Mar 13, 2023 | 5 min read
dark grim future of SVB fall
Darkness crept over Silicon Valley as the ominous news of SVB's collapse spread like wildfire. The once-thriving bank was now nowhere to be found, yet its presence was felt everywhere. Investors and founders were in a state of panic as they tried to come to terms with the disaster that had befallen SVB.
The clock was ticking, and the assets of SVB were up for grabs. Its $73 billion loan book, with 20% of it being venture debt, was a treasure trove for those who dared to delve into the abyss. The question on everyone's mind was, who would be the next to fall prey to the curse of SVB?
The possibilities were grim. Liquidation seemed like the most likely outcome. If no buyer stepped forward, the assets would go to a market auction, and the fate of SVB would be sealed. Its liabilities would be compared to its assets, and if it was found to be insolvent, the 93% of depositors who were uninsured would be left to suffer the consequences.
But there was a glimmer of hope. The FDIC could find a buyer through a bidding process, similar to the case of Washington Mutual's collapse during the global financial crisis. But the question remained, who would dare to take on the cursed legacy of SVB?
Rumors began to spread like a plague, and fear gripped the hearts of those who had any association with the doomed bank. The most likely buyer, it was whispered, would be a big bank, as the massive private loan portfolio of SVB was too large for a non-bank venture lender to absorb.
The CEO of SVB Financial, Greg Becker, spoke of his efforts to find a buyer for all or part of the bank, in a desperate attempt to preserve what was left of the institution. But his words fell on deaf ears, as the dark cloud of despair hung over Silicon Valley.
As the largest lender to VC firms and founders, SVB's assets were coveted by banks hoping to gain a foothold in venture and venture debt. The betting was on JP Morgan, which had reportedly been poaching SVB bankers since 2014. But at what cost would this acquisition come?
If JP Morgan were to buy SVB, it would likely be for pennies on the dollar, and the current shareholders would be wiped out. The lender would become a part of whatever bank absorbed it, and its legacy would be forever tainted.
The acquirer would have two options for SVB's portfolio: It could either buy it whole or purchase it piecemeal. The depositors who were looking to get their money back would likely prefer the former, as it would simply move their capital into new bank accounts under the new owner immediately after the acquisition.
But for those who were uninsured, the future was uncertain. They may have to wait longer for their funds, depending on which portions of the portfolio the buyer chooses to purchase. The FDIC would pay uninsured depositors an advance and continue to make dividend payments as it sold SVB's assets, whatever the sale looked like.
The cursed legacy of SVB had left a trail of destruction in its wake. Those who had dared to associate with it were left to suffer the consequences. The horror of SVB's collapse would haunt Silicon Valley for years to come, a grim reminder of the dangers that lurk in the shadows of the tech world.