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Why the Worst-Case Scenarios of SVB Fallout Are Unlikely

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What a weekend! The term “everything everywhere all at once” seems a better description for the turmoil sparked by Friday’s failure of Silicon Valley Bank than for an incomprehensible movie that’s up for an Oscar tonight. The good news is that the worst-case scenarios some on Twitter were broadcasting the past few days seem increasingly unlikely. The Fed tonight announced steps to ensure the SVB collapse doesn’t spark a cascade of bank failures, which would be catastrophic.

The government also indicated it would backstop all of SVB’s uninsured deposits. That's surprising, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had ruled out a bailout. It’s not clear that it’s necessary. There is a solid chance the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will sell the bank quickly, helping the depositors get their money back. As we reported today, smaller regional banks are the most likely buyers, as regulators don’t want to sell SVB to one of the big institutions. Getting a deal done in the next couple of days would go a long way to restoring confidence. (See below for a full list of The Information’s SVB coverage in recent days.) Regulators should act to stop the spread of the contagion. The SVB bailout is another issue.

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