by Pam Martens and Russ Martens at Wall Street on Parade
If you want to genuinely understand why Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) failed and why Jerome Powell’s Fed led the effort yesterday to make sure $150 billion of the bank’s uninsured depositors’ money would be treated as FDIC insured and available today, you need to take a look at how the bank defined itself right up until it blew up on Friday. (That history is still available at the Internet Archives’ Wayback Machine at this link. Give the page time to load.)
This was a financial institution deployed to facilitate the goals of powerful venture capital and private equity operators, by financing tech and pharmaceutical startups until they could raise millions or billions of dollars in a Wall Street Initial Public Offering (IPO). The bank was also involved in managing the wealth of those startup millionaires or billionaires once they struck it big in an IPO.
Many of the former startup companies also continued to keep their operating money at the bank – in many cases in the millions of dollars, ignoring the fact that just $250,000 of that was insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Last Friday, dozens of publicly-traded companies made filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating that they had large sums of uninsured deposits now frozen at Silicon Valley Bank. Several indicated that the amounts represented 23 to 26 percent of the company’s cash and/or cash equivalents.
Roku, Inc., the publicly-traded manufacturer of digital media players for video streaming, reported the following to the SEC: “The Company has total cash and cash equivalents of approximately $1.9 billion as of March 10, 2023. Approximately $487 million is held at SVB, which represents approximately 26% of the Company’s cash and cash equivalents balance as of March 10, 2023.”
Publicly-traded Oncorus, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing RNA-based medicine for cancer patients, reported the following to the SEC: “The Company informs its investors that it has deposit accounts with SVB with an aggregate balance of approximately $10 million, which is approximately 23% of the Company’s total current cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. In addition, the Company has a standby letter of credit in place with SVB of approximately $3.4 million securing obligations under its lease agreement with IQHQ-4 Corporate Drive, LLC.”
In big, bold type on its website,…Continue Reading