By Ken Sweet | Associated Press

NEW YORK — Can Washington come to the rescue of the depositors of failed Silicon Valley Bank? Is it even politically possible?

That was one of the growing questions in Washington Sunday as policymakers tried to figure out whether the U.S. government — and its taxpayers — should bail out a failed bank that largely served Silicon Valley, with all its wealth and power.

Prominent Silicon Valley personalities and executives have been hitting the giant red “PANIC” button, saying that if Washington does not come to the rescue of Silicon Valley bank’s depositors, more bank runs are likely.

“The gov’t has about 48 hours to fix a soon-to-be-irreversible mistake,” Bill Ackman, a prominent Wall Street investor, wrote on Twitter. Ackman has said he does not have any deposits with Silicon Valley Bank but is invested in companies that do.

Some other Silicon Valley personalities have been even more bombastic.

“On Monday 100,000 Americans will be lined up at their regional bank demanding their money — most will not get it,” Jason Calacanis wrote on Twitter. Calacanis, a tech investor, has been close with Elon Musk, who recently took over the social media network.

Silicon Valley Bank failed on Friday, as fearful depositors withdrew billions of dollars from the bank in a matter of hours, forcing U.S. banking regulators to urgently close the bank in the middle of the workday to stop the bank run. It’s the second-largest bank failure in history, behind the collapse of Washington Mutual at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

Silicon Valley Bank was a unique creature in the banking world. The 16th-largest bank in the country largely served technology startup companies, venture capital firms, and well-paid technology workers, as its name implies. Because of this, the vast majority of the deposits at Silicon Valley Bank were in business accounts with balances significantly above the insured $250,000 limit.

Its failure has caused more than $150 billion in deposits to be now locked up in receivership, which means startups and other businesses may not be able to get to their money for a long time.

Staff at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation — the agency that insures bank deposits under $250,000 — have worked through the weekend looking for a potential buyer for the assets of the failed bank. There have been multiple bidders for assets, but as of Sunday morning, the bank’s corpse remained in the custody of the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


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