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What to Do With Your Money During a Banking Crisis


Banks failed. Rich men became publicly agitated, demanding protection. Regulators stepped in to try to stop the panic. Markets wobbled anyway.And now we everyday actors in the economy are supposed to do what, exactly?It’s not a rhetorical question. Too many people default toward immediate action in the face of what seems like a threat. Change banks. Buy gold. Sell everything (or something, at least).If you’ve embraced inaction in this turbulent moment, however, you may have it right. Ask yourself these questions: What has actually changed about the world in the past week? And how have your own financial goals changed?The answer to that second question is probably “not at all.” The answer to the first is this: Only a few things have changed, at least so far. But none of them are cause for most people to rethink their goals — or pursue any drastic action in pursuit of them in the coming days.The Moneyed Set Got ScaredSome of the depositors who encouraged others to yank their money out of Silicon Valley Bank were sophisticated venture capitalists. Signature Bank also had a lot of corporate clients, especially in industries like real estate, where experienced building owners are intimately familiar with economic cycles.That didn’t keep depositors from running for the hills. “As much love and desire we have for SVB, fear came first,” as David Selinger, the chief executive of the security firm Deep Sentinel and a longtime Silicon Valley Bank customer, told my colleague Maureen Farrell.The Rescuers Came for DepositorsIf the venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who face risk for a living could frighten so easily, why shouldn’t the rest of us be scared out of our minds?Regulators anticipated this question last weekend and decided to …

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