Was Signature Shut Down to Send an Anti-Crypto Message?

The Breakdown


We are in the thick of it. The last 48 hours have been some of the loudest, most contentious times we've seen since 2008. There have been fierce debates about whether or not to protect depositors at Silicon Valley bank after it was shut down by regulators on Friday, accusations that the venture capital class was fomenting a larger run on small and regional banks just to serve its own purposes. Genuine fear of larger contagion and intense pressure on the federal government to announce action to give small businesses and other depositors confidence that they weren't going to be out of luck based on who they chose to banquet. Out of the combination of it last night, there was finally an announcement about what was to happen with Silicon Valley bank. The TLDR was that the bank depositors would be made whole. The fed would use a fund already paid into by banks to pay for it. IE no taxpayer money, shareholders and management would be wiped out, and on top of all that, a new fed funding facility was being established to try to address the underlying issues. Oh, and also, by the way, signature bank was being shut down as well because of quote unquote systemic risk. Wait, signature bank you say? Wasn't that sort of the last remaining bank servicing crypto companies? The same one that had been under intense pressure for the last few months to stop servicing those that crypto companies had switched over to after silvergate announced a voluntary wind down last week. Yep, that's the one, and wait, you might also say, no other bank was preemptively placed in FDIC receivership before markets even opened? Even others, like first republic that we're facing even more scrutiny from investors, that's correct. It was just the bank servicing crypto customers that was unaligned by the U.S. government. I asked last week whether silvergate was a political assassination. I pointed to the gloating of politicians like Elizabeth Warren and sherrod Brown in the aftermath to the open letters from war and senator Kennedy and others that undermined confidence in silvergate back in December, and I also asked questions about why silver Gates FHLB $4.3 billion loan had been withdrawn so quickly after it was made. Even with all that, the preemptive shutdown of signature bank before there was a true bank run is even more egregious and attack on crypto by a group of regulators who hate it. Matthew Graham wrote this morning, I truly can't believe I'm saying this. I sound like some kind of conspiracy theorist, but I think at this point the preponderance of evidence is that signature bank was primarily an opportunistic anti crypto hit job. More likely more so than not.

Coming up next