Hip Hop Caucus Statement on Silicon Valley Bank Collapse

WASHINGTON — Today, Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. issued the following statement in response to the Silicon Valley Bank failure:

“The closure of Silicon Valley Bank on March 10 due to a bank run is not a signal of pending economic collapse or another financial crisis. The bank’s unique mix of tech start-up customers and venture-backed businesses led to a portfolio and circumstances that are exceptional for most banking institutions. We want our community to know that, like most Americans, their bank deposits are safe and insured up to $250,000 by the FDIC in qualified accounts.

This collapse was a failure of a system that continues to put the interests of Wall Street ahead of everyday people. While our communities carry concerns about health care, affordable housing, and safety in their neighborhoods, the last thing people need to worry about is their savings. As the Biden Administration has made clear, taxpayers are not responsible for paying for the bank’s mistakes and those responsible will be held accountable. 

Despite the building narrative that mega banks are the only institutions that cannot fail, we must not undermine the merit and value of community and regional banks — especially those that are Black- and minority-owned. It is equally important that we do not give in to the agenda to stop supporting banks who champion diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as those who support investing in solutions to address mass incarceration and our climate crisis. These institutions not only create more economic opportunities for Black, Brown and low-income people, they also reflect the latent potential of finance as a tool for collective social good. 

Hip Hop Caucus calls on the Biden Administration to expand regulations and structural changes for financial institutions, examine the stress test process that banks undergo to ensure stability, and ultimately, ensure that people’s hard-earned money continues to remain protected.”

About Hip Hop Caucus 

Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.