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“Fox & Friends” morning show co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade traded remarks after reporting that former President Donald Trump said in an interview this week he would not have supported bailing out Silicon Valley Bank, which was on the brink of failing earlier this month.
On Tuesday, Doocy and Kilmeade, along with Ainsley Earhardt, discussed Trump’s interview with network star Sean Hannity the previous night. During the interview, Trump criticized his political opponents and attributed SVB’s collapse to high-interest rates while stating that he would not have approved of a bailout.
Although there has been a public discussion regarding whether the action constituted a typical bailout, Doocy expressed concern over Trump’s statement that he would not have supported it.
“If you remember when Silicon Valley Bank was imploding, there was a run on the bank,” Doocy said. “Had the [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation] not stepped in to guarantee the loan — whatever the account was — there would have been a run on every bank in America. So, you know, for the former president to say I just would have let it spin, that is a problematic problem…”
Kilmeade broke in to note investor Kevin O’Leary’s bailout opposition, even though O’Leary also had deposits in the bank.
“He said let the regional banks die,” Doocy replied. “But for the former president to say he would not have stepped in to stop that, that’s troubling.”
“Well, it could be troubling, or it could be a good, solid policy,” Kilmeade pushed back. “People look at the San Francisco Fed…They saw the CEO on the San Francisco Fed board at the same time ignore the problem, and then they see him cash in $3.4 million, and then they watched him go on vacation. And there is a lot of people who say maybe Trump is right.”
Doocy went on to reiterate a previous point that without the intervention, there would have been a much broader run on banks, which could have led to a further economic crisis.
Last week in an interview with Hannity, O’Leary defended his deposits in SVB.
“I had many companies that we invest in our private equity portfolio from Circle on down,” O’Leary said after Hannity asked him about the deposits. “Circle had about $3 billion and it was the largest depositor and others. You know, when you’re in my situation, you don’t care that much about politics. You care about policy.”
O’Leary then ripped the Biden administration’s decision to safeguard bank deposits, arguing that the step encourages bank managers to behave irresponsibly since they are aware that if their financial institutions fail, they will be rescued anyway.
“I think this is a very bad mistake,” he said.
“The reason I was asking that question is that we all know the FDIC insures [deposits] up to $250,000. I’m assuming that you had a lot more money in there than $250,000,” Hannity said in response. “So, you will be the beneficiary of this bailout like every other depositor at SVB. However, the difference between you and probably everybody else, is you’re saying this bank should not be bailed out. Am I wrong on that?”
“No, you’re not,” O’Leary replied. “This bank was run by idiots with an incompetent board. It’s one bank, no one ever heard the name before.”
“Why the hell’d you keep your money–Kevin, you’re a smart guy. Why did you keep your money there if it was run by idiots?” Hannity pressed.
“It’s one of many, many banks I keep my money in,” he replied. “And look, I’m a big boy. And my whole point is, if you have more than $250,000 in any institution, you’re basically a hedge fund or a savvy investor or a business. You understand your risk and you act accordingly. So, I think the Fed’s mandate about keeping FDIC insurance at $250,000 makes sense to me. But we changed all that over the weekend.”
He repeated his view that the bank was run by “idiots” and said, “At the end of the day, let this thing go under.”