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Credit Suisse and Silicon Valley Bank's problem is an addiction to clients

By Dan Davies

16 Mar 2023 · 3 min read

informed Summary

  1. Money flowed to Credit Suisse from Goldman Sachs because clients worried about the U.S. firm but knew Credit Suisse was too big to fail.

Once, we were kings. In 2010, I was promoted to director at Credit Suisse's top-ranked European banks research team. In those days, we managed emergency capital issuance for other banks, rather than answering questions about our own. Money flowed to us from Goldman Sachs, as clients worried about the U.S. firm but knew we were too big to fail. What went wrong?

Many things happened along the way, but there is one point of commonality between the gradual decline of Credit Suisse and the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Both institutions were utterly committed to putting clients' interests first. Which is a great thing to do, until it isn't. Like any others, client relationships can turn toxic, and when they do, members of management need to have the perception and courage to do the right thing. And they didn't.

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