Following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary gave his thoughts on regional banks and anti-business policy in Democrat-run states. “Mr. Wonderful” provided this commentary on the Fox News show Varney & Co appearance.
O’Leary said, “I think everybody should ask this of themselves. I live here in Florida; we’re a pro-business state. I don’t do business in California, New York, Massachusetts, or New Jersey. They’re no-go states because of bad policy, high taxes, just places you don’t want to invest your money… California is not even open for business, in my opinion, so I would never put money there.” He continued, “Why am I being asked to backstop an account in California in a regional bank there called First Federal or Silicon Valley, bank names no one had heard of two weeks ago?”
Recently, some of the nation’s largest banks stepped in to save First Republic Bank from insolvency and prevent a banking crisis from ensuing after Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse. Several banks provided a cumulative $30 billion deposit between JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs, alongside other banks. The banks said in a public statement:
Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo announced today they are each making a $5 billion uninsured deposit into First Republic Bank. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are each making an uninsured deposit of $2.5 billion, and BNY Mellon, PNC Bank, State Street, Truist and U.S. Bank are each making an uninsured deposit of $1 billion, for a total deposit from the eleven banks of $30 billion. This action by America’s largest banks reflects their confidence in First Republic and in banks of all sizes, and it demonstrates their overall commitment to helping banks serve their customers and communities. Regional, midsize and small banks are critical to the health and functioning of our financial system.
…The actions of America’s largest banks reflect their confidence in the country’s banking system. Together, we are deploying our financial strength and liquidity into the larger system, where it is needed the most. Smaller- and medium-sized banks support their local customers and businesses, create millions of jobs and help uplift communities. America’s larger banks stand united with all banks to support our economy and all of those around us.
O’Leary even questions the need for regional banks in an era where commerce in conducted almost entirely digitally. In a tweet, O’leary said, “In a digital age where 99% of banking is done on-line, it’s time to ask the question: Why do we need tiny regional banks in the first place? Especially when we are being asked as taxpayers to guarantee every deposit even if the bank is run by idiots like @SVB was!”
In a digital age where 99% of banking is done on-line, it's time to ask the question: Why do we need tiny regional banks in the first place? Especially when we are being asked as taxpayers to guarantee every deposit even if the bank is run by idiots like @SVB was! @foxandfriends pic.twitter.com/l3PHy222kv
— Kevin O'Leary aka Mr. Wonderful (@kevinolearytv) March 16, 2023
O’Leary stated, “These are badly managed banks. Let them go under. Take the hit. Sure, there’ll be some volatility, but most countries today have gone through this decades ago — Australia, Switzerland, England, Canada. Those countries have their entire economy run by four or five behemoth banks, highly regulated. We don’t need hundreds and thousands of tiny little banks that don’t have a reason to exist anymore because 99% of transactions today are done online.”
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