Famed investor Michael Burry shredded the executives formerly in charge of Silicon Valley Bank on Sunday as the tech lender’s sudden collapse prompted fears of a systemic meltdown.
Burry, the hedge fund boss made famous in the 2015 film “The Big Short,” likened the current banking sector crisis to conditions the market experienced when the dotcom bubble burst in 2000 and the US housing market imploded in 2008.
“2000, 2008, 2023. It is always the same,” Burry said in a now-deleted tweet on Sunday. “People full of hubris and greed take stupid risks, and fail. Money is then printed. Because it works so well.”
SVB collapsed within 48 hours last week after disclosing a $1.8 billion loss on a fire sale of $21 billion in bond holdings. The doomed tech lender crumbled after its warnings of a cash crunch led scared startups and tech investors to stage a run on the bank and pull their funds.
The vast majority of SVB’s depositors were uninsured because their accounts exceeded Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s $250,000 cap.
Burry’s remarks also appeared to criticize the feds, who took extraordinary measures to bail out SVB and another failed institution, Signature Bank in New York.
In a joint statement on Sunday, the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and FDIC said they were taking action “that fully protects all depositors” at SVB and another shuttered firm, Signature Bank in New York.
The feds said SVB depositors will have access to all of their money by Monday and that Signature Bank clients would be “made whole.” In both cases, taxpayers will not bear any costs.
The bailout was aimed at curtailing fears that SVB’s downfall was a contagion event that would spread throughout the banking sector and cause further calamity.
Burry previously warned of a looming disaster just hours before SVB was shuttered, as evidence mounted that the California-based bank was in trouble.
“It is possible today we found our Enron,” Burry tweeted last week.
Burry is best known for successfully betting against the subprime mortgage market – the implosion of which played a key role in the economic turmoil of 2008.