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 …