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  • Chokepoint 2.0 Victims: SilverGate, Signature, SVB, & You

Chokepoint 2.0 Victims: SilverGate, Signature, SVB, & You

“This was just a way to tell people, ‘We don’t want you dealing with crypto,’”

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Florida Politics

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank had political leaders in Florida grasping at a variety of topics to explain the bank’s downfall. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Panhandle Republican, blamed a rapid shift away from technology that grew in use during the pandemic. He made the remarks on podcaster Tim Pool’s show. Gaetz blamed pandemic policies under President Joe Biden, though those started under former President Donald Trump.

“The financial arm of Silicon Valley has just been severed before our very eyes, and I also think that the Biden policies around COVID had something to do with this because it created an investment bubble in Silicon Valley in tech,” he said. “Once we got past those policies, the American people rose up and said we won’t be locked in our homes, we will not have our local retail and our local industry shut down and live our life in our pods getting mail products delivered to us and play on our apps all day.” Gaetz said he won’t support a federal rescue of the bank.

“If there is an effort to use taxpayer money to bail out Silicon Valley Bank, the American people can count on the fact that I will be there leading the fight against such a bailout,” he said. Rep. Cory Mills, a Winter Park Republican, also opposed the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help the bank. Gov. Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, blamed investment in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs.

“I mean, this bank, they’re so concerned with DEI and politics and all kinds of stuff. I think that really diverted from them focusing on their core mission,” DeSantis contended. Rep. Maxwell Frost noted that when the Governor served in the House, he voted to ease regulations on banks. “When Gov. DeSantis was in Congress, he voted to ease and lessen regulations for regional banks,” he said. “Now he wants to blame the SVB Financial collapse on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?” Frost tweeted.

Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Parkland Democrat, also questioned the motives of such criticisms. “We're really only moments away from them (Republicans) telling us wokeness killed the dinosaurs,” Moskowitz told MSNBC host Medhi Hassan. Florida is among 26 public pension funds invested in part in the SVB Financial Group. That makes any potential response consequential both to the national economy and the state government.

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