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Why the Silicon Valley Bank failure is uniquely affecting Massachusetts

Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A person from inside Silicon Valley Bank, middle rear, talks to people waiting outside of an entrance to Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here


Our weird winter isn’t over yet. A powerful storm is hitting the region tonight through Wednesday, dropping major snow across much of Massachusetts and bringing high winds along the coast. While Boston and other communities along the shore may only see a few inches, the Worcester area is expected to get up to a foot and a half of snow.

You may want to prepare for power outages (not to mention a snow day) on Tuesday. Read more about the forecast here from meteorologist Danielle Noyes.

Meanwhile, officials are moving to prevent the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank — and its outsized impact on Massachusetts — from snowballing any further. WBUR’s Beth Healy and Walter Wuthmann report many local companies had an anxious weekend scrambling to secure cash for payroll and other expenses after a run on the California-based bank resulted in federal regulators taking over and locking up its assets on Friday.

  • A sigh of relief: Federal officials announced last night that they’ll fully protect all deposits at Silicon Valley Bank and people will have access to all their money when it reopens this morning. (Previously, only deposits up to $250,000 were 100% insured.)
  • The local angle: Gov. Maura Healey’s administration said Sunday that Massachusetts could be “uniquely impacted” by the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (which has locations in Boston, Beverly, Cambridge, Newton and Wellesley). That’s because of the local concentration of tech and health startups, which SVB was known for lending to. “Silicon Valley Bank is just very tightly knit into the Boston startup community,” Stephanie Roulic, the founder of Startup Boston, told WBUR’s Amy Sokolow.
  • While the collapse has led to concerns about other banks with deposits in SVB, Healey said her administration has “confidence in the strength of our regional banks and banking operations.”
  • What’s next: Rep. Ayanna Pressley is calling for a House hearing on SVB’s collapse and how a 2018 law rolling back regulations for small and mid-sized banks may have led to its “risky behavior.”

While the MBTA has lifted the systemwide speed restrictions it imposed on all lines late last week, the agency is warning riders that service will still be slower than usual this week. The entire Green Line and Mattapan Line remain under 10-25 mph speed restrictions, as do some stretches of the Red, Orange and Blue lines. According to the T, the new slow zones cover 32% of the Red, Orange and Blue lines.

  • Translation: Expect slower rides and longer waits this week. The T is encouraging train riders to use their trip planner tool to see if buses might get you to your location quicker.
  • MBTA interim General Manager Jeff Gonneville explained Friday that the sweeping restrictions were ordered after he found out the T’s documentation of recent rail safety tests was inconsistent and missing in some areas. Crews are continuing to re-inspect the entire system this week.
  • The decision also came just hours after the T announced its new spring schedule, which takes effect today. It includes “minor departure time” changes for the Red, Orange and Blue lines, but frequencies will remain around their current reduced levels.
  • Some sunny T news: Ferry service between East Boston and Long Wharf resumes two weeks from today, on March 27.

About last night: Two Emerson College grads stole the show last night, as the breakout film “Everything Everywhere All At Once” took home best picture and six other awards at the Oscars. Co-directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan — known as “the Daniels” — met while studying at Emerson. Kwan also grew up in Westborough.

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  • John Craig Freeman, a professor at Emerson, told WBUR that he remembers encouraging the pair to be inventive in his computer animation class. He thinks “Everything Everywhere” is a perfect post-pandemic movie. “It’s very much a film that kind of celebrates life despite the hardships that we experience as individuals and as a society. And so that’s why I think it’s resonated so effectively with its audience.”
  • Listen: Check out the Daniels’ appearance on NPR’s Short Wave podcast to hear how they created a film that is simultaneously a Kung Fu action flick, a sci-fi, a romance and a family drama.
  • Keep reading: Here’s the full list of winnerskey takeaways and red carpet looks at the 2023 Oscars.

P.S.— Greater Boston’s restaurant week kicked off on Sunday. Check out the full list of restaurants participating in Dine Out Boston, which runs through March 25. (More of a restaurant fortnight, if you ask me.)

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Headshot of Nik DeCosta-Klipa

Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.

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