Instead of making sure it didn’t take on more debt then it could handle, Silicon Valley Bank was very focussed on non-banking activities, including a recent Pride month. Here is the nearest thing they had to a Risk Assessor.
Meet SVB’s board of directors:
One is a Hillary Clinton mega-donor who went to a Shinto shrine to pray after Donald Trump won the White House. Another worked for President Barack Obama before her own political career spectacularly failed. A third is a prolific contributor to Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi — who owns a Napa Valley vineyard just 15 minutes from the former House speaker’s.
There’s even an improv performer.
The group’s lack of banking expertise is likely to be a focus for investigators. Just one current member — Tom King, former CEO of investment banking at Barclays — has had a career at the top of the investment banking world.
What is clear is that the bank, and much of the board, burnished their Democratic credentials as part of their strategy. They donated to Obama, Clinton and President Biden, and to local Democratic congressional reps including Pelosi — as well as political action committees for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), a longtime member of the powerful Senate Banking Committee.
Let’s also recall that Barney Frank sits on the Board of Signature Bank. Yes, the same Frank who co-sponsored the Dodd-Frank Bill. (The Bill intended to prevent future bank failures.)
Oh, and did you know how important pronouns are to banking?
Signature Bank boss just before bank collapse— Abraham Stein (@AbrahamStein8) March 13, 2023
Teaching his employees pronouns from this woman. #Bankcollapse pic.twitter.com/o3FMCy7egb
Signature Bank had a history of making videos about themselves. They should have stayed in-house for team building not been released to the public.
Is it surprising that Signature Bank failed?— Genevieve Roch-Decter, CFA (@GRDecter) March 13, 2023
Their executive team spent millions of dollars to produce music videos & TV shows about themselves
Try not to cringe as you watch this: pic.twitter.com/16K70FQq5o