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Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon

Going Infinite isn't a story of a fraudster who stole billions. That story is the obvious, common narrative of SBF and the collapse of FTX. Instead, Lewis tells a more interesting story: how the utter chaos that most definitely happened led to an outcome that looks like fraud. He's not necessarily saying it's not fraud, but it's also not definitely fraud. It's messy and complex. Many startups flirt with this sort of complexity, ranging from convicted frauds like Elizabeth Holmes, to ones we've never heard of because it worked.

Surface level, it's an interesting and well-told story. Lewis is also an unreliable narrator. He likes SBF, and perhaps even understands him. He spent enough time with him where he thinks he understands SBF's actual motives and how he actually is. Telling this story is harder, because SBF has few remaining friends. When FTX collapsed, no one wanted to associate with him anymore. Perhaps for good reason. But The Coddling of the American Mind brilliantly pointed out the great untruth "life is a battle between good people and evil people". It's easy to think of SBF as evil, it's harder to realize how incredibly complex this is.

It's easy to call Michael Lewis biased, or a journalist who let facts get in the way of truth. He probably is indeed wrong about many details, particularly ones that would make SBF look bad. SBF was his biggest source, and I assume most other people are not talking because court cases are pending. This has led to people to critique everything about a very crazy story. From people I know who were close to what happened, Lewis's story is directionally accurate.

I enjoyed it. Lewis wrote the more interesting book, and I'm glad he did.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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