Bank Yankers

Financial collapse hot takes, rabbit holes, and side quests.

Three Good Explanations of What Happened to Silicon Valley Bank, in Order From Shortest to Longest:

One of the following three posts will adequately explain what happened to Silicon Valley Bank in the right presentation style and at the right level of detail for you. You will know immediately which one it is, and you should practice the radical self-acceptance of choosing to read or watch that one and then going about the rest of your life in peace.

1. Morning Brew 

...home of the only good media Tiktok, explained it in skit form:

Screenshot from the Morning Brew tiktok titled “Silicon Valley Bank” with a man making an “ahhh!” face with broken sunglasses hanging from his nose, subtitled: “Yup, that’s me.”

2. Liz Lopatto 

A’d all the Q’s in her characteristic breezy yet accurate style for The Verge, and even managed to drop an inexplicable Beastie Boys reference.

This bank run happened fast, in less than two days. Tech nerds can take credit for that one. It used to be that you had to physically go to a bank to withdraw your money — or at least take the psychic damage of picking up a telephone. That slower process gave banks time to maneuver. In this case, digitalization meant that the money went out so fast that Silicon Valley Bank was essentially helpless, points out Samir Kaji, CEO of investing platform Allocate. Customers tried to withdraw $42 billion in deposits on March 9th alone — a quarter of the bank’s total deposits on a single day.

3. Matt Levine

managed to cover it in barely more than four thousand words, along the way explaining several minor ancillary concepts like “banking,” “interest,” “accounting,” and “money.” It sounds like a lot, but I promise these four thousand words are by far the quickest and most engaging way to grasp what would otherwise take a graduate-level economics degree and several years of working in finance to understand.

[Silicon Valley Bank] borrowed very short to lend very long. Specifically, it is funded mostly by deposits, largely from tech companies and venture capitalists who got a lot of money over the last couple of years, and who put that money into SVB deposits that were much bigger than the US deposit insurance cap of $250,000. It plowed that money disproportionately into bonds, quite safe bonds — US Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities — but bonds with long duration. It did not do much to hedge its interest-rate risk. Basically it was as reckless as it is possible to be with a business model of “take deposits and invest them in US Treasury bonds.” Which, until recently, might not have seemed that reckless!

Now that you know what happened, to the precise degree your heart demands, we can get to the fun part which is:

Bank Collapse Hot Takes, Rabbit Holes, and Side Quests

Today in Extremely Other News

In the [Ivermectin promoting] Telegram channel, administrators broke the news of his death to his followers. “Though it was obvious that Danny had the biggest heart, it was unbeknownst to him that his heart was quite literally overworking and overgrowing beyond its capacity, nearly doubled in size from what it should have been”…

Look, it’s sad that he died from abusing a veterinary medication but this is an objectively hilarious thing to write in memoriam. Bury that man in Disney’s Boot Hill, I guess. Chris Stokel-Walker checked in on how things are going inside Twitter and found: it bad. Now that Rod Dreher’s hopelessly weird blog on The American Conservative is over, Vanity Fair’s Caleb Ecarma reports that “Dreher’s six-figure salary at TAC, which is published by American Ideas Institute” was funded entirely by one rich guy: Howard Ahmanson Jr., who eventually got tired of paying for Dreher’s increasingly outré musings on rectal bleeding and African-American penises. If it seemed like no one was editing Dreher either, that’s because that was part of his deal. Welcome to Substack, Rod! Speaking of Substack, there was a Sarah Miller x Ask Molly crossover episode this weekend. At the Academy Awards, Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan weazed all the Oscar juice, leaving Pauly Shore snubbed yet again.

Today in Crabs: It was a big weekend for Margate’s Crab Museum.

Don’t miss the t-shirt. And in Baltimore, Jimmy's Famous Seafood and PETA continue their 6 year long crab based feud, now with dueling billboards.

Today’s Song: CORPSE, “life waster” (via Garbage Day)

Here’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen, via the Tabs discord’s #bad-posts channel, subscribe and join the chat to have this kind of thing on tap in your eyeballs 24/7.

Ok see you tomorrow!


or to participate.