A lot has happened over the last 48 hours pertaining to not one but two more crypto venture capital banks collapsing over the weekend and the fate of some $300 billion in deposits
Federal regulators announced on Sunday that another bank had been closed and that the government would ensure that all depositors of Silicon Valley Bank — which failed Friday — would be paid back in full as Washington rushed to keep fallout from the collapse of the large institution from sweeping through the financial system.
The Federal Reserve, Treasury and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced in a joint statement that “depositors will have access to all of their money starting Monday, March 13.” In an attempt to assuage concerns about who would bear the costs, the agencies said that “no losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer.”
The agencies also said that they would make whole depositors at Signature Bank, which the government disclosed was shut down on Sunday by New York bank regulators. The state officials said the move came “in light of market events, monitoring market trends, and collaborating closely with other state and federal regulators” to protect consumers and the financial system.
President Biden said on Sunday evening that the actions were taken at his direction and that he would deliver remarks about the banking system on Monday morning.
“I am pleased that they reached a prompt solution that protects American workers and small businesses, and keeps our financial system safe,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “The solution also ensures that taxpayer dollars are not put at risk.”
He added: “I am firmly committed to holding those responsible for this mess fully accountable and to continuing our efforts to strengthen oversight and regulation of larger banks so that we are not in this position again.”
The collapse of Signature marks the third significant bank failure within a week. Silvergate, a California-based bank that made loans to cryptocurrency companies, announced last Wednesday that it would cease operations and liquidate its assets.
Amid the wreckage, the Fed also announced that it would set up an emergency lending program, with approval from the Treasury, to funnel funding to eligible banks and help ensure that they are able to “meet the needs of all their depositors.”
Now why does Signature Bank of New York sound familiar? Oh, because it had some very famous New York clientele.
Signature was a commercial bank with private client offices in New York, Connecticut, California, Nevada and North Carolina, and had nine national business lines including commercial real estate and digital asset banking.
As of September, almost a quarter of its deposits came from the cryptocurrency sector, but the bank announced in December that it would shrink its crypto-related deposits by $8 billion.
Signature Bank announced in February that its chief executive officer, Joseph DePaolo, would transition into a senior adviser role in 2023 and would be succeeded by the bank’s chief operating officer, Eric Howell. DePaolo has served as president and CEO since Signature's inception in 2001.
The bank had a long-standing relationship with former President Donald Trump and his family, providing Trump and his business with checking accounts and financing several of the family's ventures. Signature Bank cut ties with Trump in 2021 following the deadly Jan. 6 riots on Capitol Hill, and urged Trump to resign.
Yep. This used to be Donald Trump's bank. It cut ties with Trump after January 6th, but let's imagine what kind of bank it had to be in order to do business with Trump in the first place, and to do so throughout his term in office.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that the federal government would not bail out Silicon Valley Bank, but is working to help depositors who are concerned about their money.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures deposits up to $250,000, but many of the companies and wealthy people who used the bank — known for its relationships with technology startups and venture capital — had more than that amount in their account. There are fears that some workers across the country won’t receive their paychecks.
Yellen, in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation,” provided few details on the government’s next steps. But she emphasized that the situation was much different from the financial crisis almost 15 years ago, which led to bank bailouts to protect the industry.
“We’re not going to do that again,” she said. “But we are concerned about depositors, and we’re focused on trying to meet their needs.”
With Wall Street rattled, Yellen tried to reassure Americans that there will be no domino effect after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
“The American banking system is really safe and well capitalized,” she said. “It’s resilient.”
Silicon Valley Bank is the nation’s 16th-largest bank. It was the second biggest bank failure in U.S. history after the collapse of Washington Mutual in 2008. The bank served mostly technology workers and venture capital-backed companies, including some of the industry’s best-known brands.
Meanwhile, SVB's assets are being unwound and the newly created National Bank of Santa Clara will begin operating on Monday. We'll see if the Trump regime weakened FDIC powers enough to cause problems today, but I'm thinking that Yellen will hold firm for now.
Federal authorities are seriously considering safeguarding all uninsured deposits at Silicon Valley Bank, weighing an extraordinary intervention to prevent what they fear would be a panic in the U.S. financial system, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private deliberations.
Officials at the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation discussed the idea this weekend, the people said, with only hours to go before financial markets opened in Asia. White House officials have also studied the idea, per two separate people familiar with those discussions.
The plan would be among the potential policy responses if the government is unable to find a buyer for the failed bank. The FDIC began an auction process for SVB on Saturday and hoped to identify a winning bidder Sunday afternoon, with final bids expected by 2 p.m. Eastern time, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Selling SVB to a healthy institution remains the preferred solution, officials have told members of Congress. Most bank failures are resolved that way and enable depositors to avoid losing any money.
In calls with federal banking regulators late Saturday and Sunday, Democrats said they were “praying for a buyer,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), a member of the House Financial Services Committee. “Big buyer, small buyer, fat buyer, skinny buyer — we need a buyer,” he said. “If they have a bunch of buyers, I would argue you take the best offer,” he said, noting then they can “quibble about which offer to take.”
Although the FDIC insures bank deposits up to $250,000, a provision in federal banking law may give them the authority to protect the uninsured deposits as well if they conclude that failing to do so would pose a systemic risk to the broader financial system, the people said. In that event, uninsured deposits could be backstopped by an insurance fund, paid into regularly by U.S. banks.
The techbros who spent years lobbying for faster, looser capital requirements because "People learned their lesson 15 years ago" are the first people warning that unless these same techbros get back every dime of their billions that they will have no choice but to help collapse more banks until Yellen surrenders.
That's the real problem, and everyone knows it.
Banking regulators devised a plan Sunday to backstop depositors with money at Silicon Valley Bank, a critical step in stemming a feared systemic panic brought on by the collapse of the tech-focused institution.
Depositors at both failed SVB and Signature Bank in New York, which was shuttered Sunday over similar systemic contagion fears, will have full access to their deposits as part of multiple moves that officials approved over the weekend. Signature had been a popular funding source for cryptocurrency companies.
Those with money at the bank will have full access starting Monday.
The Treasury Department designated both SVB and Signature as systemic risks, giving it authority to unwind both institutions in a way that it said “fully protects all depositors.” The FDIC’s deposit insurance fund will be used to cover depositors, many of whom were uninsured due to the $250,000 cap on guaranteed deposits.
Along with that move, the Federal Reserve also said it is creating a new Bank Term Funding Program aimed at safeguarding institutions affected by the market instability of the SVB failure.
A joint statement from the various regulators involved said there would be no bailouts and no taxpayer costs associated with any of the new plans. Shareholders and some unsecured creditors will not be protected and will lose all of their investments.
“Today we are taking decisive actions to protect the U.S. economy by strengthening public confidence in our banking system,” said a joint statement from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg.
So the investors are losers as they should be, but not the cryptobros who had their unsecured deposits in the bank. They're going to get billions back. Lobbyists during the Trump years begged for less oversight and to take greater risks with tech billions. Supposedly this will all be covered by the FDIC as systemic risk. That's the bailout.
But a quarter-trillion plus doesn't go belly up without consequences. Signature Bank is going to bring the total to well over $300 billion. Maybe this all stops Monday.
US President Joe Biden on Monday addressed the nation after the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, and said, "Americans can have confidence that the banking system is safe."
"Your deposits will be there when you need them. Small businesses across the country that have deposit accounts at these banks can breathe easier knowing they'll be able to pay their workers and pay their bills," he said in his Monday address.
Which is the right message, but why did this bank run happen in the first place?
The run was sparked by a letter that Silicon Valley Bank Chief Executive Officer Greg Becker sent to shareholders Wednesday. The bank had suffered a $1.8 billion loss on the sale of US treasuries and mortgage-backed securities and outlined a plan to raise $2.25 billion of capital to shore up its finances.
Customers immediately tried to pull their money, including many of the venture-capital firms the bank had cultivated over decades. Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Coatue Management, Union Square Ventures and Founder Collective all advised their startups to pull their cash from the bank, people familiar with the matter said.
The withdrawals initiated by depositors and investors amounted to $42 billion on Thursday alone, according to the regulator. Despite being in sound financial condition prior to Thursday, the California watchdog said the run “caused the bank to be incapable of paying its obligations as they come due,” and it was now insolvent.
The bank was then closed by the California DFPI and placed into FDIC receivership, marking the biggest failure of a US bank since the financial crisis.
They pulled their money on purpose to collapse the bank and to force the Biden administration to give them 100% of any losses back, and they collapsed SVB because otherwise they were going to have to pay up for their risky mortgage investments.
This was deliberate sabotage, the fiduciary equivalent of burning down a building to collect the insurance, so these donors turned a $1.8 billion loss that would have shut down one techbro startup and made the rest of Silicon Valley suddenly aware of being on the hook for their own bad investments into a $42 billion bank run that wiped out their creditors and assured that the feds would pay them back for any losses, with the threat of economic destruction if they didn't.
Because if these assholes can collapse one bank in order to avoid losses, they can do it to anyone.
The game is now fully on.