“Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse is the predictable and direct outcome of a furious 2018 effort by bank lobbyists to evade basic oversight, transparency, and financial stability in favor of profit. The Congressional Progressive Caucus, along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-M.A.) and Bernie Sanders (I-V.T.), led the effort against what we referred to as the Bank Lobbyist Act, raising the alarm about the ‘dangerous and misguided bill.’ It was voted for by nearly every Republican, and it is now clear — as we predicted — that Trump’s presidential signature sealed a future of more chaos for our economy and more impunity for bank misbehavior.
“Silicon Valley Bank’s failure has proven that it was a mistake to roll back Dodd-Frank’s regulatory safeguards and meaningful oversight of a broad set of banks with significant assets. Congress must now come together and repeal this misguided law. We also must hold the executives of these banks accountable, clawing back funds from executives who cashed in before FDIC intervention, including the CEO who directly lobbied against the ‘burden’ of oversight. This kind of malfeasance should not be rewarded.
“The past 48 hours have also thrown into sharp relief this country’s two-tiered economic system. Silicon Valley Bank’s wealthy depositors are being made whole almost immediately. Meanwhile, Republican politicians are blocking the Biden Administration from providing millions of mostly low- and middle-income people — who played by the rules but still struggle to get ahead — from receiving relief from crushing student debt payments. If the government is able to respond so quickly to support wealthy investors, it should be able to do the minimum for working people. Progressives will continue, as we always have, to fight to end the injustice of these two economic systems and give working families a fair shot in the richest country in the world.”