Economics/Class Relations

Silicon Valley Bank crisis

March 10, 2023
Hello, Insiders. There’s major news going on today, so we’ll get right to it. My usual note will be shared as a final thought below. Let’s go.

In today’s edition: 

— Nicholas Carlson


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Amazon, Musk, & more

  • The backlash against Amazon’s return-to-office mandate has entered a new phase: More than 30,000 staffers signed an internal petition in opposition. We have a copy here.
  • A German company is offering Ukraine the benefit — and burden — of being the first military to get its brand-new tank. More on that here.
  • Ron Baron, a billionaire Tesla investor, told Elon Musk to stop tweeting when angry: “Get an ice cream cone. Just don’t use Twitter.” Check out the note.

Silicon Valley Bank crisis

Dado Ruvic/Reuters


A little-known California bank has become the biggest story in markets right now. Silicon Valley Bank has been the key lender to technology startups, but now investors fear it could collapse.

That would have catastrophic consequences. One top tech banker said, “We can’t afford for them to fail. For the tech ecosystem, they are the ecosystem.”

The panic ignited after SVB’s parent firm surprised the market by revealing it had incurred a $1.8 billion loss on a $21 billion firesale of its bond portfolio, and that it was launching a stock sale to raise more cash. This caused shares in SVB Financial to crater 60% Thursday, as investors feared for its future.

The turmoil was exacerbated by the collapse of the crypto-friendly bank Silvergate Capital, and the contagion spread, with Wall Street’s four biggest banks shedding $55 billion in market value in a single day.

It isn’t clear how this ends. Some of SVB’s rivals smell blood in the water, while others call for calm. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman even called for a government bailout: “The failure of SVB Financial could destroy an important long-term driver of the economy.”


Epstein, homebuying, & more

New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File; Rebecca Zisser/Insider


  • The DOJ investigated Jeffrey Epstein’s death. Then it went silent. Epstein’s death in custody, more than three years ago, represents one of the most shocking failures of federal law enforcement in history — and people are still waiting on answers. In the information vacuum, conspiracy theories have proliferated. Read the full story.
  • It turns out money really can buy happiness. A new study seems to contradict the theory that happiness eventually plateaus as you make more money: Only a small group of people see happiness level off “abruptly” when their income hits $100,000. More on that here.
  • “I’m a 34-year-old who lives on a boat in the canals of England.” Elizabeth Earle is a freelancer who didn’t qualify for a mortgage. So she lives on a 70-foot narrow boat — and says while it’s cheaper than a house, insurance and licenses still come at a cost. Her story here.
  • Homebuyers have a better shot at scoring a house in these 10 cities. We’ve rounded up the US spots where the number of properties for sale has skyrocketed the most. Seattle, Raleigh, and Nashville are among the top picks — see the full list.
  • “I make six figures as an ‘undercover guest.’” Stephanie Leger is a training and service evaluator who visits hotels, restaurants, and resorts to try their services and report back to executives. What she looks for — and how she stays incognito.
  • Scientists revived a “zombie” virus frozen for 48,500 years in ice. Some scientists are concerned that climate change thawing permafrost could reawaken ancient viruses, and researchers say they should be considered a public-health threat. Read more.
  • The founder of autism-care startup Elemy is ditching patient care to chase billions selling healthcare software. He had raised more than $200 million to provide better autism therapy for kids. Now the startup is considering no longer employing clinicians and wants to sell them tech, instead. Read our report here.

Millennial home reno

Courtesy of Abodu
A North Carolina couple bought a run-down 107-year-old house for $320,000. They spent a year and a half restoring it on their own — see how they did it.

On board


“I flew 40 hours from NYC to Singapore and back to see which cabin on Singapore Airlines was best.” See what first, business, and premium-economy classes are like on the airline. Watch here.


Warehouse Nation

Some news: Insider won its first SABEW award (short for Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing). Our series “Warehouse Nation” was recognized as the best explanatory journalism of the year.


The judges wrote that the 11-part series “offers a data-rich, engaging examination of the impact of warehouse work on blue-collar employees, incorporating voices of laborers seldom heard from in business reporting.” This is a testament to the hard work of a huge group of reporters, editors, designers, producers, and more.


This project opened my eyes to a whole new area of our economy — both its challenges and opportunities — and clearly it did the same for the judges.


Nicholas Carlson


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This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, Dave Smith, Jack Robert Stacey, and Shona Ghosh. Get in touch:

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