Financial-Policy Consequences of Signature’s Travails

Karen Petrou’s memo earlier this week and her comments to the American Banker about Silvergate have sparked many client questions. In this report, we provide additional context for aspects of this bank’s condition with policy consequences. High-profile cases such as this have a long history of suddenly shifting long-pending policies; depending on outcomes, this bank’s challenges and those of any other crypto-heavy banks will almost surely do so. In general, the case already confirms U.S. regulators of the wisdom of additional capital for crypto-exposed banks along the lines recently finalized by global regulators (see FSM Report CRYPTO37). However, it also raises significant questions about the role of the Federal Home Loan Banks, brokered deposits, resolution policy, and AOCI recognition – and these are just for starters as the bank struggles to stay afloat.