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Silicon Valley Bank collapse: Bay Area elected officials react

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) listens during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol Building on April 6, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Tweets say a lot about a person’s headspace. 

On Friday, Elon Musk ejected out a post about freeing a Jan. 6 insurrectionist—and comparing the man’s punishment to an onstage attacker of Musk’s very good friend, comedian David Chappelle—before posting a meme that appeared to be about crypto and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Meanwhile, elected officials across the Bay Area were also tweeting about the shutdown of the bank as they attempted to assuage fears over loan defaults, lost startup cash and an overall decline in the tech sector.

Rep. Ro Khanna, who worked in the Obama administration’s Commerce Department and represents San Jose and parts of the East Bay, kicked off the morning by saying he was in touch with the White House and U.S. Treasury. He said the government should do “whatever is legally permissible & appropriate to support the Bank.” 

Within the morning, the bank was shuttered.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, who represents San Francisco, joined the fray and sent out two tweets to note how important it is to make sure damage is contained after the biggest bank failure since the global financial crisis 15 years ago

“The sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is a crisis for the tech industry, as the leading finance institution for SV startups,” Wiener wrote. “It’s critical that government & tech/finance leaders work together to ensure this doesn’t spread & drag down the tech sector & our regional economy.”

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation took control of roughly $175 billion in customer deposits and a new entity—the Deposit Insurance National Bank of Santa Clara—will protect insured depositors.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein didn’t have anything to say on the issue on Twitter, but East Bay Congressman Eric Swalwell drew attention to a recent stock sale by the bank’s top executives.

The former prosecutor called for an investigation to make sure the execs weren’t trying to cash out before Friday’s meltdown.