Financial TimesFinancial Times

What I learnt from three banking crises

By Gillian Tett

06 Apr 2023 · 11 min read

Editor's Note

Over the past quarter of a century, the FT's Gillian Tett has had a ringside view of three financial crises. In this essay, she asks what each can teach us and whether technology will change the game.

A few weeks ago, I went to dinner in Manhattan with friends who work in finance on America’s East and West coasts. Nothing odd about that, you might think. But this gathering was memorable: over wine, my companions traded tales about the tactics they and their colleagues had used the previous day to yank deposits from troubled banks such as Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and First Republic.

Some had done this on their laptops or smartphones, sitting in taxis and meetings, or while attending the South by Southwest tech conference in Austin, Texas; others had dispatched emails to their assistants instead. Either way, as the tales piled up, I kept surreptitiously glancing at my own phone for updates on the panic. Physically we were in a sushi restaurant; but in cyberspace we had a ringside, real-time view of a modern-day bank run.

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