In a series of viral tweets, Gabor Gurbacs examines the latest data from the FDIC – a US agency whose mission is to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system.
According to the FDIC, $124.5 billion is currently on the agency’s balance sheet, with an additional $100 billion line of credit available from the U.S. Treasury, for a total of $224.5 billion.
That compares to a staggering total of more than $22 trillion in the US banking system, says Gurbacs.
The renewed scrutiny of the FDIC’s balance sheet comes amid the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, which shut its doors after losing $1.8 billion from selling mainly US bonds that are supposed to offer banks a safe way to diversify.
However, the price of those bonds has dropped significantly due to the Federal Reserve’s steep interest rate hikes.
Many in the startup community, which Silicon Valley Bank largely catered to, are calling for the U.S. Treasury to step in and bail out the bank, as happened during the 2008 financial crisis.
American banks align with the FDIC to promise customers that deposits up to the amount of $250,000 will always be covered in the event of a collapse.
But anything in excess is not insured.
Of course, the FDIC doesn’t cover anything above $250k… so basically no businesses. It’s practically worthless. People trust banks more than what they should. Tier 1 leverage ratios (tier 1 capital/consolidated assets) show just how much more leveraged banks are vs stablecoins. pic.twitter.com/310MoMEoXI
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) March 10, 2023
The US and most nations around the world back a system known as fractional reserve banking, which requires banks to hold a small percentage of their deposit liabilities in liquid assets as a reserve, while being at liberty to lend the remainder to borrowers.
“The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts. Their massive overhead costs make micropayments impossible…
With e-currency based on cryptographic proof, without the need to trust a third party middleman, money can be secure and transactions effortless.”
In contrast to the modern banking system, Bitcoin is backed by its core technology for validating and securing transactions without a middleman, its strict level of scarcity with a total of 21 million coins, and its decentralized web of users who power the network and hold their capital in BTC.
Billionaire Elon Musk posted a tweet in light of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, which follows a precipitous drop in the price of Bitcoin after the fall of the crypto-friendly bank Silvergate.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 11, 2023
Silvergate cited “recent industry developments” as well as “investigations from our banking regulators, congressional inquiries and investigations from the U.S. Department of Justice” as the main reasons the bank decided to close its doors.
Bitcoin has been in the midst of a volatile recovery after dropping to about $16,000 late last year due to the collapse of the offshore Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX.
FTX is accused of essentially stealing and gambling its users’ funds, and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried is now facing 115 years in prison for a long list of charges including wire fraud and securities fraud.
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