Bloomberg Law
March 16, 2023, 5:00 AM

Arrogance, Incompetence or Both: What SVB’s Failure Really Means

Erik Schatzker
Erik Schatzker
Bloomberg News

Banks aren’t supposed to fail. If they did so with any regularity, one of the most critical cogs in our economic machinery—the transformation of deposits (a liability) into loans (an asset)—would just seize up and stop functioning.

We rely on the magic of credit creation for everything from leasing cars to buying homes to funding city budgets. That’s why, when a bank fails, it’s so essential to figure out what happened and ensure the same mistakes won’t be made again.

In the case of Silicon Valley Bank, the lender that failed so spectacularly, the specific cause is easy ...