May 4, 2023 - Economy

The 2023 banking crisis remains contained

Data: FDIC and FRED; Chart: Rahul Mukherjee/Axios

The mini banking crisis of 2023 really is pretty small, as banking crises go.

Why it matters: The Fed was at pains to point out Wednesday that "the U.S. banking system is sound and resilient." This chart begins to explain why they might be so sanguine.

By the numbers: The three banks that failed this year — Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), First Republic Bank (FRB) and Signature Bank — accounted for 2.4% of all assets in the banking sector.

  • By contrast, Washington Mutual alone had more than 2.7% of the sector's assets when it failed in 2008.
  • The Global Financial Crisis was also much broader and lasted for years. Between the failure of IndyMac in July 2008 and the demise of The National Republic Bank of Chicago in October 2014, a whopping 501 FDIC-insured banks failed, collectively comprising more than 6% of the assets of the commercial banking sector.

Between the lines: The market did a pretty good job of shrinking both SVB and FRB before they failed. For this chart, we've used their actual assets at failure, rather than the FDIC numbers as of year-end 2022.

  • In the case of FRB, assets fell from $229 billion at year-end to $207.5 billion when it failed.

The bottom line: Even if you include Silvergate, the crypto bank that shut down without failing, the 2023 banking crisis remains reasonably contained ... for the time being.

Go deeper