The end (of the week) is here! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC, and I wish I had more to say, but I am just ready for the weekend.
Fun fact Friday: Musician Johnny Cash was the first American to learn of Joseph Stalin’s death.
Today, we’ve got stories on JPMorgan playing the blame game, more problems at Credit Suisse, and some easy fixes to improve your mood.
But first, please don’t take your money.
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1. SVB = So Very Bad.
That sums up how Thursday went for bank stocks.
As Insider’s Matthew Fox reports, it was a bit of a bloodbath for banks, as everyone from the biggest players to small regionals saw their shares dip considerably. The KBW Bank index dropped 7.7%, which was its biggest decline since June 2020, Matthew reports.
But the real star — or perhaps supernova — of Thursday was SVB Financial, which saw shares drop as much as 62%.
SVB Financial is the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank, which is a firm you might not be familiar with, but plays a key role in the world of startups. The bank has been a favorite among tech startups, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs for decades.
As you can imagine, the past year has not been kind to SVB. When a bank’s clients are hurting, the bank hurts too. And SVB has very much felt the pain of the downturn in tech-startup land.
But things took a much worse turn recently. SVB had to sell a $21 billion bond portfolio for a $1.8 billion loss (thanks a lot, interest rates!). The bank followed that up by announcing it needed to raise another $2.3 billion from investors by selling off its own stock (which is never a good thing for the share price).
Thankfully, the VC and startup community kept a cool head through it all and didn’t overreact.
It wasn’t long before reports started rolling in about VCs instructing their founders to get their money out. The noise got so loud that SVB’s CEO told them to knock it off, telling VCs to “stay calm,” The Information reported.
Insider’s Samantha Stokes, Ben Bergman, and Darius Rafieyan have a rundown on all the chaos that went down today.
Blame SVB. Blame the VCs. Blame the press. Blame social media. It doesn’t matter who you want to point the finger at. It seems the damage is already done, to a degree, and a panic has set in. As Ben and Darius report, some rivals are already pitching SVB’s clients to move their money over.
On the one hand, VCs should know better than to cause this type of fear. A bank panic is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re not panicked, there won’t be a panic. Thankfully, it appears, at least some founders have realized this and are calling for calm, as Samantha, Ben, and Darius report.
However, I am sure the implosion of FTX is fresh in plenty of investors’ minds. And while I’m not trying to draw any comparisons between the two firms, which are light years apart, I could see skittish VCs jumping to conclusions and thinking the worse.
Meanwhile, most founders aren’t in the position to take a stand against an investor they could need a lifeline from in the coming months. So if the VC wants them to pull the cash, that’s what they’ll do.
Click here to read more about about how SVB’s stock plummet was felt by all the banks.
Read more about how Silicon Valley turned on its own bank.
Here’s more on the tech founders trying to calm everyone down amid the chaos.
And here’s how some rivals are already pitching SVB’s clients to move their money over.
In other news:
Pedro Pascal plays Joel in “The Last of Us.”
2. This startup helps government contractors keep tabs on the work they outsource. GovForce provides software for contractors to make sure the subcontractors they’re working with remain in compliance. Check out the pitch deck it used to raise its initial round of funding. And if you’re looking for more pitch decks, we’ve got more than 50 from a variety of fintechs.
3. JPMorgan is trying to pin the blame on Jes Staley. The bank filed a lawsuit against its former top private banker that he should be held liable for any damages it might have to pay over its ties to Jeffrey Epstein, Bloomberg reports. More on that here.
4. More bad news at Credit Suisse. The Swiss bank delayed filing its annual earnings after a “late call” from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Here’s why people are worried.
5. Money does, in fact, buy happiness. A new study goes against the age-old sentiment that no amount of money can buy you happiness. Whether you agree or disagree, this story is worth a read on why happiness doesn’t plateau as wealth rises.
6. How to not let the #hustleharder people bring you down. Just because you have a workaholic colleague doesn’t mean you need to burn yourself out. Here are three tips for keeping up with the Gary V types in your life without going crazy.
7. Florida Man reigns supreme. Florida is now the fastest-growing state in the US, having come out as a big winner from the pandemic. More on how Florida has attracted so many new residents. (Hint: It’s not just because of the beaches.)
8. Please don’t get any ideas from the latest episode of “The Last of Us.” If the most recent episode has you contemplating adjusting your diet, that would be a bad idea. Click here to understand why. (Don’t click if you aren’t caught up!)
9. This is what has got you down in the dumps. Wondering why you’re feeling down lately? Experts gave us some surprising reasons why you might not be able to turn that frown upside down. Read up on seven reasons you’re unhappy and how to fix it.
10. We flying first class. German airline Lufthansa has new first-class suites for long-haul flights that are a sight to see. Check out pics of the suites that feel more like a hotel room than an airline seat.
Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email email@example.com, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.