After a series of bad bets on the post-pandemic economy, California-based Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) lost 60% of its value on the evening of 8 March 2023, and $42bn in withdrawals the following day. Its collapse triggered panic across the US, and in Europe, where Switzerland’s second-largest lender Credit Suisse (already dubbed ‘Debit Suisse’) was already looking shaky; its subsequent bail-out was the first the world’s big banks had received since the 2008 crash.
In this week’s magazine cover story, the New Statesman’s business editor Will Dunn explores the unique factors which led to the current crisis, and looks at what has changed since 2008. With inflation at record highs, the economic shocks of a Russian war, and the ever-accelerating pace of tech, there has never been more fertile ground for panic, he writes. Did SVB’s billionaire depositors deserve their bailout, and what are the moral hazards of underwriting bad behaviour? Will such tremors curb the current move towards deregulation in the UK markets?
Written and read by Will Dunn.
This article originally appeared in the 24 March 2023 print edition of New Statesman magazine. You can read the text version here.
If you enjoyed listening to this episode, you might also enjoy listening to The great housing con: why the coming crash will rewrite the economy.
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