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Matt Levine

Startup Bank Had a Startup Bank Run

One problem for Silicon Valley Bank is that its customers had too much cash, and now they don’t.


Programming note: Money Stuff was supposed to be off today, but: bank run!

The lesson might be that there are some industries that are bad to bank. Imagine that it was 2021, and someone was like “do you want to start the Bank of Crypto? What about the Bank of Venture-Backed Tech Startups?” You’d be tempted, right? Those industries had so much money! They seemed cool. If you were their bank — if you were the specialized bank that exclusively focused on those industries — influencers on Twitter would tweet nice things about you, and you’d get invited to fancy parties. Also, as their bank, you’d probably find a way to get a cut of growing industries with lots of potential. Provide banking services to tech startups, get warrants in those startups, get rich when they go public. Provide banking services to crypto exchanges, start some sort of blockchain-based payment network, get rich through the magic of saying “blockchain” a lot.