PLP chairman says Bahamas’ future will not be hurt by FTX collapse

Rejecting concerns raised over the collapse of crypto giant FTX and worries that it could negatively impact The Bahamas, Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell said yesterday that The Bahamas’ future will in no way be threatened by FTX.

“I watched the Wall Street Journal piece yesterday I think it was,” Mitchell, the chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), said in a voice note to party supporters.

“The reporter intoned with serious terms with grave background and well, you would have thought, doom and gloom, the sky is falling in The 

Bahamas. You know, we have a well-regulated jurisdiction.

“The sky is not falling. There is no doom and gloom. Our future is not in any way threatened by the collapse of FTX, not for one minute.”

This is the second voice note to party supporters where Mitchell dismissed the FTX issue.

The Davis administration rolled out the red carpet for FTX and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried when he set up his business in The Bahamas last year.

Prime Minister Philip Davis officially opened FTX and Salt’s crypto conference at Baha Mar earlier this year. Various Cabinet ministers and the chairman of the Securities Commission of The Bahamas participated in panel discussions during the conference.

The US arm of the company is now in bankruptcy in the US. The Bahamas-based FTX Digital Markets, the nerve center of the operation, is under liquidation in The Bahamas.

Mitchell said there “must be an unconflicted liquidator”.

He did not respond when asked if he believes there is a conflict of interest as the Supreme Court appointed liquidator, Brian Simms, KC, works at the same firm as one of the board members for the Securities Commission, the regulator overseeing an investigation into FTX in The Bahamas.

Mitchell said he is “fascinated” by what local press thinks is important.

He said local and international media are “all taken” with the collapse of the crypto giant.

“The local press wanted to know if the PLP got money from FTX,” Mitchell said.

“I told them, ‘No, we didn’t.’ They didn’t believe me, so they went to the leader and he told them no as well. He confirmed it but what I really wanted to tell them, ‘None of your damn business.’”

Mitchell said the only thing “unusual about this FTX matter is the size of the collapse”.

“Be sure, there are business collapses and fraud every day [and] liquidations, both forced and voluntary, every day – some in The Bahamas,” he said.

Almost one million people lost their money in the collapse of FTX. The company owes its top 50 creditors over $3 billion. It also purchased almost $300 million in real estate in The Bahamas, property that may be put back up for sale during the bankruptcy proceedings in the US.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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