Earlier this year, Anthony Scaramucci (aka The Mooch) and his wife, Deidre Ball, booked a four day Disney cruise in the Bahamas. One of the ports of call was Nassau, the Bahamian capital and the corporate home of FTX, the privately held, and increasingly powerful, cryptocurrency exchange founded and run by Sam Bankman-Fried (aka S.B.F.). Amid the latest crypto winter, S.B.F. has been acting like a mini-J.P. Morgan, circa 1907, offering rescue financing to desperate crypto companies, including BlockFi and Voyager.
When The Mooch got to Nassau, he called up S.B.F., whom he had gotten to know over the years from his participation in The Mooch’s respected SALT conference, where I have served as a paid interviewer, and as The Mooch pivoted more heavily into crypto. “You’re the only one standing between me and eight hours at the waterpark,” The Mooch told S.B.F. “You’ve got to come over and have lunch with me.”
S.B.F. obliged. He drove to the harbor in his Toyota Corolla and met The Mooch. Over lunch, they started talking about The Mooch’s plans for SkyBridge, his hedge fund of funds that has been under pressure lately because of its struggling investments in crypto: SkyBridge has gated one fund, and another has been a little overwhelmed by investors wanting out. But the overall business, while small, is still profitable, Scaramucci told me during our conversation last week. “We can raise and lower salaries very easily,” he said. “If assets are going up, I raise my pay. If assets are going down, I cut my pay.”