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Are We Shocked That Silicon Valley Bank Made These Donations?

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

That saying ‘get woke, go broke’ keeps resurfacing in the ongoing saga surrounding the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. SVB failed last week after a run occurred, sparked by an announcement that the institution would need to raise a ton of capital to cover its losses. The bank was heavily tied to the tech industry, as they were a primary lender to tech startups. In case you missed it, high-tech has been brutalized for nearly a year. No risk assessment officer was hired during the most tumultuous periods of the tech market hammering, and staff appeared to be engaged in activities other than their job. 

The first warnings about the workplace environment came from across the pond at SVB’s UK affiliate. Their risk officer appeared more invested in creating safe spaces and pushing far-left social initiatives than in her actual job. SVB quickly declared the UK branch a walled-off subsidiary, but the US-based institution also engaged in woke antics, doling out millions in left-wing causes. So, it's not a UK-based-only thing; it was the whole system (via Fox Business): 

Silicon Valley Bank, which collapsed on Friday after a classic bank run, donated more than $73 million to groups related to the Black Lives Matter movement, online records show.

A database from the conservative Claremont Institute shows the bank donated around $73,450,000 to the BLM movement and other social justice-related causes. 

As first reported by The Federalist, the now-defunct bank pledged in the summer of 2020 – when the nation was gripped by racial unrest after the police custody death of George Floyd – to increase its commitment to "diversity, equipment [sic], and inclusion (DEI)" in the workplace. 

A report from August 2020 highlighted the fact that around two-thirds of the bank’s workforce met the "diversity" criteria. Another report that year touted SVB’s achievements in supporting minorities.   

In an introductory letter to the report, CEO Greg Becker said SVB touted employee matching programs that focused on "pandemic response, social justice, sustainability, and supporting women, Black and Latinx emerging talent, and other underrepresented groups." 

Becker is no longer CEO. The FDIC appointed Tim Mayopoulos to oversee operations after the collapse. Still, the SVB office culture appears to be the same everywhere: more concerned about bean-counting the number of nonwhites in the workforce rather than not continuing high-risk investments in the tech industry. Also, there’s no problem with donating to BLM. I would rather be the Buddhist monk in the middle of Saigon on fire, but this is a free county. SVB had every right to donate cash to causes, but when your financial establishment fails, expect massive scrutiny, especially when the amount is $70-plus million. You can’t let left-wing activism come before the business of the day—and that’s partially why SVB is no more; and carries the ignominy of being the second-largest bank failure in US history.

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