During the “Overtime” segment of Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time” aired on CNN, host Bill Maher stated that we should have seen the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) due to the large amount of tech sector layoffs.
In response to a viewer question on the potential impact of the SVB collapse on the broader financial system, Maher said, “Silicon Valley Bank, one of the biggest banks in Silicon Valley, obviously a tech — obviously, they’re tech, that’s what they finance. I think the biggest bank failure since the 2008 crash. I guess we should have seen it coming, because there [have] been a lot of layoffs. And Bitcoin, is this what this bank is, Bitcoin?”
Journalist and producer Josh Tyrangiel responded that the issue isn’t about Bitcoin, but rather the fact that SVB “misaligned their bond spending with the amount coming in. They lost depositor confidence. It happened overnight. It’s possible this gets contained.” He also argued that if SVB was “called the Lehigh Valley Bank, we would not really be paying that much attention to it. It’s the Silicon Valley Bank part that’s sexy. But the truth is, it’s a small bank. So, it’s got about 150 billion in capital, JPMorgan has 3 trillion. The only reason to be concerned about it is the knock-on effects of confidence. But, it’s a small bank that got caught short. It’s the oldest story in the world.”
Tyrangiel added that while SVB used to be crucial to the startup industry, it isn’t anymore.
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett