It started with a text from a tech investor last Wednesday afternoon. Shares in Silicon Valley Bank were tanking following the announcement of an emergency stock sale, the person told me. The bank that I had used to establish The Information 10 years ago, and that I had stuck with since, was in danger of spontaneously combusting. The investor was warning me to get my money out—ASAP.
But the first thing I could think of wasn’t the money. It was the story.
For weeks, I had been asking our reporters and editors to dig into the situation at the bank, which I knew depended on cash from venture capitalists and startups at a time when the tech industry was in a steep slowdown. Look into SVB’s real estate holdings, I suggested. What about their wine business? The team had been poking around ever since—although, I admit, we missed the fact that the bank had made a disastrous bet on long-term bonds. Leaving all that aside, now it was game time.
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