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Silicon Valley Bank’s Assets Seized By US Regulators

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Silicon Valley Bank

The assets of one of Silicon Valley’s top banks were seized by regulators on Friday, marking the largest failure of a U.S. financial institution since the height of the financial crisis nearly 15 years ago.

Silicon Valley Bank, the nation’s 16th-largest bank, failed this week after depositors rushed to withdraw funds amid concerns about the bank’s health. After the failure of Washington Mutual in 2008, it was the second-largest bank failure in US history.

The bank primarily served technology workers and venture capital-backed businesses, including some of the industry’s most well-known brands.

“This is an extinction-level event for startups,” Garry Tan, CEO of Y Combinator, launched Airbnb, DoorDash, and Dropbox and has referred hundreds of entrepreneurs to the bank, told the Associated Press.

“I’ve heard from hundreds of our founders asking for advice on how to get through this. They’re wondering, ‘Do I have to furlough my employees?'”

There appeared to be little chance of the chaos spreading throughout the banking sector, as it did in the months preceding the Great Recession. The largest banks were most likely to cause an economic meltdown to having strong balance sheets and ample capital.

Silicon Valley Bank's Assets Seized by US Regulators

Silicon Valley Bank customers

According to the bank’s website, nearly half of the U.S. technology and healthcare companies that went public last year after receiving early funding from venture capital firms were Silicon Valley Bank customers.

The bank also boasted of its connections to leading technology companies such as Shopify, ZipRecruiter, and Andreesson Horowitz, one of the top venture capital firms.

Tan estimates that nearly one-third of Y Combinator startups will be unable to make payroll within the next month if they cannot access their funds.

Roku, an Internet TV provider, was one of the victims of the bank’s demise. It disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday that Silicon Valley Bank held approximately 26% of its cash, or $487 million.

Roku stated that its deposits with SVB were largely uninsured and did not know “to what extent” it could recover them.

As part of the seizure, California bank regulators and the FDIC transferred the bank’s assets to the Deposit Insurance Bank of Santa Clara, a newly formed institution. On Monday, the new bank will begin paying out insured deposits. The FDIC and California regulators intend to sell the remaining assets to make other depositors whole.

Silicon Valley Bank's Assets Seized by US Regulators

Attempting to raise capital

The banking sector has been in turmoil all week, with shares falling by double digits. Then, on Friday, news of Silicon Valley Bank’s troubles pushed shares of almost all financial institutions even lower.

The failure struck with lightning speed. According to some industry analysts, the bank is still a good company and a wise investment. Meanwhile, executives at Silicon Valley Bank were attempting to raise capital and find new investors. However, extreme volatility halted trading in the bank’s shares before the stock market opened.

The FDIC decided to close the bank shortly before noon. Notably, as is customary, the agency did not wait until the end of the business day. The FDIC could not immediately find a buyer for the bank’s assets, indicating how quickly depositors cashed out.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is “watching closely,” according to the White House. The administration attempted to reassure the public that the banking system is in much better shape than it was during the Great Recession.

“Our banking system is fundamentally different than it was a decade ago,” said Cecilia Rouse, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. “The reforms implemented at the time provide the kind of resilience that we’d like to see.”

After the value of mortgage-backed securities linked to ill-advised housing loans collapsed in 2007, the world experienced the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The Wall Street panic caused the demise of Lehman Brothers, a firm founded in 1847. Because major banks were so intertwined, the crisis caused a cascading breakdown in the global financial system, putting millions out of work.

According to the FDIC, Silicon Valley Bank, based in Santa Clara, California, had $209 billion in total assets at the time of its failure. It was unclear how many of its deposits exceeded the $250,000 insurance limit, but previous regulatory reports showed that many accounts did.

On Thursday, the bank announced plans to raise $1.75 billion to strengthen its capital position. This frightened investors and shares fell 60%. They fell even further before the opening of the Nasdaq, where the bank’s shares were traded.

As the name suggests, Silicon Valley Bank was a major financial conduit between the technology sector, startups, and tech workers. If a startup founder wanted to find new investors or go public, establishing a relationship with a bank was thought to make good business sense.

Founded in 1983 during a poker game by co-founders Bill Biggerstaff and Robert Medearis, the bank leveraged its Silicon Valley roots to become a financial cornerstone in the tech industry.

Bill Tyler, CEO of TWG Supply in Grapevine, Texas, said he first noticed something was wrong when one of his employees texted him at 6:30 a.m. Friday to complain about not receiving their paychecks.

TWG, which has only 18 employees, had already sent the check money to a payroll services provider that used Silicon Valley Bank. Tyler was trying to figure out how to pay his employees.

“We’re waiting on about $27,000,” he explained. “It’s already a late payment. It’s already an awkward situation. I don’t want to ask any of my employees, “Hey, can you wait until next week to get paid?”

Silicon Valley Bank’s ties to the technology sector exacerbated its problems. After a growth surge during the pandemic, technology stocks have taken a beating in the last 18 months, and layoffs have spread throughout the industry. Venture capital funding is also on the decline.

At the same time, the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation and an aggressive series of interest rate hikes to cool the economy weighed heavily on the bank.

The value of generally stable bonds begins to fall as the Fed raises its benchmark interest rate. That is not usually a problem, but when depositors become concerned and withdraw their funds, banks may be forced to sell those bonds before they mature to cover the departure.

That is precisely what happened to Silicon Valley Bank, which was forced to sell $21 billion in highly liquid assets to cover the unexpected withdrawals. It suffered a $1.8 billion loss on the sale.

Ashley Tyrner, CEO of FarmboxRx, said she had spoken with several friends whose businesses are venture-backed. She described them as “beyond themselves” after the bank’s failure. Tyrner’s chief operating officer attempted to withdraw funds from her company on Thursday but could not do so in time.

“One friend said they couldn’t make payroll today and cried because they had to notify 200 employees,” Tyrner said.

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

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Tesla Cuts The Price Of Its “Full Self Driving” System By A Third To $8,000

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NEW YORK — Tesla reduced the price of its “Full Self Driving” system — which cannot drive itself and requires drivers to remain attentive and ready to intervene — by nearly a third to $8,000 from $12,000, according to the company website.

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Tesla Cuts The Price Of Its “Full Self Driving” System By A Third To $8,000

Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk stated in 2019 that there would be a fleet of robotaxis on the road by 2020, but that promise has yet to be fulfilled, and the system must still be supervised by humans.

The cutbacks, which took effect on Saturday, follow Tesla’s decision to trim $2,000 off the pricing of three of its five models in the United States late Friday. That is the most recent example of the difficulties that the electric vehicle manufacturer is facing.

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Tesla Cuts The Price Of Its “Full Self Driving” System By A Third To $8,000

Tesla dropped the costs of its most popular model, the Model Y, a small SUV that is the best-selling electric vehicle in the United States, as well as the Models X and S, which are older and more expensive. Prices for the Model 3 car and Cybertruck remained unchanged.

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Tesla Cuts The Price Of Its “Full Self Driving” System By A Third To $8,000

The price cut comes a day after Tesla’s stock fell below $150 a share, wiping out all gains recorded in the previous year. The Austin, Texas-based company’s stock price has fallen almost 40% this year due to declining sales and growing competition. Discounted sticker prices are intended to entice more car purchasers.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Body Orders Google To Fix Ad Search Limits Affecting Yahoo

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TOKYO — Japan’s antitrust authority stated Monday that Google, the US search giant, must rectify its advertising search restrictions that impact Yahoo in Japan.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission said in a statement that a recent investigation into Google’s activities revealed that it was hurting fair competition in the advertising sector.

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Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Body Orders Google To Fix Ad Search Limits Affecting Yahoo

Yahoo Japan Corp., which later merged with the Japanese social media platform Line, began offering keyword-targeted search advertising services utilizing Google’s technology after the two businesses forged a partnership in 2010.

The FTC claims that Google imposed limits in its search advertising deal with Yahoo Japan for more than seven years, limiting its ability to compete in focused search ads.

An FTC investigation into whether this violated the Anti-Monopoly Law prompted Google to lift the limitations.

Google said in an emailed statement that it has fully cooperated with the commission’s investigation and that the agency has not determined that it has breached antitrust laws. It committed to follow the commission’s orders and provide “valuable” search services to Japanese consumers and marketers.

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Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Body Orders Google To Fix Ad Search Limits Affecting Yahoo

Line Yahoo declined to comment.

Google will be subject to a three-year review to ensure that necessary improvements are implemented, according to the commission. It did not impose any fines or other penalties on Google, which remains popular in Japan.

The commission’s decision comes after another setback for Google in Japan. Japanese doctors launched a civil case against the corporation last week, seeking damages for what they call baseless, insulting, and frequently inaccurate statements.

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Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Body Orders Google To Fix Ad Search Limits Affecting Yahoo

The Tokyo District Court lawsuit seeks 1.4 million yen ($9,400) in damages for 63 medical professionals who posted ratings on Google Maps.

Google responded by saying it is working “24 hours a day” to remove misleading or incorrect content on its platform, using human and technology resources “to delete fraudulent reviews.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Tesla reduces US prices for 3 of its electric vehicle models following a rough week.

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Tesla reduced the pricing of three of its five models in the United States by $2,000 late Friday, highlighting the issues facing the electric vehicle firm run by billionaire Elon Musk.

The business reduced the costs of the Model Y, a small SUV that is Tesla’s most popular model and the best-selling electric vehicle in the United States, as well as the versions X and S, which are older and more expensive versions. Prices for the Model 3 car and Cybertruck remained unchanged.

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Tesla cuts US prices for 3 of its electric vehicle models after a difficult week

The reductions dropped the starting price for a Model Y to $42,990, $72,990 for a Model S, and $77,990 for a Model X.

The decision comes a day after Tesla’s shares fell below $150 per share, wiping out all gains earned over the previous year. The Austin, Texas-based company’s stock price has fallen almost 40% this year due to declining sales and growing competition. Discounted sticker prices are intended to entice more car purchasers.

Musk announced early Saturday on X, the social media site that was previously known as Twitter, that the cost of an entry-level Tesla could be as low as $29,490 after accounting for a federal tax credit and gas savings.

Industry observers have been waiting for Tesla to unveil the Model 2, a tiny electric vehicle for approximately $25,000. This month’s media rumors that Musk intended to cancel the project added to uncertainty about the company’s direction, but Musk denied the reports.

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Tesla cuts US prices for 3 of its electric vehicle models after a difficult week

The price drops marked the end of a long workweek for Tesla, which said on Monday that it would be laying off 10% of its global workforce, or approximately 14,000 employees. The company also announced the recall of roughly 4,000 of its 2024 Cybertrucks after discovering that the accelerator pedal could become stuck, enabling the vehicle to accelerate accidentally and increasing the danger of a crash.

Musk stated on Saturday that he has postponed a planned weekend travel to India to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi due to “very heavy Tesla obligations.” He expressed on X that he was looking forward to rescheduling the visit for later this year.

Tesla is slated to report first-quarter profits on Tuesday.

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Tesla cuts US prices for 3 of its electric vehicle models after a difficult week

The business stated earlier this month that its global sales declined substantially from January to March as competition grew, electric car sales growth stagnated, and previous price cuts failed to attract additional buyers.

Tesla’s quarterly sales fell year on year for the first time in nearly four years.

SOURCE – (AP)

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