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Silicon Valley Bank Collapse: FDIC to Protect Depositors, President Biden Vows Accountability

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Silicon Valley Bank, a California-based financial institution, collapsed on Friday, March 10th, after depositors rushed to withdraw their money amid concerns about the bank’s balance sheet.[0] The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was appointed as receiver, and regulators are now trying to find a buyer for the 16th-largest bank in the United States.[1]

The SVB collapse is the second-largest bank failure in US history, coming after the 2008 implosion of Washington Mutual.[2] The FDIC has said it will cover up to $250,000 per depositor, and that customers may be able to access their insured deposits as early as Monday.[3] But with most of SVB’s customers being businesses that had far greater uninsured amounts at the bank, many are now wondering how they will be able to retrieve the rest of their funds.[3]

The bank’s failure has been blamed on a mismatch between assets and liabilities, as it catered to tech startups and venture-capital firms.[4] Deposits grew rapidly, and were placed in long-dated bonds, particularly government-backed mortgage securities.[4] Approximately twelve months ago, when the Federal Reserve began increasing interest rates, the availability of funds for tech startups decreased, consequently causing a strain on deposits.[4] When the Fed raised rates, it caused a massive bond-market retreat, significantly reducing the worth of SVB’s investments.[4]

The US government has announced that all depositors of the failed bank will have access to their money on Monday morning, with the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issuing a joint statement on Sunday night to “protect the US economy by strengthening public confidence in our banking system”.[5]

US President Joe Biden has also spoken out on the collapse, tweeting on Mar. 13 that he is “firmly committed” to holding those responsible for the collapse of SVB “fully accountable” adding he will “have more to say” in an address later on Mar. 13.[6]

The SVB collapse has not just been a shock to the banking sector, but has also sent a ripple effect across the tech industry. Companies are now questioning how they will be able to get their money back and pay their employees, and venture capital firms have been advising companies to withdraw their money from the bank.[7]

0. “How does a bank collapse in 48 hours? A timeline of the SVB fall” CNN, 11 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/11/business/svb-bank-collapse-explainer-timeline/index.html

1. “Yellen rules out bailout for Silicon Valley Bank: “We’re not going to do that again”” CBS News, 12 Mar. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/janet-yellen-silicon-valley-bank-bailout-face-the-nation-interview-today-2023-03-12/

2. “US guarantees Silicon Valley Bank deposits amid bank crisis fears” Al Jazeera English, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2023/3/13/us-guarantees-silicon-valley-bank-deposits-amid-bank-crisis-fears

3. “Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says U.S. government won’t bail out Silicon Valley Bank” CNBC, 12 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/12/treasury-secretary-janet-yellen-says-us-government-wont-bail-out-silicon-valley-bank.html

4. “What a rescue for SVB depositors means for the stock market and interest rates” MarketWatch, 12 Mar. 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/svb-collapse-means-more-stock-market-volatility-what-investors-need-to-know-b87c962b

5. “Schiff says there’s ‘profound concern in California’ over Silicon Valley Bank collapse” The Hill, 13 Mar. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/house/3896834-schiff-says-theres-profound-concern-in-california-over-silicon-valley-bank-collapse

6. “Silicon Valley Bank collapse: Everything that’s happened until now” Cointelegraph, 13 Mar. 2023, https://cointelegraph.com/news/silicon-valley-bank-collapse-everything-that-s-happened-until-now

7. “Silicon Valley Bank collapsed. Here’s which companies were affected.” The Washington Post, 12 Mar. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/03/11/silicon-valley-bank-companies-affected/

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