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Failed Silicon Valley Bank gave millions of dollars to BLM and related causes, new database shows

SVB forked over a whopping $70,650,000 to BLM, while recently collapsed Signature Bank gave $850,000, according to records gathered by conservative think tank the Claremont Institute.

Published: March 16, 2023 1:04pm

Updated: March 17, 2023 2:23pm

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank New York (SBNY) donated a combined sum of $71.5 million to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, according to a new database released by the Claremont Institute. 

SVB forked over a whopping $70,650,000 to BLM while, while SBNY gave $850,000 according to the records gathered by the conservative think tank.

Claremont's database cited several "social impact reports" that recorded the transactions and highlighted SVB's pledge from early last year, to give $5 billion to companies aiming to assist with "the transition to a sustainable, low carbon, net zero emissions economy."

They were criticized following their collapse, for taking their eye off the ball by prioritizing eco-conscious environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing over sound investment principles, while also focusing on diversity and social justice in hiring over strict merit. 

One of SVB's LinkedIn posts in 2022 celebrated the "diversity" hire of Jay Ersapah as the head of Financial Risk and Model Risk Management, highlighting how she helped "establish and is the lead for the LGBTQ+ network at Silicon Valley Bank; where she works closely with Stonewall to create and promote a culture where all can bring their authentic selves to work." 

That same year, Ersapah hosted an "exclusive fireside chat with Suki Sandhu, the author of "How To Get Your Act Together: A Judgement-Free Guide to Diversity and Inclusion for Straight White Men." The topics discussed included "How to get started with LGBTQ+ inclusion" and "Global best practice in LGBTQ+ inclusion — what great looks like." 

Other big-name corporations listed in the BLM donor database included: CitiGroup and Facebook, which each gave over $1 billion, Amazon (almost $170 million), Apple ($100 million), and American Express ($50 million), among dozens of others.  

The Biden administration has received sharp criticism for its role in the banking failures from experts who cite a federal spending spree that drove up interest rates, devaluing assets and further fueling ongoing inflation. 

SVB declined to comment when asked by Just The News about the purposes and financial prudence of its donations. SBNY has closed its doors.

Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation gave Just the News a lengthy statement, from which the pertinent excerpts below are culled. 

"Associating a multi-billion dollar bank failure to supposed donations made to Black organizations," said the organization, "is quite literally the definition of white supremacy — especially when it's a bank that has been and continues to be largely run by white people." 

The SVB failure "happened because of Silicon Valley Bank's financial missteps and due to former President Trump, along with Democrats and Republicans in congress, rolling back regulations on banks in 2018," said the group. "Focusing on donations to Black organizations doing righteous change work instead of Silicon Valley Bank's executives that were selling off their stock and profiting from their extreme risks just days before the bank failed, like CEO Greg Becker who profited $3.6 million by selling company stock, is a hilarious attempt to shift blame to Black people.  

"Silicon Valley Bank held $212 billion in assets and $324 billion in total client funds at the end of 2022. Contributions to a variety of progressive Black causes is irrelevant in the conversation about what led to the bank's demise." 

The BLM statement concluded: "We need to be demanding real accountability both from the private sector and the government, which leads to immediate policy change, including public banking options. Until we stop protecting the interests of tech executives, shareholders, and billionaires, and start protecting Black people from their gruesome exploitation, then we will unfortunately witness many more big bank bailouts." 

You can follow Nick on Twitter @NGivasDC

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