‘I don’t think people understand the destruction that is coming our way,’ Glenn says. ‘This is going to happen. It’s just a matter of when.’ In this clip, Glenn is joined by financial expert and author of ‘The War On Small Business,’ Carol Roth. They discuss the recent Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) closure, why it occurred, and how small entrepreneurs have to ‘play by the [banking] rules,’ whereas big businesses do not. Plus, Glenn explains why he thinks Americans should be terrified of what’s to come…terrified in a ‘healthy way,' of course.
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Carol Roth, welcome back.
CAROL: Hi, Glenn. What a crazy couple of days here, never -- never ceases to amaze. Doesn't it?
GLENN: No, it -- it really doesn't.
First of all, let me get your reaction. We spoke on Friday. On the Friday exclusive, that I do for the Blaze TV.
And this story was just breaking.
CAROL: Yes. Correct.
GLENN: So they bailed everything out, with the FDIC.
But this isn't just the depositors, that they bailed out.
I'm for FDIC, covering depositors. But they just changed the law, with a stroke of a pen. Did they not?
I mean, you had $400 million in that bank. It says clearly on the door, deposits up to 250,000.
CAROL: Yeah. You know, I have a different take on this, than a lot of people that I've been talking to. Some friends and colleagues.
You know, they did not do what I would consider to be a full bank bailout. They did not protect the shareholders. They showed management the door. So, you know, the people who should be taking on risk, took on the risk. In terms of the depositors. I mean, you could say, oh, why should these tech companies be saved?
But I challenge people to change the name. If it wasn't called Silicon Valley Bank. If it was called the small business bank of Iowa, would you want those small businesses to be at risk?
GLENN: Well, there is -- there is a difference.
In those small businesses. And I'll tell you what the difference is. There's no way in hell, this federal government would bail out a small business bank, in a red state. I just don't believe it.
PAT: That may be the case. But at the same time, if you think about the potential contagion.
And, in fact, we could use this now as a benchmark. To say they've done it before. That God forbid, the small business bank of red state were to fail in the future.
But if you think about just the ripple effects, the example I like to use is Etsy.
Etsy is a marketplace. Where artisans and small entrepreneurs do crafts. And they sell them. Etsy had all of their working -- or not all of their capital. A large portion of their capital with Silicon Valley Bank.
So if that money were to have gone away, they wouldn't have been able to pay all of the entrepreneurs.
The same thing with a payroll company. They had their money with Silicon Valley Bank. And so another company wouldn't have been able to pay their entrepreneurs.
So that kind of reverberation throughout the system. And then not quelling the fears, that this could happen again, and potentially taking down not just other regional banks, but having contagions up to big banks. It would have been really bad for everyone.
GLENN: So, but wait.
I agree with you. I agree with you, that it would have been horrendous. Okay?
However, I had under the FDIC limit in Silicon Valley Bank for one of my businesses.
We ran our payroll through Silicon Valley Bank.
GLENN: We never put more than 250 grand in that. We never do it. Unless we care to lose it.
So why do I have to play by the rules, and expect that I'm not going to get something, but all of the big guys, will always expect, oh, well, they're going to bail me out. I'm too big to lose. I'm too big to fail.
CAROL: Yeah. Listen. This is sort of an expectation sort of game. But the reality is, that we didn't want to have that failure happen. And this was a bank that was very different than some of the other failures that had happened before.
I mean, this was not about making to their I can do loans or derivative products. This was really a liquidity issue, that should have never gotten to the panic. And I think that's the bigger issue. The way this was communicated.
The hubris. The fact that the head of Silicon Valley Bank. Sat on the board of directors, on the San Francisco fed. And didn't anticipate, that it might not be a good idea to lock up money for ten years of treasury.
There are a lot of really weird questions here.
And I think we can certainly debate, you know, what -- what we should do on a go-forward basis. But we have to have faith in the banking system, and for companies to take their cash management and now have to go through paperwork. And chop it up into little blocks so that they can be covered. And have it in all kinds of different banks and different accounts. Isn't particularly efficient.
So I think the insurance program, probably needs to be relooked at. And I think that's --
GLENN: But you can't just write the rules as you go.
CAROL: They do all the time, Glenn.
GLENN: That's wrong. I know. And it's wrong to do that.
CAROL: This is not the first time.
So it's definitely wrong to do that, but they're going to do it on an ongoing basis. This was not the time to put the flag down and go, no. This isn't the time to do it. It was a very sort of practical decision. Yes, in principle, we need to fix the underlying system.
But as I said, let's not pretend that capitalism in the United States. We've had the fed who is --
GLENN: Oh, no, it's not capitalism.
CAROL: On a historic basis. So I won't sit and complain, oh, this is some affront to capitalism, that didn't actually exist.
GLENN: No. The Fed is completely out of control. Overstepped. And all of the -- you know, the big banks. The really big banks.
They are rolling with our cash.
CAROL: Rolling in dough. Literally.
GLENN: Yeah. So let me go back to the bonds, a second.
They locked these treasuries up for ten years. And they -- when the interest rates go up, they lost about 25 percent on their bonds. If they tried to sell them in an emergency.
They were going to lose 25 cents on the dollar.
That's what caused the panic.
Because if you lose 25 cents on the dollar, you don't have enough to cover all of the things that you have covered.
CAROL: Let me add one more thing that added into the panic, because this was on paper.
Should they held them to maturity, there would have been no problem.
Like you said, only in an emergency. What happened, is that within Silicon Valley, because interest rates were rising and the bank was only paying a small amount on deposits, you could pull your money out. And park it into a Treasury bill now. And get, you know, 5 percent without very long duration.
So you had more depositors pulling their money out, than they had model and had expected, in this rising interest rate environment. As well as probably companies that needed more operating cash because of the economy.
So they didn't have that expectation.
And that sort of mismatch, in saying, oh, wait. We have a liquidity need. Because we didn't estimate for this.
That's what forced them to sell the bonds. At that loss.
And then created this panic.
GLENN: And that's where this boob, that is sitting on the Federal Reserve Board, in San Francisco.
These guys are -- I'm convinced, these guys are arrogant morons.
However, how many other banks have put their -- their money into longer term treasuries?
CAROL: Oh, I mean. It's throughout the system.
GLENN: So wait.
CAROL: Wait. Wait. Wait.
GLENN: Go ahead.
CAROL: If you take Bank of America. They also had a situation, where they had to take a big loss on selling treasuries.
The difference is they have a large and diversified business. They only had 69 percent of their liabilities being deposits. Where Silicon Valley bank it was 89 percent. They have a lot of retail deposits, that were under the threshold. They have investment trading. And wealth management. And all these other things.
So for them, it wasn't an issue. But on a smaller scale, for a bank, that really does rely on that deposit business. And because they had so much of that, as these smaller business deposits, that were uninsured, that made it different, than it was for let's say some of these bigger banks or banks that were --
GLENN: Right. But, you know, I'm looking at banks, like, you know, JP Morgan Chase.
All of that. They're fine.
They have plenty of money. And they're going to get all the depositors, as the little banks go out.
CAROL: Exactly. Let's underscore that point.
GLENN: What I'm asking you is: How -- what gives us any indication that this is -- that it's over?
That we're safe now? I mean, it might be because right now.
But this is going to happen again.
CAROL: So that's exactly why they put out the press release, that they did. You know, the fed and the Treasury.
And that very comforting statement from our president. I'm sure that gave you all the confidence in the world.
GLENN: Oh, yeah. I'm stuffed.
CAROL: But that was the point. Is the reason that those depositors pulled out their deposits, is because they were worried it wasn't going to be backstopped. And if there was this liquidity issue that was incurred. Oh, boy. What are we going to do?
Yes. There are other banks that are probably in the same situation. But if their customers don't panic and pull their deposits, and they have the time to pull the liquidity poll.
Then that's what that statement was meant to do.
Now, it really just depends on the temperament of individuals and businesses. If you believe that, if you believe they'll step in and back us up, then you're not pulling out the money, these companies -- the banks can deal with it.
And if you don't, then we will see more of this. Certainly, I think particularly Silicon Valley Bank was different than Silvergate and Signature that had more crypto exposure.
I would imagine those that have more exposure to crypto will probably see some additional issues.
But Silicon Valley Bank being that second largest bank to fail in history, one of the top 20 banks in the US. Systemically important.
As you said, plugged in and connected. It was just a different -- a bit of a different animal.
But, Glenn, I do want to go to that point you made.
This is really huge. Just like they closed down the small businesses during COVID. And all of that went over to the big guys.
You know, the big guys couldn't really step in. There's laws in place, about buying more deposits.
But what has happened in letting this play out, the way it does, is people have just decided to organically move their deposits. So JPMorgan and Citigroup. Like, they're having a field day. So much so, that Jamie Dimon just bought something like 26 million dollars' worth of JPMorgan stock. Because she's doubling down, because he knows all those depositors are rolling in. And he did not have to pay a red cent for them. The great consolidation continues.
GLENN: All right. Hang on just a second. Can you spend the hour with me?
CAROL: Yeah, of course!
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That's also the best way to make money. Best way to be successful is just to serve and overserve your customer.
Because they're -- they always go away happy. And then you've got more customers coming your way. We look for the people like that, who also have the best track record.
And they meet our standards. And we have pretty high standards to recommend. These people don't work for us. So we don't have any skin in the game, on, you know, who we pick and who we don't. Other than, I want to super serve you, and give you the best person.
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So as the -- as the Fed rate goes up, these Treasuries are worth less and less. If you have to sell them. Correct?
Wait. We're missing you. Hang on just a second. I don't --
CAROL: Okay. Did you get it? Yeah. So, you know, obviously, the -- not to get too wonky. But the interest rates, or the yield on the bonds trades an inverse on it. And if you think about it, why would you buy a ten-year that was on the market from a long time ago, that's yielding 1.1 something percent interest, when you can buy something that's at two years right now, that gives you 5 percent interest. That doesn't make any sense.
So their current value on the market is lower. Again, if you hold them to maturity, if they hold them to 10 years, you still get the full amount of the face value, plus, the interest. It's just the tradable value today, in that interim time period. Because there's not a lot of demand for that.
So for any small bank that is holding these, if there's trouble, they could be in trouble just like Silicon Valley Bank.
Now, the FDIC, we were told, you know, that's the insurance.
And he said, we're -- don't worry. You don't have to worry about it.
The banks that paid into it.
Well, they don't have enough just to cover what they covered yesterday. So they're already upside down.
So that means, if we do have runs in the bank, in the future, you know, near future.
They don't have any money. Which leads me to believe, we will just print the money.
Doesn't -- I mean, the inflation rate of what we're doing is crazy. Is this the beginning of the currency death cycle?
CAROL: Well, the currency death cycle began a long time ago.
I would say a couple of things. From an FDIC standpoint. They are saying, we are going to put a fee out to other banks.
So when Joe Biden comes out and says, the taxpayers aren't paying for this. You aren't paying for it directly.
But you certainly will be, whether it's a lower interest read on your money, or more fees or whatnot, if all the other banks have to go in.
What I do think can happen here, in the meantime, is, you know, with the bank, they're trying to sell off pieces of it.
And they're trying to find new homes for it. So the FDIC is covering it. Its insurance, if it needs to make it whole. But if somebody else were to buy it or buy other assets. There's a way that that structure sort of happens. And obviously, that's the best-case scenario.
And again, frankly we just should have never gotten to the point, where we had this panic. But, you know, the idiots didn't prevail there.
You know, should there be a God forbid, wide run?
Yes. And in terms of trying to dissolve this would-be money printing. Again, if I can respond.
Some people did not like what I had to say. That's sort of my point.
Someone is saying -- I'm not paid by anybody. I'm saying, we wanted to stem this, because what would happen to everybody.
People who are not involved at all, would have cost you a lot more than this, you know, kind of temporary pin here.
GLENN: I don't think people understand the destruction that is coming our way. It's coming.
This is going to happen. It's just a matter of when.
And people are like, you know, I'm fine. Bring it on.
No. You really don't understand.
You should be in a healthy way, terrified of what's coming. And I use the word terrified.
Do you remember, our grandparents went through something, that they were 50 years away from.
And they were still like, it could happen at any time.
That's the kind of pain that America is about to go through. And remember, those people grew up without indoor toilets. Okay?
They grew up without all the fancy stuff that we have now.
They didn't have that far to fall back.
We have an enormous way to go back.
You should be terrified of it.
In a healthy way.