Billionaire Bill Ackman on SVB collapse: Government has 48 hours to fix ‘irreversible mistake’
Billionaire investor Bill Ackman has warned that the government has 48 hours to fix an “irreversible mistake” that could lead to the collapse of SVB Financial Group.
The Pershing Square Capital Management founder, who has a stake in SVB Financial Group, said in a statement on Tuesday that the government's failure to provide adequate support for the lender could have dire consequences.
“The government has 48 hours to fix an irreversible mistake that could lead to the collapse of SVB Financial Group and the loss of thousands of jobs,” Ackman said in the statement. “SVB is one of the few remaining independent lenders that could provide vital support to the economy. Without government intervention, SVB will be forced to take drastic measures, including layoffs and asset sales, to stay afloat.”
The bank specializes in lending to technology, life sciences and venture capital companies, and Ackman said it has been “severely impacted” by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“SVB has been an invaluable source of investment capital for thousands of small businesses, helping them to survive and thrive during the pandemic,” Ackman said. “The government needs to step in and provide the support that SVB needs to avoid a catastrophic collapse.”
Ackman implored the government to act quickly in order to stave off disaster. He said that without government assistance, the bank will likely not be able to continue offering lending services to the small businesses that need it most.
“Without the government's help, SVB will be forced to take drastic measures to survive,” Ackman said. “This would be a devastating blow to the economy, and a huge setback for small businesses. We urge the government to act quickly and decisively to prevent this from happening.”