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Going Infinite : The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon - Michael Lewis

Going Infinite

The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon

By: Michael Lewis

Hardcover | 3 October 2023 | Edition Number 1

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From the #1 bestselling author of The Big Short and Flash Boys, the high-octane story of the enigmatic figure at the heart of one of the 21st century's most spectacular financial collapses

'I asked him how much it would take for him to sell FTX and go do something other than make money. He thought the question over. "One hundred and fifty billion dollars," he finally said-though he added that he had use for "infinity dollars"...'

Sam Bankman-Fried wasn't just rich. Before he turned thirty he'd become the world's youngest billionaire, making a record fortune in the crypto frenzy. CEOs, celebrities and world leaders vied for his time. At one point he considered paying off the entire national debt of the Bahamas so he could take his business there.

Then it all fell apart.

Who was this Gatsby of the crypto world, a rumpled guy in cargo shorts, whose eyes twitched across TV interviews as he played video games on the side, who even his million-dollar investors still found a mystery? What gave him such an extraordinary ability to make money - and how did his empire collapse so spectacularly?

Michael Lewis was there when it happened, having got to know Bankman-Fried during his epic rise. In Going Infinite he tells us a story like no other, taking us through the mind-bending trajectory of a character who never liked the rules and was allowed to live by his own. Both psychological portrait of a preternaturally gifted 'thinking machine', and wild financial roller-coaster ride, this is a twenty-first-century epic of high-frequency trading and even higher stakes, of crypto mania and insane amounts of money, of hubris and downfall. No one could tell it better.

About the Author

Michael Lewis's global bestselling books lift the lid on the biggest stories of our times. They include Flash Boys, a game-changing expose of high-speed scamming; The Big Short, which was made into a hit Oscar-winning film; Liar's Poker, the book that defined the excesses of the 1980s; and, most recently, The Fifth Risk, revealing what happens when democracy unravels. Michael Lewis was born in New Orleans and educated at Princeton University and the London School of Economics.
Industry Reviews
Going Infinite is a stupefyingly pleasurable book to read. It's perfectly paced, extremely funny, and fills in many gaps in a story that has been subjected to an unholy amount of reporting... What he began with Moneyball has come into full flower with Going Infinite. Lewis has surveyed a landscape taken by convention as settled and found it destabilized, at least here and there, by uneven and unreliable information. Perhaps Lewis's book should encourage an update, however minuscule, in our own priors. * New Yorker *
Lewis' storytelling is as good as ever... In the past, Mr Lewis has focused on little-known people doing extraordinary things. This time his subject is notorious... Mr Bankman-Fried's hyper-rationality sets him apart from everyone. He views people not as good or bad, but as "probability distributions" around a mean... By tolerating the idea that hyper-rationalists cannot make sense of the rules of the game the way most people do, Mr Lewis implicitly asks readers to reconsider whatever they thought they knew about Mr Bankman-Fried. In the court of public opinion, he is already convicted. That's reason enough to give this book a read. * The Economist *
In November 2022, FTX collapsed in a matter of days after it suffered billions of dollars in customer withdrawals, sending shockwaves through the crypto world. To make sense of all this, with perfect timing, comes Michael Lewis... Going Infinite is his superbly detailed picture of the man behind it... So where might the money have gone? We still don't entirely know, though Lewis offers some preliminary balance sheet calculations - which remain more detailed than anything FTX ever published. * Evening Standard *
Michael Lewis is the world's finest financial storyteller... Going Infinite is at its best in describing Bankman-Fried's rise... Lewis is equally sharp on how the effective altruism movement shifted its priorities, from donating to prevent disease and mortality in the global south to worrying about (putative) trillions of human lives across the galaxy in the distant future. * Daily Telegraph *
When the stories of our times are told, there will be no more seminal documents than the books of Michael Lewis. * Guardian *
I would read an 800-page history of the stapler if he wrote it. * New York Times Book Review *
In the hands of Michael Lewis, anything is possible. * Sunday Times *
He is so good everyone else may as well pack up. * Evening Standard *
Life is what happens between Michael Lewis books. -- Michael Hofmann

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Published: 3rd October 2023

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