WCL Professors Featured in Media Coverage of Crypto Bank Failures


When Silicon Valley and Signature banks failed in early March 2023, government regulators rushed in to guarantee deposits and protect bank customers. Shortly after, another bank, Silvergate, collapsed amid scrutiny from regulators and a criminal investigation by the Justice Department’s fraud unit into dealings with fallen crypto giants FTX and Alameda Research. As part of the media’s coverage, Professors Hilary Allen and Gerard Comizio were each featured for their analysis in various publications.

Writing for The Conversation, Professor Comizio noted that while “government regulators rushed in to guarantee deposits and protect bank customers” of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank, “there was no obligation for the government to step in” under current banking regulations. He noted that “[w]hile some aspects of each failure were different, there were common elements, and a certain level of Murphy’s law – the idea that if something can go wrong, it will. In the case of these banks, everything went wrong.” Professor Comizio also told the Washington Post that “[t]he common theme here is regulators are not paying attention to banks related to crypto and private equity, and the question is: why didn’t the regulators step in?”

Additionally, Professor Allen observed that in cases where a failed bank cannot be sold in receivership, the FDIC sometimes must create a “bridge bank” to help the firm continue to operate and find an acquired later. Professor Allen was noted in the Los Angeles Times as saying Silvergate’s collapse could “put even more pressure on banks to demonstrate that their dealings with crypto are safe and sound.”