Limiting the effects of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse
The U.S. is racing to contain the consequences of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the largest American bank to fail since the financial crisis in 2008. Federal regulators announced that the government would ensure that all depositors of Silicon Valley Bank would have access to all of their money starting today, and that the losses would not be borne by American taxpayers.
Amid the carnage, the Fed announced that it would set up an emergency lending program, with approval from the Treasury, to funnel funding to eligible banks and help ensure that they were able to “meet the needs of all their depositors.”
Regulators also announced that Signature Bank had been shut down by New York bank regulators to protect consumers and the financial system. It was the third bank failure within a week. Silvergate, a bank based in California that made loans to cryptocurrency companies, announced on Wednesday that it would cease operations and liquidate its assets.
Background: Silicon Valley Bank was a lender to some of the biggest names in technology, and its collapse on Friday set off fears that a one-off bank failure could turn into a full-blown financial crisis. Janet Yellen, the Treasury secretary, said the banking system was safe despite the failure of Silicon Valley Bank.
The war in Ukraine puts Swiss neutrality to the test
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is testing Switzerland’s longstanding tolerance for standing on the sidelines and serving the world’s elite on equal terms, putting the country in a bind of competing interests and leading to accusations that it is pursuing “a neutrality of economic benefit.”
Switzerland’s arms industry makes badly needed ammunition for some of the weapons that Europeans have supplied to Ukraine, as well as some of the Leopard 2 main battle tanks they have promised. But there are strict rules on where those weapons can go: One law, now the subject of heated debate, bans the country from selling Swiss arms to any nation at war — or from selling them to be re-exported to be used in conflict.
This has left Swiss arms makers unable to sell to Western customers that intend to use them in Ukraine, which the companies say could make it impossible to maintain relations with critical customers. European neighbors are pulling the Swiss in one direction, while a centuries-old tradition of neutrality — which is supported by 90 percent of Switzerland’s 8.7 million people — pulls in another.
Analysis: “Being a neutral state that exports weapons is what got Switzerland into this situation,” said Oliver Diggelmann, an international law professor at the University of Zurich. “It wants to export weapons to do business. It wants to assert control over those weapons. And it also wants to be the good guy. This is where our country is stumbling now.”
In other news from the war:
Western analysts say that Russian forces now control most of Bakhmut. Ukraine insists that it holds the city, but its grip is tenuous.
Ukrainian authorities are stepping up efforts to evacuate civilians from Kupiansk, a town in the Kharkiv region of northeast Ukraine, amid relentless Russian shelling.
A spiraling dispute between the BBC and a star host
Gary Lineker, once an English soccer star and now a politically opinionated sports broadcaster for the BBC, was suspended last week over a Twitter post on immigration. The dispute prompted a walkout by his colleagues and has now escalated into a crisis, setting off a debate over free expression, government influence and the role of a nonpartisan public broadcaster.
Yesterday, the BBC was struggling to work out a compromise with Lineker that would put him back on the air. But the fallout from the dispute is likely to be wide and long-lasting, casting doubt over the corporation’s management, which has made political impartiality a priority but has faced persistent questions about its own close ties to Britain’s Conservative government.
Lineker is perhaps the BBC’s biggest name, a beloved sports figure who made a smooth transition from the playing field to the broadcasting booth, where he has been a weekly fixture since 1999, analyzing games and shooting the breeze with other retired sports stars. He is the BBC’s highest-paid on-air personality, earning 1.35 million pounds ($1.6 million) in 2022.
Quotable: When the government announced plans on Tuesday to clamp down on asylum seekers, Lineker tweeted, “This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?” Conservative lawmakers said he had misused his platform to voice a political opinion.
Related: The playbook for Britain’s bill on migration seems taken from Australia’s unyielding approach, which experts say is “inhuman” and of dubious legality.
THE LATEST NEWS
Around the World
Late last month, after an explosion of crime, politicians in Australia reimposed an alcohol ban on hundreds of Aboriginal communities. Residents say the restrictions are simply a distraction — another Band-Aid for communities that need funding and support and to be listened to if they are to address the problems at their roots.
When politicians and the public look beyond the alcohol, said William Tilmouth, an Aboriginal elder, “what they will find is people with voice, strength and solutions waiting to be heard.”
Bert Gordon, the professed king of the monster movies whose B pictures featured giant rats, giant spiders, giant grasshoppers, giant chickens, a colossal man and 30-foot teenagers laying waste to everything in sight, died at 100.
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
Lionel Messi and the drug war in his home city: An attack on his father-in-law’s supermarket has made Messi’s dream of returning to play in Rosario, Argentina, seem increasingly unlikely.
Will the real Liverpool please stand up? Liverpool thrashed Manchester United 7-0, then lost to Bournemouth. Liverpool is wildly inconsistent.
P.S.G.’s latest Champions League failure: At P.S.G., everything is geared toward winning the Champions League. A look at why the team has fallen short again and the implications.
From The Times: Mikaela Shiffrin has become the most successful ski racer in Alpine World Cup history, with 87 victories.
ARTS AND IDEAS
On champagne-colored carpet at the Oscars
At the 95th Academy Awards, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” all but swept the board in a historic night for Asian actors and filmmakers, winning best picture. Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis were honored as best supporting actor and actress, Michelle Yeoh won best actress and Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert took best director. Catch up with our updates.
Best actor went to Brendan Fraser for his performance in “The Whale,” “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” received the Oscar for best animated feature, and “Navalny” was honored as best documentary. Netflix’s subtitled German-language war epic “All Quiet on the Western Front” collected an armload of Oscars for technical artistry.
In another change, the red carpet was not red: Stars like Rihanna, above, walked a champagne-colored rug, breaking with a 62-year tradition. The choice was made as part of an overhaul of the preshow spectacle, which, for the first time, was managed by members of the Met Gala’s creative team.