NEW YORK — The U.S. government took extraordinary steps Sunday to stop a potential banking crisis after the historic failure of Silicon Valley Bank, assuring all depositors at the failed institution that they could access all their money quickly, even as another major bank was shut down.
The announcement came amid fears that the factors that caused the Santa Clara, California-based bank to fail could spread. Regulators had worked all weekend to try to find a buyer for the bank, which was the second-largest bank failure in history. Those efforts appeared to have failed Sunday.
In a sign of how fast the financial bleeding was occurring, regulators announced that New York-based Signature Bank had also failed and was being seized on Sunday. At more than $110 billion in assets, Signature Bank is the third-largest bank failure in U.S. history.
The near-financial crisis that U.S. regulators had to intervene to prevent left Asian markets jittery as trading began Monday. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped about 1.2% in morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.6% to 7,104.30. South Korea’s Kospi, though, was little changed.
In an effort to shore up confidence in the banking system, the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and FDIC said Sunday that all Silicon Valley Bank clients would be protected and able to access their money. They also announced steps that are intended to protect the bank’s customers and prevent additional bank runs.
“This step will ensure that the U.S. banking system continues to perform its vital roles of protecting deposits and providing access to credit to households and businesses in a manner that promotes strong and sustainable economic growth,” the agencies said in a joint statement.
Under the plan, depositors at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, including those whose holdings exceed the $250,000 insurance limit, will be able to access their money on Monday.
In a separate move, the Federal Reserve late Sunday announced an expansive emergency lending program that's intended to prevent a wave of bank runs that would threaten the stability of the banking system and the economy as a whole.
Fed officials characterized the program as akin to what central banks have done for many decades: Lend freely to the banking system so that customers would be confident that they could access their accounts whenever needed.
The lending facility will allow banks that need to raise cash to pay depositors to borrow that money from the Fed, rather than having to sell Treasuries and other securities to raise the money. Silicon Valley Bank had been forced to dump some of its Treasuries at at a loss to fund its customers’ withdrawals. Under the Fed’s new program, banks can post those securities as collateral and borrow from the emergency facility.
The Treasury has set aside $25 billion to offset any losses incurred under the Fed’s emergency lending facility. Fed officials said, however, that they do not expect to have to use any of that money, given that the securities posted as collateral have a very low risk of default.
Analysts said the Fed’s program should be enough to calm financial markets on Monday.
“Monday will surely be a stressful day for many in the regional banking sector, but today’s action dramatically reduces the risk of further contagion,” economists at Jefferies, an investment bank, said in a research note.
Though Sunday's steps marked the most extensive government intervention in the banking system since the 2008 financial crisis, its actions are relatively limited compared with what was done 15 years ago. The two failed banks themselves have not been rescued, and taxpayer money has not been provided to the banks.
President Joe Biden said Sunday evening as he boarded Air Force One back to Washington that he would speak about the bank situation on Monday. In a statement, Biden also said he was “firmly committed to holding those responsible for this mess fully accountable and to continuing our efforts to strengthen oversight and regulation of larger banks so that we are not in this position again.”
Regulators had to rush to close Silicon Valley Bank, a financial institution with more than $200 billion in assets, on Friday when it experienced a traditional run on the bank where depositors rushed to withdraw their funds all at once. It is the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history, behind only the 2008 failure of Washington Mutual.
Some prominent Silicon Valley executives feared that if Washington didn’t rescue the failed bank, customers would make runs on other financial institutions in the coming days. Stock prices plunged over the last few days at other banks that cater to technology companies, including First Republic Bank and PacWest Bank.
Among the bank's customers are a range of companies from California’s wine industry, where many wineries rely on Silicon Valley Bank for loans, and technology startups devoted to combating climate change. Sunrun, which sells and leases solar energy systems, had less than $80 million of cash deposits with Silicon Valley. Stitchfix, the popular clothing retail website, disclosed in a recent quarterly report that it had a credit line of up to $100 million with Silicon Valley Bank and other lenders.
Tiffany Dufu, founder and CEO of The Cru, a New York-based career coaching platform and community for women, posted a video Sunday on LinkedIn from an airport bathroom, saying the bank crisis was testing her resiliency. Given that her money was tied up at Silicon Valley Bank, she had to pay her employees out of her personal bank account. With two teenagers to support who will be heading to college, she said she was relieved to hear that the government’s intent is to make depositors whole.
“Small businesses and early-stage startups don’t have a lot of access to leverage in a situation like this, and we’re often in a very vulnerable position, particularly when we have to fight so hard to get the wires into your bank account to begin with, particularly for me, as a Black female founder,” Dufu told The Associated Press.
ATLANTIC CITY — As St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, the St. Patrick’s Day parade has driven the loneliness created by the coronavirus out of Atlantic City.
The Atlantic City St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held Sunday, marking the event’s triumphant return after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds thronged the Boardwalk bearing their proudest green, as scores of parade marchers passed by in renewed celebration of the Emerald Isle.
St. Patrick’s Day Committee Chair James “Sonny” McCullough said he was impressed by the turnout at the parade. He said he was grateful for the work of the businesses and parade volunteers who mobilized to bring the event back at full strength. He also was excited by the life it brought the city and the business it delivered to local stores during the normally quiet offseason.
“It might be one of the biggest parades to have been on the Boardwalk,” McCullough said. “It’s so rewarding.”
The parade began at on St. James Place and Tennessee Avenue, right near the Irish Pub & Inn. Floats, marching bands, dance troupes and other kinds of revelers from across the city joined in the processional. There were 67 parties in the parade lineup, with most floats organized by local businesses and casinos, Atlantic City police and firefighters, Irish heritage organizations, area high schools and local civics groups. Classic cars, bagpipes and drumlines sounded off as the Boardwalk brimmed with green, orange and white. There was even a parachuter who glided adjacent to the boardwalk with a chute that appeared to be decorated in the Irish tricolor.
Local restaurateurs Frank and Joe Dougherty, whose family owns the Knife & Fork Inn and Dock’s Oyster House, were the parade grand marshals.
City resident Joshua Condry, who he had never seen the parade in person and was thrilled to finally attend, said having the parade was a crucial, celebratory tradition in resort that he was glad to see survive the pandemic.
“This is a very big day in the community. We got floats, we got people, we got mascots. It’s something I’ll never forget, it’s amazing,” Condry said. “Everybody’s wearing green today.”
The parade leaders seemed excited for the event to return as well. John Holzermer, of Atlantic City, said he was asked by organizers to march as the parade leprechaun, something he said satisfied a longtime ambition.
“I always wanted to do that, it was my dream,” Holzermer said. “So, I said ‘sure, no problem.’”
The parade has been a presence in many attendees lives for decades. Brigid Hughes, came to the parade with her children, Connor, 18; Maddox, 11; and Hendrix 5. She has attended the parade since its start in 1986, when her parents, who are from Ireland, marched in it.
Connor Hughes wore his heritage, having taken on the overcoat, vest, and green tie and flat cap that had been worn by his grandfather.
“We’ve come to celebrate our heritage,” Brigid Hughes said. “I’ve been here since the very beginning,”
While the parade is a longstanding tradition in the city, it was a new experience for some. Ed Griffin, who recently moved to Egg Harbor City from Manahawkin, said he had previously experienced the New York City and Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day parades, as well as several events in Ocean County. An Irish American wearing an Irish-tricolor wig, Griffin said he was excited to see the parade in Atlantic City for the first time.
“So far, so good,” said Griffin said.
There were others who went to great lengths to celebrate their ancestry. Ian Gillespie, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, drove down to the city to celebrate the holiday with drinks and other Irish Americans. He was wearing a kilt to the parade, which he said he got from the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair.
“It looks like I’m in the right place for it,” Gillespie said.
Susan Leibowitz, who is living in Atlantic City and a retired Philadelphia school teacher, came wearing her Eagles scarf. It was her first time seeing the parade.
“I thought it was wonderful, everybody was in good spirits and why not enjoy the celebration,” Leibowitz said.
Richard Dean and Sara Andreyev came down from Howell, Monmouth County, for the parade and are regulars at the event since the early 2000s. They said they were happy to see the event return.
“It brings out the people and helps the businesses prosper,” Dean said.
The last parade was in March 2019. The event was canceled in 2020, 2021 and 2022 due to concerns about coronavirus spread. After rumors circulated that the parade would not be held for a fourth-consecutive year, the city and St. Patrick’s Day volunteers rallied to resurrect the longtime event. While the paradegoers had short notice, with the event only announced on Feb. 21, businesses and volunteers marshaled their resources together to bring the parade back.
McCullough, the parade committee chair, said he was grateful to the support shown by the city in making the eleventh-hour parade possible.
The support of the city and neighboring municipalities for the parade was on full display. Mayor Marty Small Sr. walked in the parade, donning the Kelly-green jersey of Philadelphia Eagles receiving great Harold Carmichael. He was joined by several other area politicians from in and out of the city who turned out with their own marching groups for the event.
The return of the parade facilitated the return of other important St. Patrick’s Day rites. Rico Sanchez, dressed to the nines in a brown, three-piece suit, a green wig and dyed-green beard, said he was taking part in the St. Patty’s Day Bar Crawl, traversing across eight bars in the city. He said the bar crawl was a way for him to unite with friends and bring joy to the city.
“It’s just something I feel like Atlantic City needed that was different, it’s like an innovative way to bring a different experience to Atlantic City,” Sanchez said of the bar crawl. “It’s like a religious thing....it’s what makes Atlantic City alive.”
The experience was particularly important to McCullough, who was the mayor of Egg Harbor Township for around 30 years. He said he led the first parade in 1986, walking as an Irish American mayor alongside then Atlantic City Mayor James Usry.
After helping to bring the parade back from the brink of a pandemic demise, McCullough said there was only room to grow in 2024.
“We’re going to make this parade even bigger and better than this year,” McCullough said.
Contact Chris Doyle
Richie Kates, who grew up in Bridgeton and whose rise to boxing fame in the 1970s was chronicled in a 2017 documentary, has died.
He was 69.
Longtime boxing promoter J. Russell Peltz announced Kates death on Twitter on Saturday.
Peltz tweeted, “Breaks my heart to report that 1970s and early 80s light-heavyweight contender Richie Kates passed away today two months short of his 70th birthday. What a class guy!”
Kates was a standup, orthodox fighter with quick hands and a good punch, in the true Philly fighter mold. He merged as one of the top fighters in the world and twice fought for the light-heavyweight (up to 175 pounds) championship. He was part of a special era in which South Jersey also produced fellow light-heavy contenders Dwight Muhammad Qawi (Camden-Philadelphia) and Mike Rossman (Turnersville). After his boxing career, Kates, who lived for years in Vineland, worked part-time as a mentor at Cumberland County jail, as a school security officer and for the state of New Jersey. He also trained boxers and promoted several fight cards, was on the deacon board at Union Baptist Temple in Bridgeton and served several community organizations in the county.
Those who knew him described him as a quiet person with strong faith and a friendly personality.
In April 2017, a near-capacity crowed filled the historic Landis Theater in Vineland to watch the SNJ Today documentary “Richie Kates: An Uncommon Journey.” After the showing, which also chronicled his achievements outside the ring, the crowd of family, friends and boxing fans gave him a standing ovation.
“As a little kid growing up in Bridgeton, I never thought something like this would ever happen to me,” Kates told The Press that day. “To still be alive and to receive this kind of attention is a blessing. I’m truly thankful.”
Later that year, his hometown honored him. Burt Street in Bridgeton City Park was renamed Richie Kates Sr. Way.
“It’s truly an honor,” Kates, 64, said the August day of the ceremony. “It’s something I never even thought about. Hopefully, it’s something my kids and grandkids can see, and it will encourage them to do something positive. I used to hang out at the park as a kid, and I lived not too far from there.”
Kates was elected to several halls of fame, including the All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey and the Pennsylvania Boxing HOF. He was a member of the second annual class of inductees into the Atlantic City Boxing HOF. Among those inducted alongside him in June 2018: Evander Holyfield, Ray Mercer, Bruce Seldon, Hector Camacho Sr., Jeff Chandler, Vinny Paz and Bobby Czyz.
Kates was born in Savannah, Georgia, the sixth of John and Alice’s 11 children. He was an infant when they moved to New Jersey to work at farms in Cumberland County.
“My parents were migrant farm workers, just like a lot of Blacks in the South,” he said. “You named it, we picked it. Tomatoes, beans, okra, asparagus. That’s where I learned the value of hard work. Nothing was given to you. You had to earn it.”
At 13, he got a job sweeping floors and stocking shelves at an Acme supermarket. He was a hard worker, but school did not appeal to him, so he often didn’t attend.
“I hated school when I was younger,” Kates once said. “I used to skip all the time. One day, a truant officer found me and told me I needed to find new places to hide. He told me about a boxing gym in Millville, so I rode a bus there one day.”
And there he was introduced to the boxing ring. While still a Bridgeton High School sophomore, Kates lied about his age to turn professional at 16. In his pro debut, he beat Bobby Haynes in a four-round decision in Baltimore on Dec. 11, 1969.
“I remember looking across the ring before the fight and telling my trainer (Vineland’s Letty Petway), ‘That’s a grown man over there,’” Kates recalled with a laugh. “Letty said, ‘You’re a pro now. You’re going to be fighting grown men all the time.’”
And though he preferred the boxing ring to the classroom, Kates in 1972 became the first member of his family to graduate high school.
Kates did not lose until his 19th pro fight, and his career took him all over the country, as well as Italy and South Africa.
He retired as a boxer in 1983 at age 30 with a 44-6 record (23 KOs). He never won the world championship, but the competition of that era was fierce. His contemporaries included Bob Foster, Victor Galindez, Marvin Johnson, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Matthew Saad Muhammad, and Michael Spinks, along with Rossman and Muhammad Qawi. His losses included two to Galindez and one to Saad Muhammad. His final bout was a split-decision victory against Jerry Martin on Oct. 26, 1983, at the since-demolished Sands Hotel Casino in Atlantic City.
“Richie fought during what was the best era of light-heavyweights in history,” Philadelphia promoter Peltz said in 2017. “Those guys would clean out the division today. (Light-heavyweights) Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev are good fighters, but they wouldn’t have the records they have if they were facing the guys from the 1970s and early ‘80s.”
Kates was a rare fighter who didn’t hang on long after his prime.
“I was only 30, but people don’t realize that I had been fighting as a pro for 14 years,” Kates said. “Too many fighters stay too long. I wanted to be able to speak in complete sentences when I was older.”
Kates trained amateur fighters part time at Next Level Boxing Gym in Vineland and worked part-time as a mentor to inmates at Cumberland County jail.
In 2017, Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly said Kates never forgot his roots.
“In the years since his boxing career ended, Richie made it a point to work with kids that came up the same way he did,” Kelly said in a city release ahead of the ceremony. “Whether through his volunteer work with the Police Athletic League, his work as a security officer in the public schools, or through his congregation, he always always had a word of encouragement for the kids he met. He represents the best in our community.”
Between fights of a 2015 card in Philadelphia, Peltz showed a video of the 1978 light-heavyweight brawl between Kates and Philadelphia’s Matthew Franklin (later known as Matthew Saad Muhammad) that was held at the Spectrum. Franklin won a thrilling fight with a sixth-round TKO.
Kates was in the crowd that night at 2300 Arena.
“After I saw it on the screen, I went up to Russell and asked him, ‘Where’s my cut?’” Kates said with a laugh.
Staff Writer and former pro boxer Guy Gargan contributed to this report.