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Too ‘woke’ to fail: Silicon Valley Bank had a special kind of insurance

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, March 15, 2023

In the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), financial analysts slammed Team Biden for pushing banks to consider LGBTQ+ and global warming over shareholder returns.

Mark T. Williams, a former bank examiner for the Federal Reserve, told Fortune that SVB's failure had much to do with risk management, or lack thereof.

“The CFO and, I would argue, the board failed to adequately protect shareholder value,” Williams said. “The board-appointed risk management committee, which works closely with the CFO, should have done adequate scenario analysis to examine the deposit withdrawal risk. That, in fact, was the bank’s downfall.”

“I think this is a colossal failure in asset-liability risk management,” Williams said.

But why worry about a thing as important as risk management when you're "too woke to fail?"

Team Biden was quick to swoop in and rescue customers of SVB, which caters to the leftist techno-class and had as one of its leaders in risk management, as the New York Post reported, who "spent considerable time spearheading multiple 'woke' LGBTQ+ programs, including a 'safe space' for coming-out stories."

Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus told Fox News's Neil Cavuto: "Who knows whether the Justice Department would go after them? They’re a woke company, so I guess not. And they’ll probably get away with it."

The U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and the FDIC, issued a joint statement on Sunday that SVB depositors will be able to access their money, and vowed that no losses associated with the resolution of SVB will be borne by the taxpayer.

But it wasn't just "woke insurance" that SVB had going for it.

On Sunday, NBC’s Maria Kumar noted that SVB is the “Democrats’ ATM.”

"Indeed, unsurprisingly, SVB had many depositors who work in Silicon Valley. For context, 95% of Silicon Valley employees at six major tech firms donated to Biden’s 2020 bid. More data shows that tech employees across the board donated to Democrats," The Daily Wire's Tim Meads noted.

"In that case, it is not really surprising to see that Biden would act so swiftly to make sure his donors are taken care of. The action is couched under the shield of 'protecting the little guy,' but that’s a load of crock, to put it mildly," Meads added. "Unfortunately, it appears that Biden is more focused on rewarding his allies who knowingly took book risks by investing with this bank and keeping more than the FDIC insured in one location."

Meads continued: "Put another way, if this bank was called 'East Palestine Ohio Bank,' does anybody think that the president would have acted with the same urgency? Or, perhaps, the real question is what’s the point of the FDIC insurance limit if it is just going to be adjusted to bail out Democratic friends?"

Also receiving little attention from major media, Heatmap News noted, is the fact that Silicon Valley Bank "was particularly important to the climate-tech sector."

“Silicon Valley Bank was an integral part of the early-stage climate tech community and I hope that they survive in some form to continue that role,” Gabriel Kra, a managing director at Prelude Ventures, told Heatmap reporter Robinson Meyer.

SVB was the banker "to dozens of climate and energy-tech companies, holding their cash on a day-to-day basis and issuing billions of dollars in loans in support of the type of large-scale, one-off projects that are essential to the sector," Meyer wrote.

The SVB website boasted of its support of solar, hydrogen, and energy-storage companies. It provided more than half a billion dollars in revolving credit to Sunrun, the country’s largest residential solar company.

More than 60 percent of community solar financing nationwide involved SVB in some capacity, the bank claimed on its website.

Most of SVB's climate and energy-tech clients kept balances at the bank in excess of the $250,000 in deposit insurance provided by the federal government. "That means many startups are now stuck in a potentially months-long line to get their money back — if they get it at all," Meyer wrote.

“Startups need cash — they’re not run in the same way that Fortune 500 companies are run,” Kra said. “Losing access to their cash balance for potentially several months can have catastrophic effects. And a small portion of companies in the space are probably looking at that possibility and figuring out how to avoid it.”

As the Daily Wire's Meads put it: "When the next bank loaded with depositors exceeding $250,000 fails, will the federal government jump in to save the day as it is doing now with Silicon Valley Bank? That is the question the Biden administration hasn’t answered as of Monday afternoon. The response to it might depend on whether or not that bank is deemed 'woke' enough."

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