How Silicon Valley Bank’s Collapse Effects Fed’s Recovery Plan

by Wall Street Rebel - Michael London | 03/13/2023 4:13 PM
How Silicon Valley Bank’s Collapse Effects Fed’s Recovery Plan

The Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes have disrupted the IT sector, cryptocurrency markets, and bank business models, causing three major banks to collapse in the last week.


With just a week and a half before the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated interest rate decision on March 22, the drama that shook the banking and financial industry over the weekend severely shakes expectations for what the central bank will deliver.

The Federal Reserve had been swiftly increasing interest rates to manage the most severe burst of inflation since the 1980s. They had raised rates to over 4.5 percent, having lifted them from near zero percent a year before. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates four times in a row by a total of three-quarter points in 2016 due to mounting concerns about the pace of inflation. After that, the Fed reduced its rate rises to a half-point increase in December and a quarter-point increase in February.

Before this past weekend, markets strongly expected that the Federal Reserve would announce a rate rise of a half point at its meeting the following week. Since job growth and consumer spending have been remarkably durable to higher rates, that step up was considered a possibility. This prompted Jerome H. Powell, the head of the Fed, to hint only last week that the Fed would consider making a greater move.

But stock market analysts and economic forecasters no longer consider it a plausible scenario.

As a result of the Federal Reserve's interest rate rises, the IT industry, cryptocurrency markets, and even normally stable bank business models have been thrown into disarray, which has led to the failure of three significant banks in the last week alone.

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On Sunday night, the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Federal Reserve announced a comprehensive intervention to ensure the full repayment of deposits at the collapsed banks. The Federal Reserve has created a special emergency loan program to support banks expecting significant losses on their assets due to the recent shift in interest rates.

As a result of the upheaval and the threats to higher interest rates that it exposes, the central bank is likely to proceed with more caution than before.

Market participants have suddenly reduced their forecast for interest rate changes this year. Investors have pushed up their 2023 projections considerably after Mr. Powell's comments last week opened the possibility of a major rate shift at the next meeting. Some have even factored in a slim likelihood that rates could move over 6 percent this year. But, following the tumultuous financial weekend, they anticipate a modest change this month and a rate decrease by the Fed to slightly over 4.25 percent by the end of the year.

According to economists at J.P. Morgan, the current state of affairs lends credence to the argument in favor of a reduction of a quarter point later this month.

Economists at Goldman Sachs no longer anticipate any change in the interest rate. Even while Goldman analysts continue to believe the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates to a level above 5.25 percent, they said in a note that they "saw substantial ambiguity regarding the path" on Sunday evening.

This time presents the Federal Reserve with a significant obstacle: It is the responsibility of the central bank to ensure that inflation remains constant; for this reason, it has been increasing interest rates to reduce consumer spending and the development of businesses in the hopes of containing growth and preventing further price rises.

These goals can conflict with one another because higher interest rates can bring flaws in the financial system, as evidenced by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on Friday and the enormous risks currently confronting the rest of the banking sector.

Subadra Rajappa is the head of U.S. rates strategy at Societe Generale. She said on Sunday afternoon that she thought the unfolding banking situation would be a caution against moving rates quickly and drastically. She said she thought the unfolding banking situation would be a caution against moving rates quickly and drastically.

She remarked, "On the one hand, they are going to have to hike rates: That's the only weapon they have at their disposal." "On the other hand, they will have to raise rates." The other side of the argument is that "it's going to reveal the weakness of the system."

Some people viewed the new Fed lending program as a sort of insurance policy that could enable the central bank to continue raising interest rates without causing additional market disruptions. The program will enable banks suffering in an environment with high-interest rates to temporarily move a portion of the risk they are facing from higher interest rates to the Fed. This will allow the Fed to continue raising interest rates.

According to Steven Kelly, a senior research associate at Yale's department on financial stability, "The Fed has effectively simply written insurance on interest rate risk for the entire banking sector." They have, in essence, guaranteed the stability of the banking sector, which provides them with more leeway to exert greater control over monetary policy.

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                       SVB deposits backstopped as Fed provides loans to prevent contagion


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