The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Silicon Valley Bank’s failure is now everyone’s problem

By Annie Lowrey

11 Mar 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

If SVB ends up getting bailed out, will every bank become too big to fail? If so, The Atlantic warns, the taxpayer will forever be called upon to make losses public while profits stay private.

Whispers about insolvency. A bank run. A desperate attempt to raise funds. A bank failure. Market gyrations. Concerns about financial contagion.

History is repeating itself. California regulators have shut down Silicon Valley Bank, a lender aimed at start-ups, technology firms, and wealthy individuals. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation stepped in as the bank’s receiver. Account holders with less than $250,000 in savings will have full access to their funds as of Monday, the FDIC said. Account holders with more than that—the overwhelming majority of entities banking with SVB, according to the bank itself—will have to wait and see.

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