Authored by Frank Fang via The Epoch Times,
Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus asked Americans to “wake up” to the reality that the U.S. economy is in “tough times,” following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).
“I can’t wait for [President Joe] Biden to get on the speech again and talk about how great the economy is and how it’s moving forward and getting stronger by the day. And this is an indication that whatever he says is not true,” Marcus told Fox News on March 11.
“And maybe the American people will finally wake up and understand that we’re living in very tough times, that, in fact, that a recession may have already started. Who knows? But it doesn’t look good.”
Silicon Valley Bank, the nation’s 16th largest bank with about $209 billion in total assets, collapsed on March 10, after depositors rushed to withdraw money over concerns of the bank’s solvency. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has now assumed control of the bank.
The collapse of the California bank was the second biggest bank failure in U.S. history since Washington Mutual during the 2008 financial crisis.
On Saturday, a White House statement said Biden has spoken to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on the bank’s failure. Newsom also issued a statement saying he had been in touch with “the highest levels of leadership at the White House and Treasury.”
Marcus attributed the bank’s failure to its decisions to adopt “woke” policies.
“I feel bad for all of these people that lost all their money in this woke bank. You know, it was more distressing to hear that the bank officials sold off their stock before this happened. It’s depressing to me,” Marcus said.
“Who knows whether the Justice Department would go after them? They’re a woke company, so I guess not. And they’ll probably get away with it.”
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Greg Becker, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank, sold 12,451 shares of the bank’s parent company SVB Financial Group on Feb. 27.
SVB announced in January 2022 that it was committed to providing at least $5 billion in loans, investments, and other financings by 2027, to support companies “that are working to decarbonize the energy and infrastructure industries and hasten the transition to a sustainable, net zero emissions economy.”
Marcus blamed the Biden administration for pushing banks and companies into being “more concerned about global warming” than shareholder returns.
“These banks are badly run because everybody is focused on diversity and all of the woke issues and not concentrating on the one thing they should, which is shareholder returns,” he said.
“Instead of protecting the shareholders and their employees, they are more concerned about the social policies. And I think it’s probably a badly run bank.
“They’ve been there for a lot of years. It’s pathetic that so many people lost money that won’t get it back.”
Several California lawmakers have shared their concerns about the bank’s failure on Twitter.
“If regulators do not act quickly, the Silicon Valley Bank collapse will have widespread ramifications for small businesses, start-ups, and nonprofits trying to make payroll–as well as on our broader economy,” Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) wrote.
Padilla added that he had been in contact with officials from the administration and the Treasury Department to ensure a quick resolution.
“Deeply troubled by SVB’s collapse & uncertainty it’s caused. I’m hearing from workers in my district concerned when they’ll be paid & if they’ll be laid off,” Rep. Josh Harder (D-Calif.) wrote. “Regulators must give urgent clarity to depositors to prevent panic. Vigorous action is needed to protect account holders.”
Republican presidential hopefuls—Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy—both said on Twitter that a bailout is not the resolution.
“Taxpayers should absolutely not bail out Silicon Valley Bank,” Haley wrote.
“Private investors can purchase the bank and its assets. It is not the responsibility of the American taxpayer to step in.”
The former South Carolina governor added, “The era of big government and corporate bailouts must end.”
“The right answer isn’t a bailout. It’s to get the government out of the way and let another bank acquire SVB if that’s what they actually want to do,” Ramaswamy wrote.
Ramaswamy, a biotechnology entrepreneur, is the author of “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.”