What a weekend! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC.
What do you think we’ve got for stories today? It’s all about Silicon Valley Bank going down and the knock-on effects.
If you’re not up to speed, here’s a quick rundown on what the hell happened at Silicon Valley Bank.
In short, SVB built a reputation over the past 40 years catering to the tech community. But a perfect storm of rising interest rates, poor financial decisions, a terrible market for tech, and a bank run led to SVB’s downfall essentially overnight.
With $209 billion in assets at the end of 2022, it’s the biggest US bank collapse since Washington Mutual, which had $307 billion in assets before it went down in 2008. However, SVB is a particularly scary situation since nearly 90% of its deposits were uninsured by the FDIC due to the size of the accounts.
There were lots of knock-on effects that had people worried, the most pressing of which was how startups who banked with SVB would get their money in time to pay employees this week (more on that below).
However, federal regulators quelled those concerns when it announced Sunday night it was bailing out SVB customers. The US Treasury, Federal Reserve Board, and the Financial Deposit Insurance Corporation announced they would “fully protect” all depositors who had funds in Silicon Valley Bank. All their money would be available starting Monday.
New York’s Signature Bank was also closed by regulators over the weekend, but those depositors will also be made whole, per the announcement.
Regulators also made one thing clear with their announcement: “No losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer.”
News broke this morning that HSBC has bought the UK arm of SVB in a last-minute deal for 1 British pound, or $1.21. The UK government and the Bank of England facilitated the private sale, British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter: “Deposits will be protected, with no taxpayer support”.
As for the fate of the rest of SVB, that still remains to be seen. Here’s some potential options on the likely candidates who could buy the bank.
You can follow our live coverage of the SVB saga here.
Alright, buckle up and let’s get into it.
If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider’s app here.
1. First up, here’s a rundown of how it all went terribly wrong for Silicon Valley Bank. Inside the lead up and eventual failure of the tech industry’s favored bank. Here’s how it all went down.
2. Meanwhile, SVB employees had mixed reactions in the wake of the failure. While some grieved the loss, others looked to refresh their resumes or just headed to a familiar bar for young Wall Streeters. It’s not all bad news, as the employees still reportedly got paid their bonuses hours before the bank got shutdown. (To be fair, this was for 2022 work and reportedly scheduled days ago.)
3. The Goldman Sachs angle. One of the most powerful banks on the Street also got involved with SVB amid the madness. Goldman helped advise SVB on its disastrous stock offering that was eventually scrapped. These are the details behind Goldman’s attempt to help SVB.
4. And meanwhile in VC land… A debate has emerged about the amount of blame venture capitalists deserve for their role in SVB’s collapse. The VCs who moved quickly to get their cash out were successful, like Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and say the responsibility falls solely on the bank. But some VCs claim the panic caused by VCs pushing their founders to withdraw money from the bank played a role. If you’re interested, here’s a take from yours truly on the role VCs played in this debacle.
5. For startups, the fall of SVB sent many into a tailspin. In the immediate aftermath, the biggest concern among the startup community is whether or not they’ll be able to pay their employees this week. More on that here. We’ve also got reactions from 8 founders about what it’s been like trying to get their funds out of SVB.
6. Here’s what all the big wigs think. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman is blaming the Federal Reserve for not moving quicker. Mark Cuban also has a bone to pick with the Fed. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has a new name for Silicon Valley Bank. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman let his money do the talking, reportedly sending six-figure loans to startups who need help making payroll. And you didn’t think something this big would occur without a certain tech billionaire inserting himself into the fray.
7. One person’s pain is another person’s gain. Meanwhile, Wall Street found an opportunity in the crisis (surprise!) by offering to buy SVB customers’ uninsured deposits for as little as 55 cents on the dollar. More on the opportunistic dealmakers.
8. The SVB blow up isn’t just impacting small tech startups. SVB turned out to be a big lender to wineries, loaning out $4 billion to the industry over the past 30 years. Etsy has already told sellers that payments will be delayed because it was using SVB — but sellers say they’re shutting their stores until the platform clears up any risk of non-payment. Meanwhile, streaming service Roku had nearly half-a-billion dollars in deposits in the bank when it failed. At least one SVB customer is having fun with it: Popular kids’ toy store Camp, which had cash at the bank, ran a 40% off sale with the promo code “BANKRUN.”
9. And about those contagion concerns… Shares in First Republic Bank fell as much as 70% in premarket trading in the wake of SVB’s collapse. First Republic, which, like SVB, also has a sizeable portion of deposits that are uninsured, reassured customers over the weekend that its liquidity remains “very strong.” The same could not be said for New York’s Signature Bank, which was closed on Sunday.
10. One bright side of all of this: new memes. Despite the seriousness of the issue, the internet didn’t pass up an opportunity to make some jokes. Here are some of the best memes that have cropped up as a result of SVB chaos.
Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email [email protected], tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.