Economics/Class Relations

Biggest bank failure since 2008

March 11, 2023
Hello, Insiders. Get ready: Daylight-saving time kicks in overnight. It’s one of the most controversial and impossible issues of our time. So be prepared to lose an hour of sleep. But that’s later — let’s get started.

On deck today:

— Nicholas Carlson


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Bank implosion

AP/Brennan Linsley


Silicon Valley Bank imploded in a single day. It could just be the tip of the iceberg.

The market on Friday watched as regulators shut the doors of Silicon Valley Bank, capping off a speedy decline and marking the biggest bank failure since 2008.

The bank’s collapse was a byproduct of the Federal Reserve’s hiking of interest rates by 1,700% in less than a year. Once risk-free Treasuries started generating more attractive returns than what SVB was offering, people started withdrawing, and the firm was forced to sell its loan portfolio at a huge loss. Even more people fled, and regulators were forced to shut it down.

The chaotic episode showed that the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hiking regime could upend institutions and markets that were once thought to be relatively stable. It appears that any rate sensitivity is about to be laid bare, and past risk-taking behavior held accountable.



‘Borgs,’ ‘corporate girlies,’ & more

Eric Baradat/Getty Images; Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Alyssa Powell/Insider


  • The “corporate girlies” are not okay. They’re the work influencers you see on social media, who romanticize clocking in for steady work. They post about waking up early for a “5-to-9” side hustle before starting a 9-to-5 job, while crafting the perfect green juice and WFH outfit. But as layoffs sweep their day jobs, they’re not sure being a “corporate girlie” is an identity they want anymore. More on that here.
  • Nobody knows how to hang out anymore and it’s making us miserable. Social isolation was on the rise before the pandemic, but it’s spiked in recent years. Author Sheila Liming shares how we lost the art of hanging out — and how to reclaim it. Read more.
  • The “blackout rage gallon” is having a moment, both on TikTok and in the news. The University of Massachusetts recently warned students about the viral “borg” drink after 28 ambulances were called to parties. But college kids are defending the controversial trend — read what they’re saying.


The travel life

Witthaya Prasongsin via Getty Images


  • “We sold our house and pulled our son out of school to travel the world.” Andrea Schilde and her husband Eli Karplus quit their jobs and put their nine-year-old son in online school. So far, they’ve been to 13 countries in less than a year. Here’s how they’re doing it.
  • “The best sleep I’ve ever had on a plane.” Paul Oswell paid $2,650 to fly in Finnair’s new business-class pods that don’t recline. A leg rest popped out to create a flat bench to sleep — and he was surprised by how much he liked it. Read his review here.
  • “I worked at a popular hotel chain for three years.” Dani Quesnel saw plenty of guests make travel mistakes during her tenure. From forgetting your credit card or ID at check-in, to booking on third-party websites, see the biggest travel mistakes she witnessed.


Startups freak out, wine theft, & more

  • Startups that use Silicon Valley Bank are freaking out over whether they’ll make next week’s payroll. Read here.
  • A National Geographic photographer offers four tips for taking better pictures with your phone. The results blew our reporter away.
  • Remote-work homebuyer’s remorse: Many people who bought homes far away, but are now getting called back to the office, are pretty much screwed.
  • Adidas thinks a 74-year-old shoe can replace Yeezys. Take a look.
  • The Mediterranean diet may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, according to a study. More here.
  • A NASA image may show the first-ever “rogue” supermassive black hole, leaving a trail of newborn stars in its wake. Check it out.
  • A couple booked a 14-course meal as cover to steal $1.7 million worth of wine from a Michelin-star restaurant. More here.
  • People are getting crushed to death during apparent catalytic converter thefts, a crime on the rise. Details here.
  • A TikToker was trapped in an airport hallway for two hours after a WestJet employee accidentally led him the wrong way.


Your entertainment planner

  •  It’s Oscar weekend. The 2023 Academy Awards will air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Check out our big predictions — including “Everything Everywhere All at Once” taking home the top prize. Read here.
  • Check out “Scream VI” in theaters. The latest installment of the popular horror franchise is out — watch the trailer here. And see our ranking of the characters, from most to least likely to die.
  • See why A24 is the cool kid of Hollywood. The studio behind “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is poised to have a big night — after several big years. Read our analysis on the studio’s rise, and stream some of its biggest hits: “Uncut Gems,” “Lady Bird,” “Midsommar” and more.

Celebrity bodyguards


Bodyguards go through intense training to be ready to protect celebrities, CEOs, and politicians. Insider followed five recruits on a three-day training for security firm Global Threat Solutions. Here’s how they get ready to put their lives on the line for VIP clients. Watch now.


Tech exceptionalism

There’s been a lot of debate over the concept of “tech exceptionalism” lately. Big Tech firms spoiled workers with perks and pay for years, but now they’re crashing back down to earth.


This conversation reached new levels after PayPal Mafia’s Keith Rabois said that Google and Meta over-hired thousands of people to do “fake work.” Here’s what you told us about that:


  • “It’s not the tech worker’s fault. It’s the tech’s CEO’s fault. How does he (or she) sleep at night?” – Glenn
  • “Having my career in telecom tech for the previous 28 years, I can attest to the over-hiring at least in the later years of my career. … I saw over and over the numbers of employees that either couldn’t or didn’t achieve, and this disturbed me greatly because there was little to no accountability to meet the documented standards.” – Lisa
  • “As far as fake work, it seems likely there are meetings where they sit around and discuss how they can make more changes that their customers can’t refuse … not to improve, but to sell.” – June

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This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Lisa Ryan, Dave Smith, Nathan Rennolds, Joe Ciolli, and Jordan Parker Erb. Get in touch:

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