Multiple Bank Stocks Slide While Bitcoin Pumps After First Republic Failure


Another wave of banking fear swept the markets on Tuesday as stocks for PacWest, Western Alliance, and other financial institutions slid over 20% on the day. 

This comes shortly after California financial watchdogs took control of First Republic Bank on Monday, of which 84 branches will reopen under JP Morgan Chase.

Another Bank Stock Selloff

The California-based PacWest Bancorp (PACW) saw its shares tank from $8.90 at 9:30 am ET on Monday down to just $5.50 by 11:10 am. It has since slightly recovered to $6.15 at writing time, representing a 27% net daily drop. 

Meanwhile, Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL) headquartered in Arizona has dipped by a similar 20.53% on the day, from $36.18 to $28.96. Other banks including Zions (ZION), and Comerica (CMA) have suffered losses of roughly 10%. 

Each represents some of the largest daily losses posted by such banks since mid-March, following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank on March 10 and 12. Both Western Alliance and First Republic collapsed a whopping 76% at the time, while PacWest fell 47%, feeling little in the way of recovery since that time. 

Among the three, First Republic lost the largest share of its deposits in the first quarter at 41%. PacWest and Western Alliance lost 17% and 11% of deposits respectively, as customers sought the perceived safety of larger banks or higher yields within money market funds. 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has previously given mixed signals as to whether her department and the Federal Reserve would agree to backstop deposits at smaller banks, as it did with Silicon Valley Bank in March. She’s previously indicated that the government would only backstop banks deemed to present “systemic risk” to the banking system, prompting criticism that this could invite depositors to flee smaller banks for the privileged and protected larger firms. 

Crypto Twitter Responds

In response to their tanking stock prices, BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes predicted that PacWest will be the next bank to collapse and enter receivership under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Hayes became extra bullish on Bitcoin when the Silicon Valley Bank collapsed in March, which prompted the asset to soar from $20,000 to $28,000 at the time. 

Likewise, Bitcoin experienced a modest pump on Tuesday from $28,000 to $28,566.

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