How Would Emperor Tiberius Have Handled Silicon Valley Bank?

A First-Century Roman Bailout Holds Lessons for Today's Financial Institutions, and Their Regulators

The recent failures, and subsequent government rescues, of Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic, prompt us to consider an ancient question: How do banks prevent the actions of very rich people from endangering the integrity of a widely-used banking system?

Like today, the rapid and unexpected movement of large amounts of capital nearly caused the Roman banking system to collapse in the 1st century. Roman banks survived then because the imperial government injected large amounts of money to stabilize the credit market. And, again like today, that action was both necessary …

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Old People Still Want Their ‘Ham and Eggs’

A 1930s California Campaign Set the Stage for Today’s Debates Around Aging, ‘Entitlements,’ and Debt

How did Americans learn the value of being paid in retirement?

If you’re an American, you’ve almost certainly heard of Social Security. But you probably haven’t heard of its predecessor, the …

Boxers Know the Power of an Entrance

The Way a Fighter Steps Into the Ring Communicates Everything From Pride to Protest

The first time I really paid attention to boxing ring entrances—the long, celebratory walks fighters take from their dressing rooms to the ring before a bout—was in 1992, when I …

Afghans Built This City

Laborers From Across the Border Have Left an Indelible Mark on Urban Pakistan

Rahimullah waits. In order to get picked for a day’s work, it’s best to get started early. He’s said his morning prayers. Had breakfast. Eggs, bread, and tea. He’s walked …

Are Hospital Wellness Initiatives Making Doctor Burnout Worse?

A Physician Suggests Encouraging His Colleagues to Explore, Reflect, and Talk About Their Feelings

This article is a co-publication of Zócalo Public Square and State of Mind, a partnership of Slate and Arizona State University focused on covering …

Can Two Friends Agree to Disagree on Abortion in Post-Roe America?

It’s an Issue Worth Fighting Over—But Not a Good Litmus Test at the Personal or National Level

We met through a mutual friend who told us both, “You’ll love her. You get angry about all the same things.”

That was almost exactly correct. At the time, Joanne had …