Headline RoundupMarch 13th, 2023

Blame Game Begins in Silicon Valley Bank Collapse

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Some politicians and media figures sought to place blame after Silicon Valley Bank became the second-largest bank to fail in U.S. history.

Blaming Loose Rules: Some voices noted that SVB was one of several small and mid-size banks which lobbied to exempt themselves from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act’s regulations. Those rules were rolled back in a 2018 bill signed by former President Donald Trump which received support from 17 Democratic senators and 50 Republican senators. On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) argued in The New York Times (Opinion rated Left) that SVB’s failure was “the direct result of leaders in Washington weakening the financial rules.” 

Blaming ESG: Some conservatives, like Home Depot cofounder Bernie Marcus, pointed to SVB’s so-called “woke” policies. The New York Post (Lean Right bias) published a report on an SVB executive who worked on LGBTQ+ outreach, appearing to draw a connection between inclusivity efforts and the bank’s failure. 

Blaming Financiers: Those connected to the issue had their own ideas about whom to blame. A financial trader told CNBC (Center bias) on Monday that SVB’s “greed and avarice” were at fault. Some in the industry blamed SVB’s executives, and others accused venture capitalists of egging on SVB’s bad practices. Some also blamed the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.

How the Media Covered It: Perspectives were polarized; coverage discussing Dodd-Frank regulations was more common on the center-left, and coverage of those blaming “woke” policies was more common on the right. A Fox News (Right bias) report disputed those blaming Trump by calling the 2018 rule rollback “bipartisan.”

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