Media Outlets, Tech Companies, and Democratic Politicians Benefited from SVB Bailout

Among the thousands of businesses that will face some form of financial compensation following the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), recipients of federal bailout money will include mainstream media outlets, social media companies, and the business interests of several Democratic elected officials across the country.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, while SVB was most well-known for having numerous tech companies among its clients, the bank also did business with several mainstream media outlets as well. Two examples are BuzzFeed and Vox. On Monday, BuzzFeed revealed to its investors that, of the $56 million in cash that the company held at the end of 2022, the majority of it was being held at SVB. The news capped off a disastrous year for BuzzFeed, as 2022 saw the company lose an estimated $201.3 million, as well as the firing of 40 percent of its newsroom staff, and its stock price plunging by 90 percent.

Vox also admitted to banking with SVB prior to its collapse, though it would not reveal the exact amount. A Vox spokeswoman claimed in a statement that the company does not expect “any significant impact,” and has instead simply faced a number of “logistical issues such as the temporary suspension of accounts and company credit cards.” Vox Media is the parent company of numerous other left-wing media publications, including the titular Vox, New York Magazine, Polygon, and the Verge.

In addition to mainstream media and tech outlets, at least one prominent Democrat was both a personal and business client of SVB: California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.). Newsom maintained a personal account with SVB for many years, and his three wineries also banked with SVB. Newsom’s campaigns also received numerous donations from SVB, as the bank was known for its frequent financial support of Democratic and left-wing causes and candidates.

As a result, Newsom’s early efforts to lobby for a federal bailout of SVB customers could make him guilty of a crime, as California state law makes it illegal for an elected official to try to use their office to influence matters where “the official has a financial interest.” Newsom was one of the key players who told Biden at the onset of the crash that federal intervention was necessary as the bank’s collapse appeared imminent.

When SVB collapsed last weekend, it was estimated to have around $209 billion in assets and $175.4 billion in total deposits, thus making its failure the second-largest bank failure in American history, only behind the 2008 financial crash. Despite the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) taking control of the bank last Friday, the Biden administration has repeatedly insisted that the move was not a bailout, and that the FDIC’s actions would benefit average American workers and small businesses. However, at least 93 percent of SVB’s depositors held at least $250,000 in the bank, far above the average American income.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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