First Thing: global markets gripped by Silicon Valley Bank collapse

Bank shares slide around world amid panic caused by SVB failure as its parent company and two top executives are sued by shareholders. Plus, what’s next for Escobar’s hippos?

Good morning.

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is gripping the financial markets, as global bank shares slide despite reassurances from Joe Biden yesterday.

What has Biden said about the situation? “Americans can rest assured that our banking system is safe. Your deposits are safe. Let me also assure you, we will not stop at this. We’ll do whatever is needed,” he said yesterday.

Is the US response to SVB’s collapse a bailout? Given the antipathy towards Wall Street bailouts in the 2008 crisis, Biden and elected and appointed officials have been at pains to insist the emergency interventions to protect deposits in SVB and Signature Bank, a second bank that failed at the weekend – or, indeed, any further bank failures – won’t come at taxpayers’ expense.

What else is happening? Follow our live blog here.

What will Garland be asked to do? Biden will ask Garland to clarify the statutory definition of who is “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms, the White House said. “Number one, to make it clear that those who are wilfully violating the law need to come into compliance with the law and, number two, to make it clear to people who may not realise that, under that statutory definition they are indeed in the business of selling firearms, they must become federally licensed firearm dealers and they must run background checks before gun sales.”

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