Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary asked why he kept HIS money in the failed SVB if he thought the bank was run by ‘idiots’, just months after the former FTX spokesman revealed he lost $15m when the giant imploded cryptographic
- Kevin O’Leary had billions of dollars of company money tied up at SVB, despite calling bank bosses “idiots” this week.
- The Shark Tank star was questioned about the decision in a Fox News interview
- O’Leary insisted he could take the hit when he criticized the government bailout.
Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary had billions of dollars of company money tied up in the failed Silicon Valley Bank, despite calling the bosses “idiots” this week.
O’Leary, who also lost $15 million when crypto firm FTX imploded last year, was questioned about his ties to SVB in an interview with Fox New’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday night.
Several companies in the businessman’s private equity portfolio had deposits at SVB, including crypto firm Circle, which had around $3 billion on file with the bank.
It comes after he repeatedly criticized SVB bosses as ‘negligent’ and ‘idiots’, asking ‘why should taxpayers bail them out?’
O’Leary repeated his claims during the interview on Tuesday night.
‘This bank was run by idiots with an incompetent board. It is a bank whose name no one has ever heard before,’ he said. Hannity.
The host then responded, ‘Kevin, you’re a smart guy. Why did you keep your money there if it was run by idiots?
To which O’Leary replied, “It’s one of many, many banks where I keep my money.”
‘I’m a big boy. My point is that if you have more than $250,000 in any institution, you are basically a hedge fund or a smart investor or a business.
‘You understand the risks and act accordingly.
“I think the federal mandate to keep FDIC insurance at $250,000 makes sense to me.
But we changed all that over the weekend.
SVB last week became the biggest bank to collapse since the 2008 financial crisis.
It meant that only deposits of $250,000 could be claimed under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
However, the limit was removed in a move that protected all SVB clients, regardless of their deposit.
But O’Leary criticized the move, saying customers didn’t need the money.
‘Most of the people who had money, including me over $250,000 in my portfolio of companies, can take the hit. I understand. That happens sometimes,’ she said.
He added: ‘I’ve told all of my CEOs in our portfolios that we don’t want more than 20 per cent in any institution that is that diversified across many institutions.
“Frankly, what I see now as an investor in bank stocks, I won’t be investing anymore.
“Basically, you are telling me that from now on the regulatory environment for small regional banks is going to be very punitive. I don’t think they can make money anymore.
“Remember this is a really key issue that everyone in America needs to think about.”
He added that the biggest loss was from crypto firm Circle, which announced this week that it had $3.3 billion worth of deposits at SVB.
O’Leary made headlines last year when he revealed that he had lost $15 million after the collapse of crypto company FTX last year.
He was promised the amount when he signed on to be an ambassador for the firm run by disgraced boss Sam Bankman-Fried in August 2021.
But the deal became worthless and he filed for bankruptcy amid a series of criminal investigations into the company.
At the time, O’Leary said he had been a victim of “groupthink” and admitted that FTX investors now seemed like “idiots.”
“(The) total deal was just under $15 million, including a bunch of agents that I had to pay,” he told CNBC at the time.
“I put in about $9.7 million in crypto, I think that’s what I lost, it’s all at zero.
‘I don’t know because my account was scraped a couple of weeks ago: all the data, all the coins, everything.
‘Then I also lost the money I invested in the capital. Those are zeros too. It was not a good investment.
He added: ‘Obviously I know all the institutional investors in this deal. We all look like idiots, let’s put that on the table.
‘Not a single dollar I lost is anyone’s money but mine. That’s important to me, because it’s a problem.