More than 15 years ago, the real estate bubble burst in the USA. As a result, the global financial system began to falter. It took billions of taxpayers' money to save banks and regain stability – also in this country.
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) revives memories of that time. Not surprisingly, bank shares around the world plummeted after the imbalance became known – the quake also reached Germany. Is a credit institution from the hip Silicon Valley of the USA the starting point of a new financial crisis? As things stand, the answer is no.
To be sure, SVB has mainly financed young growth companies and also used digital crypto assets for its business model. The innovation and disruption skeptics will feel vindicated in their opinion that such a mix must inevitably lead to a collapse. But with their mistrust of everything new, they are on the wrong track.
The collapse of SVB is due to a fundamental misjudgement on the part of management. The idea was captivating: deposits were put into long-term bonds, which seemed attractive in times of low interest rates. The deal did not work out, because with the rapid succession of interest rate hikes, this bet had to be lost. The market value of bonds fell. The bank got a liquidity problem, investors withdrew their deposits in panic, which exacerbated the crisis – a textbook "bank run".
Would it be wise to dismiss management failure as an isolated phenomenon? Again, the answer is no. It will soon become clear which bank has similar interest rate explosives in its books. The answer to the question of whether the regulation that emerged from the financial crisis, often criticized as too harsh, was really strict enough, will point the way to whether a financial crisis 2.0 threatens.