Where Were the Regulators as SVB Crashed?

By Ben Eisen and Andrew Ackerman

Silicon Valley Bank’s failure boils down to a simple misstep: It grew too fast using borrowed short-term money from depositors who could ask to be repaid at any time, and invested it in long-term assets that it was unable, or unwilling, to sell….“The aftermath of these two cases is evidence of a significant supervisory problem,” said Karen Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, a regulatory advisory firm for the banking industry. “That’s why we have fleets of bank examiners, and that’s what they’re supposed to be doing.” The Federal Reserve was the primary federal regulator for both banks.Notably, the risks at the two firms were lurking in plain sight. A rapid rise in assets and deposits was recorded on their balance sheets, and mounting losses on bond holdings were evident in notes to their financial statements.