Book Review: Going Infinite by Michael Lewis, the Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon, the Story of Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX and Alameda Research

So I just finished going infinite by Michael Lewis, highly recommended read. Why? Very very fun read, and also… Fascinating insight into the world of crypto, money, currency, Fiat currency etc.

Quick summary:

  1. Sam Bankman Fried isn’t the evil villain everyone wants to paint him as. He is just like an extremely uber genius math prodigy whiz kid, who has zero concern for social norms.
  2. Perhaps the real culprit here are the effective altruists (“effective altruism”— bad), these new tech money elites, who follow utilitarianism, who want to find a reason to “save the planet”, and I think… they actually want to see humanity destroy itself, in order to go to Mars or whatever.
  3. This whole trend of creating your own cryptocurrency or token is a bad idea. FTT, which was the token for FTX, was probably the biggest critical downfall of You should never hedge your finances on imaginary token.
  4. Money is fake
  5. CZ, the CEO of binance, seems like kind of a strange character. Once again he isn’t evil either… but, it seems that petty rivalries and feuds often escalate into some sort of market downsides.
  6. Apparently from what I understand, besides all of the bad behavior, was actually a good trading platform. It allowed novice traders to trade, and also more advanced quants to trade as well. Apparently it was very cutting edge at the time, offering advanced treating tools for experts.
  7. Alameda research, which actually was in existence before is the strange case. Essentially it was the place where money was being funneled into, which may be turned out to use customer funds to fundraise strange effective altruist campaigns. For example, Sam Bankman Fried essentially had an unlimited US dollar bank account, to throw money at any sort of celebrity endorsement, which includes Tom Brady and Stephen Curry, And also, throwing vast sums of money at political candidates running for office, to essentially ensure that Donald Trump did not get elected (he still did). I believe that Joe Biden and his campaign was given over $100 million from Sam Bankman Fried.

So what happened?

Some interesting things:

First, learning about Jane Street, one of the high frequency trading firms, a bunch of quant, quantitative folks, doing some sort of hedging, maybe dynamic hedging as Nassim Taleb calls it — essentially a lot of the trading world is automated by algorithms, and bots. Jane street recent news.

It also seems that a lot of this is run by people who are highly mathematically trained, people who are essentially mathematical thinkers.

Maybe this is where math is interesting; it isn’t math for math, but instead, the purpose of math is to think more critically, and to also think quicker.

So what happened?

I think essentially what happened was all of the customer accounts of were funneled into Alameda research, which then either directly or indirectly went to Sam’s discretionary spending fund on political matters, building infrastructure for the headquarters in the Bahamas etc.

Also, the demise and downfall of was that it relied too much on hedging; essentially let us say that $10 billion worth of US dollars worth of crypto was in the platform, customer money… and let us assume that at once, 100% of the customers would want to pull their money. This would not be possible because at one point a time, might only have a total of 10% of the customer funds.

I think this is actually what happens similarly in traditional banks as well. A bank never has all the customer money, they essentially use your money as leverage to speculate elsewhere.

Also this is where I’m starting to get more skeptical of traditional IRAs, 401(k) plans, Roth IRA etc.; once again, certain companies and corporations in the US government are trying to leverage your money right now to make a profit on something, while you have to sit there and just twiddle your thumbs.

Now what?

It seems that I think, the best trading platform is Coinbase. I see it like it is the PayPal, the new PayPal for crypto.

Also, I am not really like a crypto anarchist; I like the government, I like being able to transfer it into my normal American Bank account, and I like the idea that if I wanted to, I could easily convert it into US dollars. Of course it all comes with the fee; but that fee is nominal for the convenience and the practicality of things.

I recently converted 90% of my bitcoin into chainlink, and one of the driving factors is what if chainlink becomes like the next SWIFT for international banks? This would help a lot of the global finance industry.

For example, my mom currently lives in South Korea, and having to transfer money from my US Bank account to her South Korean bank account and vice versa was a major pain in the ass. Having to literally go to a bank teller in real life and having to sign all these paper forms was insanely cumbersome annoying and time-consuming. It should all be able to be done digitally, in terms of cryptographic truth.

Also, another subtle funny thing; a lot of hourly wage service workers have to punch in punch out, but… it seems difficult to know for 100% certain or not if they actually truly showed up for work or not. Maybe chainlink could solve that.

Useful tools?

I still love bitcoin and I think bitcoin is sexy, and I think that everybody should own at least one bitcoin, just in case it goes to $10 million a bitcoin or who knows even $100 million a bitcoin by the time that we are about to die.

Also, I think everything in crypto should be done in the spirit that literally it could all go to zero. It probably won’t, but it might go down to just one percent of the value what it was worth before. For example I was able to ride digibyte from 20 cents a dgb to maybe 50 cents a digibyte, in which I literally traded to chainlink, and then converted it all back into bitcoin. But now, digibyte in now in shambles, worth less than a penny.

The reason I like chainlink is that it actually does something useful. To create a technology which actually does something is a good idea. Bitcoin is great, but ultimately I think of bitcoin more like digital electronic gold. Most people never spend their gold, they just hoard it.

Data price feeds?

A very useful technology and service that chainlink provides is giving you an accurate price of certain cryptocurrency assets. For example, if you really wanted to precisely know the price of one bitcoin pegged to the US dollar, down to the cent… who do you trust? Because some platforms give you slightly different numbers. Ultimately we want ultimate truth, the most accurate number. Chainlink will offer that.

The reason why this is critical is that one thing I learned from going infinite and flash boys… literally even a quarter of a penny, if leveraged and hedged with trillions of dollars can make a fat profit. These really really big firms will want accuracy of crypto prices down to even a fraction of a penny.

Illuminati influences

So one character I find very interesting is Eric Schmidt, the ex CEO of Google. He made Google to become the Google it is today. Apparently one of the things he said, a strategy that he had when see you at Google was genius; “We made sure to put a little bit of Google into everything”. YouTube video.

Quite genius. I think nowadays almost every single product tracking thing is somehow connected to google analytics and Google Adsense somewhere. Even when you Google something and open up the hyperlink and click it, there is this long ugly URL with a bunch of Google tracking code in it.

Also I find Eric Schmidt interesting because he was mentioned in the going infinite book. Even apparently ERIC Schmidt I think… ran for Senate or something, it might hold a board seat somewhere?

Now this is the killer: Eric Schmidt joined chainlink as part of their board of trustees. This is good news for chainlink, because then what it means is that I think… ERIC Schmidt, probably owns a substantial number of chainlink in his own personal account, and now that he has political power, he will most likely use his political power to enrich himself. Therefore as a consequence, if you own chainlink, it is a good promise that ERIC Schmidt is probably behind the scenes, helping you become richer.


I took some screenshots, but essentially all the rich people are banding together to become richer together. Apparently there’s lots of private parties in which Jeff Bezos shows up, a few of the Kardashians, etc.

I find this interesting not from a conspiracy theory perspective, but essentially the elite are essentially giving each other back rubs, maybe wealth is just a huge circle jerk.

Michael Lewis for the win

I love Michael Lewis for his candor, his humor, his offkilter humor. And also would I like by Michael Lewis now because he is so successful, I think he’s just really writing these books out of self interest and fun. You could tell that he is actually legitimately interested in the life of Sam Bankman-Fried, expensively interviewing his parents, his friends etc.

You cannot fake passion and enthusiasm and fun. It is a hugely entertaining read and insightful. Highly recommend.