Exclusive media partner: The New York Times


Receive regular updates about forthcoming events and other news from Intelligence Squared


You have been added to our mailing list and will now be among the first to hear about events.


Michael Lewis on The Rise and Fall of Sam Bankman-Fried

The story of an enigmatic protagonist behind one of the most catastrophic financial meltdowns of the 21st century

Michael Lewis is the renowned author of bestselling masterpieces including Moneyball, The Big Short, Flash Boys and Liar’s Poker. This autumn he is set to release his most anticipated book to date which is likely to be one of 2023’s biggest sellers  – Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon, a gripping, real-time narrative chronicling the enigmatic protagonist behind one of the most catastrophic financial meltdowns of the 21st century. 

This character is Sam Bankman-Fried, who became the world’s youngest billionaire before his thirtieth birthday. And Lewis is uniquely positioned to tell his story, having been granted unprecedented access by Bankman-Fried, allowing him to witness his entire tumultuous journey. As Lewis himself puts it, ‘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.’

In October 2023 Lewis came to the Intelligence Squared stage to relay how, as the crypto frenzy reached its peak, Bankman-Fried’s fortune soared, attracting the attention of CEOs, celebrities, philosophers, charity heads and world leaders, all vying for a piece of his time – and sometimes his money. At one point he considered paying off the entire national debt of the Bahamas so he could take his business there.

But then it all came crashing down. Bankman-Fried has been charged in US federal court with committing a multi-billion-dollar fraud and, if convicted, faces a lengthy prison term. 

Who was this unconventional figure, who nonchalantly wore cargo shorts and played video games while giving TV interviews, remaining a mystery even to his investors? What gave him such an outstanding ability to make money? And what led to the spectacular collapse of his empire?

Presented in partnership with Penguin

Penguin Books - Wikipedia

Praise for Michael Lewis

When the stories of our times are told, there will be no more seminal documents than the books of Michael Lewis.’ ― The Guardian

‘I would read an 800-page history of the stapler if he wrote it.’ ― The New York Times Book Review

‘He is so good everyone else may as well pack up.’ ― Evening Standard



Michael Lewis

Internationally bestselling author whose latest book is Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon

Author whose global bestselling books lift the lid on the biggest stories of our times. They include Flash Boys, a game-changing exposé 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 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. His new book is Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon.   

Ritula Shah

Journalist and presenter on Classic FM

Presenter of Calm Classics on Classic FM. She was previously the main presenter of the World Tonight, BBC Radio 4’s main evening news programme.