The decade's most triggering comedy
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said Sunday that at least one Democrat senator wanted to censor what information is available to the public in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse last week.
In a tweet Sunday, Massie said an unnamed Democrat senator had asked what options the government has to censor information that could cause a run on the banks.
“Just got off of a zoom meeting with Fed, Treasury, FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation], House, and Senate,” Massie tweeted.
Just got off of a zoom meeting with Fed, Treasury, FDIC, House, and Senate.
A Democrat Senator essentially asked whether there was a program in place to censor information on social media that could lead to a run on the banks.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 13, 2023
“A Democrat Senator essentially asked whether there was a program in place to censor information on social media that could lead to a run on the banks,” Massie added.
Silicon Valley Bank, a popular bank for U.S. tech startups, faced a sudden bank run on Friday. The crisis spiraled into the largest American bank failure since 2008.
The chaos kicked off on Wednesday when Silicon Valley Bank announced that it had sold a large amount of securities, losing $1.8 billion, and was planning to sell $2.25 billion in new shares to offset the loss.
This caused venture capital firms to reportedly recommend companies take their money out of the bank. The bank’s customers attempted to withdraw about $42 billion, and the bank ran out of cash.
Over the course of Thursday, the bank’s stock nosedived 60%.
The panic began to spread beyond Silicon Valley Bank on Thursday. Investors using other banks started to withdraw their money as well, worrying that a crisis similar to 2008 was beginning. This caused those banks’ stock to sink too.
On Friday morning, trading of Silicon Valley Bank’s shares was halted, and California regulators shut down the bank about 48 hours after the crisis began.
SVB was 40 years old and the 16th-largest U.S. bank before it was shuttered.
Massie said the response to the Democrat senator’s question was, “We will get back to you on that.”
Massie also responded to a Twitter user who commented that while they are anti-censorship, “spreading unfounded rumors to promote a run on a bank” is akin to “yelling fire in a crowded theater.”
“What about yelling fire in a theater that’s on fire?” Massie replied.
Censorship has become a flashpoint in the political debate over the last several years, especially in the wake of the 2020 election and the pandemic. The Biden administration pressured social media companies to censor information about COVID that bucked the mainstream line of thought. Last month, House Republicans grilled former Twitter employees about whether the FBI pressured the company to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 election.
On Monday, President Joe Biden promised taxpayers would not shoulder the cost of Silicon Valley Bank’s failure.
“No losses will be — and this is an important point — no losses will be borne by the taxpayers; let me repeat that, no losses will be borne by the taxpayer,” Biden said at the White House.
“Instead the money will come from the fees that banks pay into the Deposit Insurance Fund,” Biden said.
Silicon Valley Bank’s customers will have access to their money on Monday, Biden said.