes says he’s worth $23bn, he’s 29 years old … I’ve seen you sit down and make sense of all these other people: make sense of him for me.’”

Lewis agreed, Bankman-Fried visited him at home and the pair went on a hike together. “At the end of the hike I turned to him and said: ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen to you, I don’t know where your story is going, I’ve never seen anything like this.’ I just thought to myself I wanted to be a fly on the wall and he said yes. And to this day he’s never limited my access.”

There were “two things that have been peculiar about writing this book”, Lewis said. “One was, he’s let me see everything. When it all comes crashing down last November it’s literally me, his parents and his therapist. And I can hang around as long as I want, see whatever I want. And this is the other odd thing. Not only has he never sought to control anything I think, or anything I might write, he’s never even asked: what are you doing? He has just allowed me freedom, a freedom which is really unusual, especially given the circumstances, to just try and understand him and his situation.”

It has been “an unusual literary exercise”, he added. “It’s almost as if I was attached to a character who was insistent on generating a beautiful work of fiction for me in real time, in the real world, and allowing me to watch.”

skip past newsletter promotion

“Sam Bankman-Fried was worth billions; now, he’s worth nothing. And still nobody really knows anything about him,” said Tom Penn, Lewis’s editor at Penguin Press. “Nobody, that is, except Michael Lewis, who was by his side as it all happened, and who leads us deep into the mind and world of a figure whose phenomenal rise and jaw-dropping fall encapsulates our dizzying, disorientated age. It’s compulsive, revelatory, edge-of-your-seat storytelling by one of the greatest chroniclers of our times – and his biggest story yet.”

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