Investor Bill Ackman defends Bankman-Fried then deletes tweet

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In an almost instantly-deleted tweet, billionaire and activist investor Bill Ackman “gave credit” to founder and chief exec of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) for his “accountability,” and said he’d “never seen a CEO take responsibility as [SBF] does here.”

Ackman runs hedge fund Pershing Square and is most famous for shorting bond insurer MBIA during the 2008 financial crisis and for holding a $1 billion short against multi-level marketing firm Herbalife for many years. In May, the investor called Terra the “crypto version of a pyramid scheme,” but believed that blockchain had huge potential.

“The crypto industry should self-regulate away other crypto projects with no underlying business models,” Ackman tweeted at the time. “Hyping tokens that are not supported by businesses that create value will destroy the entire crypto industry.”

His more recent tweet praising Bankman-Fried was deleted in mere moments — but not fast enough to be missed by Bankman-Fried himself. The FTX chief took time out of his day to reply that he’s going to “keep fighting, as best as he can, for users.”

Not long after the reply by SBF — and dozens of others lampooning the tweet — Ackman hit the delete button.

Read more: The many lies of Sam Bankman-Fried

The back and forth comes after the collapse of SBF’s exchange FTX and his trading entity, Alameda Research — which appear to have relied on customer deposits to stay afloat. The success of SBF’s entities allowed him to briefly claim to be the wealthiest person aged 30 or below, with a net worth of over $15 billion, nearly eight times the net worth of Ackman.

Both individuals seem to have taken a Twitter hiatus after the fiasco. Ackman has since returned to tweeting but SBF, perhaps after speaking to lawyers, has stayed silent.

Now, SBF’s net worth is negative and Ackman’s Pershing Square is outperforming the broader markets.

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Edit 12:35 UTC, Nov 15: Edited headline to refer to Ackman as an investor rather than short seller.