“Is not a patron my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help?”
“The first thing [in credit] is character … before money or anything else. Money cannot buy it.… A man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds in Christendom. I think that is the fundamental basis of business..”
On March 10, 2023, Silicon Valley Bank, an renowned institution that catered to America’s start-up sector, collapsed within two days after a run on the bank started and exacerbated by the very venture capitalists that it served in its 40-year existence.
Hours after the collapse, the same venture capitalists began backpedaling to burnish their reputations, issuing a statement of support for the same bank they had driven into failure. They crushed a cornerstone of our economy in one day, and then virtue-signaled the next.
The management of SVB was incompetent. They were removed. The board was asleep at the switch. They are now unemployable. The investors and lenders in SVB showed poor judgment. They were wiped out. But those players within the venture capital community who were singularly responsible for triggering and then exacerbating this run will not escape accountability. Future founders will know your worth. They will know you are not a reliable partner, ready to throw them to the wolves at a moment’s notice. You will be remembered for your hypocrisy.