on the cover

On the Cover: Sam Bankman-Fried and the Collapse of FTX

Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

For New York Magazine’s November 21 - December 4, 2022, issue, the cover package takes readers through the rise and fall of Sam Bankman-Fried, who pitched himself as the honest crypto guy ready to spend his fortune saving the world. Then he spent other people’s money trying to save himself. New York’s package delves into what his $32 billion meltdown has revealed and wrought, with pieces on Bankman-Fried’s origins, the scene in the Bahamas, how he wooed the media, and more.

“SBF had his hands in so many pots — philanthropy, politics, media, finance — that the only way to really understand this story in full was to tell it from many different perspectives,” says features director Genevieve Smith. “We are fortunate as a general interest publication to have all-star journalists in all of these disparate realms, and we were able to marshal their expertise to report out his downfall and its aftermath in a way no one else can.”

The photograph of Bankman-Fried on the cover was taken in September of this year by Sasha Arutyunova.

Elsewhere in the issue is a feature by E. Alex Jung on the life of science-fiction writer Octavia Butler; a deep dive by Ken Silverstein on Montana-based billionaire Michael Goguen, the subject of the latest season of New York’s podcast Cover Story: Seed Money; and a first-person account by Rebecca Alter on Christmas movies and her experience being an extra in Lifetime’s Santa Bootcamp.

On the flip side of the Bankman-Fried cover is the Strategist’s exhaustive holiday gift guide, with over 400 carefully selected and unusually special items broken down by price. The cover illustration was done by Nolan Pelletier, with the fish a nod to the classic New York cover “A Gentile’s Guide to Jewish Food.”

“We created a distinctly magazine-y catalog,” says features editor Katy Schneider. “Every single page is shoppable — and every single one of the items recommended on those pages is well sourced, but it’s also just compulsively readable and visually stunning.”

On the Cover: Sam Bankman-Fried and the Collapse of FTX