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FTX fallout spreads to crypto prices
Crypto assets are in the red again on Monday, with Bitcoin hovering around a two-year low, as investors grow increasingly jittery about the contagion risks from the collapse of FTX. Over the weekend, the failed crypto exchange, founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, revealed that its combined businesses owed a total of $3.1 billion to its top 50 creditors.
About half of that sum is owed to FTX’s top 10 creditors. The company submitted a redacted list to U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Saturday, but warned it could make further adjustments given the disastrous state of its record keeping. Little is known about who precisely is on that list. What’s known is that the list of FTX backers is vast and impressive, including the likes of BlackRock, Sequoia and the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund.
There is some good news for creditors. John Ray, the new FTX C.E.O. overseeing the bankruptcy, said that some entities, including FTX US, are solvent. He is reviewing assets and is preparing to sell or reorganize those businesses, to begin the process of paying back those it owes money. The company has also asked the court for permission to pay its remaining 330 employees, noting that they are quitting swiftly.
Crypto companies are in trouble, whether or not they have cut FTX ties. Shares in Silvergate Capital, a bank specializing in crypto assets, are down in premarket trading this morning, after halving in the past month. The company has issued a series of statements saying it has no loans outstanding to FTX or its founder. Shares in Coinbase, a rival crypto exchange, are off a further 5 percent in premarket, too, as investors sell risky assets connected to crypto.
Adding to investor worries: suspicious movements this weekend in FTX’s crypto assets. That triggered an alert from the blockchain research firm Chainalysis, warning that FTX may have been hit by another hacker attack, similar to one that occurred the previous weekend.