What the SVB and FTX Sagas Have in Common

March 30, 2023

And how industrial policy can help change course.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

Connecting Finance to the Real Economy

In the last four months, financial markets have witnessed multiple eye-opening collapses—crypto exchange platform FTX in November and Silvergate, Signature Bank, and Silicon Valley Bank this March.

There’s a unifying lesson we should learn from them, Roosevelt’s Saule Omarova and Todd N. Tucker write for Democracy Journal.

“The health and stability of our banking system cannot be separated from the health and stability of the broader economy. Yet, for many decades, finance has been growing increasingly speculative and divorced from productive activity,” they argue.

“This is where the Biden administration’s turn to industrial policy can play a vital role in reconnecting finance to the real economy—but only if industrial policy is seen holistically, and not just as a way to onshore the making of particular widgets.”

Read “Industrial Policy Requires Public, Not Just Private, Equity.


Tax Dodging Is a Monopoly Tactic

“We’re accustomed to telling the story of Amazon in terms of genius and innovation, but [Jeff] Bezos, who started his career on Wall Street, succeeded in no small part by leveraging the tax system to distort the playing field,” Stacy Mitchell and Susan Holmberg write in a new brief from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the Roosevelt Institute.

Amazon’s ascendance to monopolistic titan is a telling case study, Mitchell and Holmberg argue, illustrating why antitrust and small business advocates must include tax policy in their strategies for combating corporate concentration.

“Tax policy has historically played a complementary function in trust-busting. Yet today, taxation remains overlooked both as a driver of current levels of market concentration and as a tool to remedy the problem,” Roosevelt’s Niko Lusiani writes in a foreword to the brief, the first in Roosevelt’s “Taxing Monopolies” series.

Read more in “Tax Dodging Is a Monopoly Tactic: How Our Tax Code Undermines Small Business and Fuels Corporate Concentration.


A New Season of How to Save a Country

On their breakout podcast How to Save a Country, hosts Felicia Wong (Roosevelt Institute) and Michael Tomasky (The New Republic) introduce you to the people and ideas moving America forward in uncertain times.

Last season, guests like Heather Cox Richardson, Brian Deese, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren helped connect the dots across economics, law, history, and politics; and offered answers to some of the most pressing challenges facing our economy and democracy.

In season 2, launching on April 6, How to Save a Country will explore how these big ideas are faring out in the real world, with the people putting them into action.

Listen to the trailer now, and follow for next Thursday’s season premiere with Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party.


What We’re Reading and Listening to

WTH Happened at Silicon Valley Bank? with Mike KonczalWhy Is This Happening? The Chris Hayes Podcast

Biden to Push New Banking Rules after Silicon Valley Bank Collapse [feat. Roosevelt fellow Todd Phillips]Washington Post

The Catch-22 for Working ParentsThe Atlantic