The United States banking crisis of 2008 was a wake-up call for the entire financial industry. It caused widespread panic and led to the collapse of several major banks, resulting in a ripple effect that ultimately affected economies around the world. While the crisis may have seemed like a distant memory, recent events have raised concerns that it may not be over yet.

The root cause of the 2008 crisis was the widespread issuance of subprime mortgages to people who could not afford them. These mortgages were bundled into complex financial instruments, which were sold to investors around the world. When the housing market collapsed, these financial instruments became worthless, and the banks that held them were left with massive losses.

Fast forward to the present day and the US banking industry is facing new challenges with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank highlighting the fragility of the financial system. The US banking system is highly interconnected, and when one bank fails, it can have a domino effect on other banks. In addition, the low-interest-rate environment, the increasing competition from fintech firms, and the pandemic-related economic uncertainty have all contributed to the vulnerability of US banks.

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was a startup bank that focused on lending to the technology industry. However, it ran into financial trouble after making a series of risky loans, which ultimately led to its collapse. Signature Bank, on the other hand, was a more established institution that had been around for decades. However, it too ran into trouble after making bad loans, which resulted in its collapse.

In 2020, SVB suffered its first quarterly loss in over a decade, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn hit its portfolio companies hard. The bank’s exposure to the struggling airline and hospitality industries, as well as to venture capital firms that had invested in underperforming startups, contributed to the losses. In addition, SVB has faced increasing competition from other banks and financial institutions that are also targeting the technology sector. These competitors, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, have been expanding their technology banking units and offering similar services to those provided by SVB.

What have US authorities been doing?

Throughout his presidency, former President Donald Trump continued to prioritize deregulation and tax cuts as ways to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. He signed into law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act in 2018, which rolled back certain regulations put in place by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in the wake of the 2008  financial crisis.


The current US President, Joe Biden, has been vocal about his concerns regarding the banking system in the USA. In his campaign speeches and policy proposals, he emphasized the need for a fair and transparent financial system that benefits all Americans. President Biden has also expressed concern about the fact that the current banking system in the USA may not be working for all Americans. He has shared proposals that focus on increasing transparency, reducing fees, and expanding access to banking services for underserved communities, for a fair and equitable financial system.

In the wake of the recent crisis, President Joe Biden’s administration has proposed several measures. The President has suggested measures to strengthen the banking industry, such as increasing oversight and implementing stricter regulations to prevent banks from taking excessive risks.

This includes the implementation of new regulations, such as stress tests and higher capital requirements, to ensure that banks are better equipped to handle economic downturns and other challenges. Additionally, regulators have been working to identify and address potential weaknesses in the banking system and take steps to address them before they become major problems.

Another important step taken by US authorities has been to increase transparency and accountability in the banking sector. This includes the implementation of new reporting requirements and the creation of new oversight bodies to monitor banks and ensure that they are following best practices and adhering to regulations. Additionally, US authorities have been working to increase consumer protection and prevent predatory lending practices, which can contribute to banking crises.

US authorities have also been working to improve communication and coordination between different stakeholders in the banking industry. This includes working closely with banks, regulators, and other key players to identify potential risks and develop strategies for mitigating them. By working together, these stakeholders can help to create a more stable and resilient banking sector that is better able to weather future crises.

How will this impact India and other emerging markets?

The crisis at SVB and Signature Bank has sent shockwaves across the global financial sector and has led to concerns about the potential impact of the crisis on emerging markets like India.

Both SVB and Signature Bank have been important players in the Indian startup ecosystem, particularly in the technology and healthcare sectors. SVB, in particular, has been an active player in the Indian startup ecosystem for over a decade. The impact of the crisis is likely to be felt most acutely by early-stage startups, which rely heavily on venture capital funding to get off the ground. With SVB and Signature Bank pulling back from the market, there could be a significant reduction in the availability of capital for such companies. This could have knock-on effects for the wider Indian economy. The startup sector has been a key driver of economic growth in recent years, creating new jobs and driving innovation across a range of sectors.

To conclude…

The measures taken by US authorities to tackle the current banking crisis demonstrate a commitment to restoring stability and ensuring that the banking sector is well-equipped to handle future challenges. While the crisis at SVB and Signature Bank is certainly a cause for concern, it is important to keep things in perspective. From an Indian perspective, the impact on startups is likely to be limited, and there are a range of other sources of funding and support available. With the right policies and initiatives in place, India’s startup ecosystem is well-placed to weather the storm and continue driving growth and innovation for years to come.


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