U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC, U.S., Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.
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After regulators stopped Silicon Valley Bank and seized its deposits last FridayUS Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that she has been working “to address the situation in a timely manner” but that a major government bailout is not on the table.
“Let me be clear that during the financial crisis, there were investors and owners of systemic large banks that were bailed out, and the reforms that have been put in place mean we won’t do that again,” Yellen told CBS’ “Follow the Nation.” “But we are concerned about depositors and are focused on trying to meet their needs.”
SVB’s spectacular implosion began late on Wednesday, when it surprised investors with news that it needed to raise 2.25 billion dollars to strengthen its balance sheet. The assurance from SVB’s CEO was not enough to stop the bank run, and depositors withdrew more than $42 billion from end of day Thursdaysetting the stage for the second largest bank failure in US history.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) said Friday that it will cover up to $250,000 per depositor and may begin paying those depositors as early as Monday. But the vast majority of SVB’s customers were companies that had kept much larger uninsured amounts in the bank, which raised widespread concern about how people will be able to withdraw the rest of their funds.
Yellen said regulators are considering a wide range of options for SVB, including acquisitions.
“This is really a decision for the FDIC, as it determines what the best course of action is to resolve this company,” Yellen said.
Former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said Sunday that finding a buyer for SVB is “the best outcome.”
“The problem is this was a liquidity failure, it was a bank run, so they didn’t have time to prepare to market the bank,” Bair told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “They have to do it now and play catch up.”
The fallout from SVB’s collapse could be far-reaching. Startups can be cannot pay employees in the coming days, venture capitalists may struggle to raise money, and an already vulnerable sector may face a deeper malaise.
Bair said the FDIC could help companies with wages in the event that there is a systemic risk exception, which would be “an extraordinary procedure.” She said she thinks it will be “hard to say this is systemic in any way.”
Late. Mark Warner, D-Va., said Sunday that the best outcome would be to find a buyer for SVB before markets open in Asia. Warner said he feels more optimistic that the FDIC will find a solution than he was Saturday afternoon.
“The shareholders of the bank will lose their money, let’s be clear about that. But the depositors can be taken care of,” he told ABC’s “This Week.”