The Regulatory Blunder That Gave Us the Silicon Valley Bank Disaster
Whenever a major financial institution collapses and needs a bailout, it's easy to say, "Where were the regulators?" But that's only a useful question if you can pinpoint the specific regulatory choices that led to any particular situation. So what caused Silicon Valley Bank to implode? On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Columbia Law School professor Lev Menand, who discusses the defanging of bank supervisors in the run-up to this fiasco. With proper oversight, someone might have caught and put a stop to the unique set of risks the bank was taking. But without proper oversight, they were encouraged to go for all-out growth, regardless of the ultimate social cost. We also discuss legislative changes over time that led to this buildup of risk.
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So why does Powell get a pass? He raised interest rates too fast for banks holding 10 year treasuries to adjust to in time. And why is 2% inflation the magic number? And what if many economists are right that the causes of inflation would naturally wind down over time? Like govt hand outs during COVID, worker shortages due to COVID, supply chain issues like China's COVID lockdowns, and gas and food inflation due to the war in Ukraine.