The human cost of bank failures


Most investors caught wind of the trouble at Silicon Valley Bank on March 8 or 9, before it was shut down by California regulators on March 10. The bank’s liquidity problems set off a wave of trouble for other banks that weren’t ideally positioned for the rising-interest-rate environment. But an important part of the story is how SVB’s failure has affected its customers and how higher interest rates have people rethinking their banking relationships.

Silicon Valley Bank and its holding company, SVB Financial Group , for decades focused on helping to fund startup companies and maintaining loyal client relationships. Levi Sumagaysay reports about several customers of SVB who said the bank was “a soft place to land” for women and minority founders of companies, who are now unsure where to turn for similar service.

Aarthi Swaminathan and Andrew Keshner tell the story of a SVB business customer who scrambled during the weekend after the bank’s failure to set up new bank accounts. Then they look further into customers’ loyalty to banks, reasons for switching and offer tips for moving to another bank.

James Rogers looks at how the failure of Signature Bank of New York is affecting an important group among its clients — law firms.

In the wake of SVB Financial Group’s chapter 11 filing, Andrew Keshner covers the dramatic rise in bankruptcies in the U.S.

More failure fallout

Bank examiners need to focus on interest-rate risk; meanwhile, the Federal Reserve should stop raising interest rates, says former FDIC chief Sheila Bair.

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The Federal Reserve is on the hot seat.

Former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chair Sheila Bair has called on upon the Fed to stop raising interest rates.

The Fed regulates bank holding companies, which raises the question of why the regulator didn’t push for better risk management at SVB Financial Group.

Here’s a roundup of coverage of regulatory and political developments following the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank of New York:

This bank is trying to survive

The banking industry is making an extraordinary effort to shore up First Republic Bank after an outflow of deposits.

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Steve Gelsi explains how First Republic Bank’s
business model is similar to that of Silicon Valley Bank and the efforts being made to help it survive a run on deposits.

The rough housing market

Rental prices are up significantly from prepandemic levels.

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As we have moved past the race to buy at the end of the long period of low interest rates, an improved buyer’s market is countered by a doubling of mortgage loan interest rates over the past year. Aarthi Swaminathan shares five tactics for home buyers.

More about housing:

  • Amid bank sector woes, concerns mount about financing drying up for home builders and buyers

And stories about renters and landlords:

Is this Nvidia’s time to shine?

Wallace Witkowski covers Nvidia’s a slew of product announcements and the reaction from investors and analysts:

Bitcoin’s ride


The price of bitcoin
has soared this year, especially since March 12, when Signature Bank of New York was closed by state regulators.

The perception that the virtual currency may be a safe (or less unsafe) haven during a time of difficulty for regional banks runs counter to the prospect of enforcement actions against Coinbase Global
by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

France Yue covers the regulatory scene, the arrest of Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon and other crypto industry developments in this week’s Distributed Ledger column.

Time for some gold?

MarketWatch illustration/iStockphoto

Christine Idzelis covers the inflow into a traditional safe haven, along with other industry developments in the ETF Wrap newsletter.

Stock picks

Investors can identify opportunities by watching how corporate insiders put money to work, especially when a particular sector’s stocks have tumbled. Michael Brush highlights four regional banks whose executives are spending a lot of their own money to buy shares.

More about stocks:

Retirement and planning for it

A simple step now can be worth a lot of money in the years ahead.

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You have until April 15 to make an IRA contribution for 2022. Beth Pinsker has a warning to avoid this common mistake and advice on how to invest the money.

Other retirement planning topics:

  • Help Me Retire: We want to retire in about 5 years but have $150,000 in credit card debt and loans and $1.4 million locked in retirement accounts — ‘we want to be really retired’

  • Opinion: Interest rates at banks are an insult

A ‘perfect fit’ for a new recreational brand

Logo for Heavy Metal Cannabis.


The Heavy Metal brand in the late 1970s and early 80s, through the old magazine and 1981 movie. Now Steve Gelsi interviews executives at the revived Heavy Metal and its partner Berkshire Roots, which together will launch several new Heavy Metal branded cannabis products in April.

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