Bonusing Before the Bailout

Bonusing Before the Bailout

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  • Employees of Silicon Valley Bank received their bonuses Friday, mere hours before the regulator swooped in to seize the troubled bank. The Santa Clara, California-based institution had a longstanding tradition of paying out bonuses on the second Friday of March. The bonuses, which were for work done in 2022, had already been set in motion days before the bank's demise. Talk about cutting it close.

  • On Friday, Greg Becker, CEO of SVB, shared a two-minute video with his employees, in which he proudly proclaimed that he was no longer making decisions at the 40-year-old bank. It remains to be seen how generous the payouts are, but Glassdoor reports that bonuses for SVB staff can range from around $12,000 for associates to an impressive $140,000 for managing directors.

Why it matters

This year, SVB's last day of independence coincided with bonus day. By midday Friday, a bank run caused by anxious venture capitalists and startup owners led to the institution being taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). All 8,528 SVB staff members were given 45 days of work by the FDIC. 


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