Town Square

Post a New Topic

When regulators took over Silicon Valley Bank, startups scrambled to make payroll

Original post made on Mar 17, 2023

A bank run that prompted the country's 16th largest bank to become insolvent was a shocking reality that many in the local tech industry have dealt with over the past week.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 17, 2023, 1:14 PM

Comments (4)

Posted by Johnny Yuma
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 17, 2023 at 5:53 pm

Johnny Yuma is a registered user.

SVB executives must be held accountable. SVB chief executive Greg Becker sold $3.6 million worth of shares on February 27. He had to have known of the pending disaster. Earlier, Becker tried to get regulations weakened.

Currently, Becker is vacationing in Hawaii. The regulators must’ve been on vacation, too... If found guilty, executives like Greg Becker must do prison time. Serious prison time.

Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2023 at 8:58 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

"Fed was aware of Silicon Valley Bank problems more than a year before its collapse" - Web Link

"In all, the Fed cautioned the bank about its concerns on several occasions, ABC News confirmed.

In a 2021 review, the Fed identified significant vulnerabilities in the bank's containment of risk, but the bank did not rectify the weaknesses."

"Former Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker sat on the board of directors at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from January 2019 until the day of the bank's collapse on March 10."

Same old, same old.

"Inside the Collapse of Silicon Valley Bank - While its leader extolled innovation and the future of tech, the bank paid less attention to risk management and was caught flat-footed by economic change." - Web Link

"The tale of Silicon Valley Bank is one of ambition and management mistakes, of a chief executive who talked so much about innovation and the future that he and his lieutenants didn’t pay enough attention to the mundane but enormously important work of managing risk and ensuring financial prudence."

Obviously, collapse of any bank has dire consequences on those who lose $$$ as a result. The Fed / taxpayers are stepping in to protect depositers in this case. Keep in mind that those monies could have been used on some other useful project, such as paying for more affordable housing in Mountain View.

As long as no significant reforms are made in this area, banks are going to continue to press for deregulation for the simple reason that THEY MAKE MORE MONEY THAT WAY. If they win their bets, THEY KEEP THE WINNINGS. If they lose their bets, they get bailed out by Uncle Sam. This is only an acceptable solution for the investor class. This situation is going to keep happening until the public cries out for it to stop.

Local reporting seems oddly quiet on this.

Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2023 at 10:27 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

Reporting from the NYT about Gerry Tan's activities to shape public opinion on SVB's failure - Web Link .

"Some tried to combat the anti-tech perception that was bubbling up on social media. Over the weekend, Garry Tan, the president of the start-up incubator Y Combinator, sent a message to hundreds of founders and entrepreneurs telling them to begin posting “tweetstorms” to humanize the impact that Silicon Valley Bank’s failure was having on them.

The idea was to show how innovation could be stifled if depositors were not made whole, with the added benefit that more of those types of narratives would prevent some of the more outspoken “tech bro” venture capitalists and founders from becoming Silicon Valley’s faces of the situation.

“By coming together as a community and showing our strength, we can have an impact on the future of start-ups,” Mr. Tan wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The New York Times. He later posted an online petition to the government asking them “to save innovation in the American economy,” which was signed by more than 5,000 chief executives representing nearly half a million employees."

Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 22, 2023 at 1:21 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

From the NYT: "The Fed's Unpleasant Choice" - Web Link

"The Federal Reserve faces a difficult decision at its meeting that ends this afternoon: Should Fed officials raise interest rates in response to worrisome recent inflation data — and accept the risk of causing further problems for banks? Or should officials pause their rate increases — and accept the risk that inflation will remain high?

This dilemma is another reminder of the broad economic damage that banking crises cause. In today’s newsletter, I’ll first explain the Fed’s tough call and then look at one of the lessons emerging from the current banking turmoil. Above all, that turmoil is a reminder of the high costs of ineffective bank regulation, which has been a recurring problem in the U.S."


"The banking troubles of the past two weeks scrambled these plans. Why? In addition to slowing the economy, higher interest rates depress the value of many financial assets (as these charts explain). Some bank executives did a poor job planning for these asset declines, and their balance sheets suffered. When customers became worried that the banks would no longer have enough money to return their deposits, a classic bank run ensued. It led to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, and others remain in jeopardy.

If Fed officials continue raising their benchmark rate, they risk damaging the balance sheets of more banks and causing new bank runs."

Related: "A Big Question for the Fed: What Went Wrong With Bank Oversight?" - Web Link

"Many of the bank’s weaknesses seem, in hindsight, as if they should have been obvious to its regulators at the Fed. An outsize share of its deposits were over the $250,000 insurance limit, making depositors more likely to flee at the first sign of trouble and leaving the bank susceptible to runs."

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Mountain View Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Pacifica’s first brewery closes its doors
By The Peninsula Foodist | 2 comments | 2,140 views

Holiday Fun in San Francisco- Take the Walking Tour for An Evening of Sparkle!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 2,040 views

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,584 views


Support local families in need

Your contribution to the Holiday Fund will go directly to nonprofits supporting local families and children in need. Last year, Voice readers and foundations contributed a total of $84,000.