The failure of Silicon Valley Bank exposes the interconnectedness of the financial, technological, and military sectors of the American economy, resulting in a risky situation where militarism and militarization are the default responses to all problems.
The recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has sparked debates over whether it was “too big to fail” and whether the Biden administration’s response was a bailout. However, the importance of the bank, the tech industry, and finance to US global power has been overlooked. SVB was the “central artery for financing the startup ecosystem,” with nearly all of the bank’s depositors being young tech firms backed by speculative venture capital. Many venture capitalists lobbied to save SVB, arguing that its failure would have geopolitical ramifications, threatening the survival of both the tech and VC industries. SVB’s heavy concentration of VC-backed tech firms makes it a clear example of the ties between these industries and the US military-industrial complex, as private financing increasingly directs military research and development. This financial permeation of the military-industrial complex has created a dangerous state of affairs where militarism and militarization are the go-to solutions to every challenge.