Understanding the Silicon Valley Bank Run

Damon Silvers, deputy chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the 2008 bank bailout, explains how deregulation paved the way for SVB’s collapse.

Customers wait in line outside of a Silicon Valley Bank branch in Wellesley, Massachusetts, US, on March 13, 2023.
Customers wait in line outside of a Silicon Valley Bank branch in Wellesley, Massachusetts, US, on March 13, 2023. Photo: Sophie Park/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a matter of a few days, Silicon Valley Bank collapsed when a panic set in, causing a run on deposits. “The blue chip VCs suggested something, then that leaked to other ones, then other ones — we had all our investors calling us and basically demanding we pull our cash,” one source told Ryan Grim. This week on Deconstructed, Grim is joined by Damon Silvers, who has been involved in trying to prevent financial fraud and crisis for more than 20 years. He was the deputy chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the 2008 bank bailout, and was formerly the policy director of the AFL-CIO.

Grim and Silver discuss what led to a rush of Silicon Valley Bank depositors withdrawing all at once, the subsequent fallout, how the weakening of Dodd–Frank in 2018 paved the way for the current banking crisis, and what reforms are needed to prevent a future and even bigger economic catastrophe.

[Deconstructed intro theme.]

Ryan Grim: The Silicon Valley Bank debacle might be the most pitch-perfect encapsulation of everything that’s wrong with our current financial, social, and political systems all at once. 

I’m Ryan Grim, and we’ll be unpacking that meltdown on today’s Deconstructed. 

One of the incredible feats of today’s tech moguls is to somehow manage to make the old robber barons look downright civic-minded by comparison. So during the panic of 1907, before there was a central bank, J.P. Morgan famously gathered together the country’s biggest bankers and persuaded them all to put their own capital on the line to restore confidence in the financial system, a populist movement followed by demanding the creation of the Federal Reserve to take power out of their hands. But it’s impossible to even conceive of today’s robber barons putting their capital on the line. 

And last week, it quickly became every-man-for-himself with billionaires telling each other there was no downside to pulling their money from Silicon Valley Bank, so they might as well just do it and do it quickly. It’s striking that the collapse of the bank that fuels much of the business in Silicon Valley, and the resulting threat of contagion, didn’t strike these radical Randian libertarians as something that might qualify as a downside. As long as they got out, they didn’t care. And of course, these libertarians immediately began demanding a government bailout. 

Back in 2018, we at The Intercept spent a lot of energy covering the assault on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms that were then underway. It didn’t take hindsight to know it was a terrible idea.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: And this bill says, let’s let those 25 banks be regulated, just like they were tiny little community banks. I gotta tell you, a quarter-of-a-trillion-dollar bank is not a community bank. 

So what’s the consequence of doing that plus other changes that helped the remaining banks? The answer is: It puts us at greater risk that there will be another taxpayer bailout, that there will be another crash, and another taxpayer bailout.

RG: That was Elizabeth Warren. And here’s Bernie Sanders on the Senate floor.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: But now 10 years later, hoping that we forget all about that, these large financial institutions are back again. How pathetic is that? Just yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office told us that the legislation we are debating today will, and I quote, “increase the likelihood that a large financial firm with assets of between 100 billion and 250 billion would fail.” End of the quote. That’s the CBO. 

In other words, this legislation makes it more likely that we will see another financial crisis, makes it more likely that there will be another huge taxpayer bailout, and massive dislocation of our economy.

RG: One of the most active opponents of that law was the AFL-CIO’s policy director at the time, Damon Silvers, who had also served as Warren’s deputy on the panel tasked with investigating the 2008 bailout. 

He’s been one of the most influential progressive figures in Washington when it comes to regulating finance over the past two decades. And he’s currently a visiting professor at the University College of London’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. And he continues working with the labor movement in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. 

Damon, welcome to Deconstructed.

Damon Silvers: Thanks, Ryan. It’s good to be with you.

RG: So Damon, you’ve been involved in trying to prevent financial fraud and financial crises and responding to fraud and financial crises for more than 20 years now, going back to Enron and maybe even before, up through the 2008 financial crisis. I’m curious as you’re watching the Silicon Valley Bank crisis unfold, flowing into the Credit Suisse one, which type of crisis kind of occurs to you, or is this a synthesis of everything you’ve seen?

DS: [Laughs.] Well, that’s a really good question, Ryan. 

I mean, as somebody at the IMF once told me, you know, bank crises all are kind of the same, right? They all involve somebody essentially trying to get something for nothing and getting caught. 

RG: [Laughs.] Mhmm.

DS: And then potentially an atmosphere of fear and panic taking hold around larger markets. I think one thing about this that is different. I mean, it resembles some episodes that have been forgotten in the ’90s, where, in the context of rising interest rates, individual institutions blew up, without there actually being a kind of genuinely systemic problem. 

So if you think about what happened in 2008, that was a monster crisis because what was wrong was that the entire banking system globally had kind of gone off in a really destructive and irresponsible direction around Mortgage Finance and around all the financialization that grew out of mortgage finance. 

This is not that, I don’t think. I think this looks a lot more like Long-Term Capital Management. A bunch of people who thought they were the smartest people in the world, went and did some incredibly stupid things in the context of interest rates and then essentially said: We’re so smart and important that we have to be treated specially, we have to be treated differently than we would be treated if we were just ordinary people running a bank somewhere in the Midwest,

RG: It actually kind of shows the way that we think about the smartest people in the universe: Wasn’t Long-Term Capital Management run by a couple of Nobel Prize winners? 

DS: It was. It was indeed. 

RG: So back, then you need credentials. Now, if you dropped out of Harvard or Stanford —

DS: [Laughs.]

RG: — and instantly became worth $10 billion, that’s the kind of Nobel Prize for our period of time.

DS: Yeah. I mean, there’s something to that, Ryan. Unfortunately, I also think here that we’re really talking about the nexus of two cultures of greed and arrogance that connected in Silicon Valley Bank — maybe three, actually, because really, you’re talking about something that was so powerfully aided and abetted by the politics of plutocracy in our country, right? Where I don’t think any of this would have happened had Donald Trump and the Republican congressional leadership, with the help of a few Democrats, weaken Dodd-Frank. I think we wouldn’t be sitting here having this conversation had that not happened in 2018.

RG: And why is that? What’s the mechanism specifically that would have prevented this from happening, you think?

DS: Well, the way that the Dodd-Frank Act, which was passed under President Obama’s leadership in 2010, in response to 2008, what the Dodd-Frank Act did was recognize that there were financial institutions that, if they failed, could have really broad effects. And therefore, those institutions had to be carefully watched, more carefully watched than just your small-town bank, and they were called “systemically significant financial institutions.”

And what being carefully watched meant was that they were subject to regular stress tests by their bank regulators. And stress test means you would do a financial exercise, like you would run a set of computer programs against the financial picture of the bank, and then you assume that something bad happens, you assume that interest rates go up or down, depending on what the vulnerability of the bank is, you assume rates move, you assume that maybe your key customers have business problems, you make assumptions, and then see what happens to the bank’s finances. And those tests applied to any bank with over $50 billion in assets. 

At the time, in 2018, when the Trump administration pushed this through Congress, this weakening of the bill, in 2018, it was, as I said, $50 billion. And at that time, Silicon Valley Bank was kind of around $50 billion. I don’t remember exactly what their net assets were in 2018 — they moved that number up to $250 billion, right? 

RG: I remember them saying: We’re approaching $50 [billion]. And we’re not going to want to hit $50 [billion] if you don’t pass this. 

DS: Right. 

RG: Lift this up so we can keep going.

DS: Right. And Silicon Valley Bank was important to advocate for this deregulation. And so after the deregulation, they grew dramatically — and in particular, they grew dramatically from 2020 to last week, when they collapsed, in a way that should have rung alarm bells everywhere, right? A big bank doesn’t triple in assets in two years in competitive banking markets without something being wrong, without essentially something being mispriced. But during that period, any kind of stress test around rising interest rates would have shown that there was a real serious problem. But those stress tests never happened, because of the weakening of regulation during the Trump administration.

RG: And I remember covering this in 2018, and Republicans controlled the House, so they didn’t need any help there, but they needed at least 10 Democrats in the Senate. I think they wound up getting about 17 of them. What was it like at the time pushing back against it? And did you ever have a shot of getting that down to nine or was it always baked in that they were going to have enough to push this over the finish line?

DS: I have no idea whether it was always baked in. I can tell you that at the time I was the Policy Director of the AFL-CIO; then AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was just outraged by this bill. He had been involved in pushing for Dodd-Frank; the AFL-CIO has been a major political force pushing for the passage of Dodd-Frank, for the strengthening of Dodd-Frank. We thought Dodd-Frank should have gone a lot further, we thought it should have really more or less restored the New Deal banking regime of Glass-Steagall separating investment banking and commercial banking. We thought we should have had a financial transactions tax; we should have thought we should have done a number of things. 

But we were very proud of what we did accomplish in working to pass Dodd-Frank. And so the weakening in this way we thought was just outrageous. And we were particularly outraged by the fact that there were Democrats who had voted for it. I think it’s really important to be clear here: This was a Republican project. This was a project of the Trump administration and Republican leadership; had Democrats been in control of Congress during this period, or the White House, I don’t believe this would have passed. But it did get Democratic votes, and it wouldn’t have passed without them.

RG: So I want to put a separate theory to you, which is that no bank, unless it’s backstopped by a complete Fed printing press, can survive a full-on banking run. And so, I want to probe a little bit into how this happened; how the depositors, the folks that had their money in Silicon Valley, went about pulling it out so quickly. 

This is from a source of mine that I’ve known for a while out in Silicon Valley. I’ll just read it to you. He said: “I’m not billionaire level, but I’m in a lot of the signal groups. One of the groups I’m in collectively took out 1.4B, another 850M [million], and another 550M [million].” He says, “(I can’t verify if people are telling the truth, but self reported and not coordinated, just a lot of ‘hey who took their cash out and how much?’). Most of this cash was company cash, as well.” he said. 

Then he said: “What was interesting about the conversations is it basically felt like a group of people talking about why X team was going to win the superbowl vs Y team. . Some camps Thursday were “let’s stay in, SVB is fine”, another camp “there’s no risk to taking it out, why would I keep it in off principle”, and plenty of other views as you could imagine.”

And then he finishes that: “The funny part was it felt almost exactly like how other tech stuff goes – rushing in reaction to everyone talking about something. The blue chip VCs suggested something, then that leaked to other ones, then other ones – we had all our investors calling us and basically demanding we pull our cash.”.”

And you could call this person a grassroots — he’s only worth a couple hundred million dollars. So he’s seeing it from the bottom of the Silicon Valley echelon. 

What did you see from the outside? And what’s your sense of what went on?

DS: Ryan, I think this is such an important question. I think this may be the most important question involved here, or at least the one where the answer is least clear and most important, right? To your point about [how] no bank can survive a full-on run. That’s almost precisely one of the most powerful figures in the 2008 financial crisis said to me at a key moment. We were having a debate about what banks were solvent. And this person whose, frankly, experience and knowledge in this area dwarfs mine said to me: absent confidence, no bank is solvent. 

And in a way, we all know this. Any one of us who’ve watched It’s A Wonderful Life know this, right? [Laughs.] A bank intermediates. On the one hand, all us depositors are entitled to take our cash out at any time. On the other hand, as Jimmy Stewart said, your cash is invested in people’s houses and loans to operating companies, which is in machinery and software and so forth, right? So, the idea that everyone can just run into the bank one day and ask for all their cash, and somehow the bank is going to be able to do that, without help from somebody, right, is silly. 

And so there are two ways in which banks can be understood to be insolvent. One way is that if you took all the assets of the bank and liquidated them, would they be enough to pay all the liabilities all in one go, right? That’s a kind of insolvency. It’s important and has to be addressed, but it won’t lead to catastrophe as long as everybody doesn’t demand their money on that day, right? And there are all kinds of accounting games surrounding banks that make it hard to know whether or not on any given day that bank could actually meet that kind of run. 

By the way, this is why we have a Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve was created after just catastrophic bank runs in, in the first decade of the 20th century. 

RG: Right. 

DS: To provide liquidity to banks, should there be a run, right? So that banks could turn those illiquid assets into cash very, very quickly and at fair prices, not at fire-sale prices, in response to any kind of loss in confidence. 

So the other kind of bank collapse is when the bank literally runs out of cash, when the bank does not have enough money to pay the normal demands on that bank, or to pay extraordinary demands when there is a loss of confidence. And I think we saw SVB go in a matter of days from an accounting problem to a liquidity problem, right? 

Now, why did that happen? It seems to me, watching from a distance, that it happened because of the process you were just talking about. And some very inside people appear to have set it off. And some of the people whose behavior I have seen, I saw literally Peter Thiel, Bill Ackman at Pershing Square, Larry Summers, all were in the media in one form or another or in social media or on big listservs telling people that a., there was a crisis in this bank; that b., people should pull their money; that c., if the federal government didn’t take extraordinary action, that there would be a broader crisis in the banking sector. Right? This then connects to all of the volatility we saw over the last four or five days. 

It is, I think, really unclear what information set these people off, where did they get it, was it legal for them to have it and use it the way they used it? Was it even accurate in relation to where things actually stood when they started doing it or were they engaged in a self-fulfilling prophecy? And, in particular, once it became clear that there really were risks, were some of these people engaged in an attempt to coerce the banking regulators by setting off a larger bank run in banks that actually were more or less OK? 

And what interests were at play here? What securities positions did these people have? What trading did they do? Were they in derivatives markets? There are a million ways to play a game in this kind of situation, particularly if you are driving the market. And this is a matter that requires investigation by people with subpoena power.

[Musical interlude.]

RG: And there are those smaller games that you can play — take certain positions that benefit by the actions that you take. But then there’s the bigger game. And I’m curious for your take on this if you think this is something investigators ought to look into, too. I mean, essentially, Silicon Valley understands that its ability to thrive relies on extremely loose monetary policy; the quantitative easing and the low-interest rates really juiced their ability to quote-unquote innovate. 

The tightening of monetary policy has been brutal for them. You’ve seen layoffs, the techpocalypse, you have the obituaries of Silicon Valley being written. As a result of this crisis, it is going to be more difficult for the Fed to continue pursuing its tight monetary policy. So is that just a happy coincidence for the people who were involved in this bank run? Or do you think it’s worth investigators actually probing whether there was some coordination around a broader goal here?

DS: [Laughs.] Ryan, I would say that once you start asking the first kinds of questions about basic issues around securities manipulation, and promoting a bank run — both of which are criminal acts, by the way, promoting a bank run or committing securities manipulations around a bank run, those are crimes — once you start asking those questions, I think you’ll certainly find any evidence that there is of a kind of macroeconomic manipulation, which is what you’re talking about. 

I wouldn’t put anything past some of the individuals I just mentioned, but I think it’s unlikely that they consciously did that. The relationship between means and ends is too sort of strange. But there’s no question that it had the effect that you’re talking about. 

RG: Mhmm. 

DS: And there’s a stupendous irony here from the perspective of the Federal Reserve. 

The Federal Reserve has been saying now for some months, that really, in order to stabilize inflation, they need to crush worker bargaining power. Now, by the way, there’s absolutely no evidence that worker bargaining power, which has grown a bit during periods of full employment, has anything to do with the inflation we’ve been witnessing, which is clearly supply-side driven. It’s driven by issues with COVID, and China, and Ukraine, and Russia, and so forth. 

So the Fed has been saying: We’re going to raise rates until we see, essentially, more unemployment. Now, that’s really wrong. Right? It’s wrong empirically; it’s wrong morally; it’s wrong every which way. But the irony is that actually, the job market is pretty healthy, despite the Fed’s efforts, inflation is coming down, while the job market remains healthy. 

But they seem to have really put a knife in the back of meaningful segments of both tech and finance. And those people, some of whom were active advocates of the Fed attacking working people. I mean, Larry Summers has been very, very clear that he thinks interest rates should rise until working people suffer. And now when Larry and his friends started suffering, all of a sudden, it’s a different story. 

RG: Mhmm. 

DS: But my view is that whatever the reasons for this, it’s long past time for the Fed to ease up. And perhaps now they will.

RG: And so if you watch the kind of commentary on this, you saw a lot of anger and a lot of frustration. But if you lifted the veil a little bit, you saw that almost everybody, in the end, agreed on some level that most or all of the depositors actually did need to be protected and protected quickly by the Biden administration — which then gets us into the realm of talking about bailouts. 

But I’m curious, having both studied the New Deal, and also having been deputy chair of the oversight commission of the bailout back in 2008-2010 — how this feels relative to 2008-2010? Is it that type of bailout or are we looking at something else? 

And what should U.S. bank policy be in situations like this, rather than doing it ad hoc, as we seem to do it now?

DS: Yeah, Ryan, you raise a whole bunch of different issues. 

I think first, it’s important to say that the treatment of SVB is actually mostly not ad hoc. But the exception, the ad hoc part, is very important.

The treatment of SVB has largely been within the framework of New Deal bank regulation, meaning that they have been put by the FDIC into receivership, the management has been removed, the stockholders essentially have been wiped out, it’s unclear exactly what will happen to the bondholders, but it will depend on whether there’s anything left over after the depositors are covered. And it will also depend on whether or not ultimately there is a sale of the bridge bank that SVB has been turned into, whether there’s a sale of that to a solvent bank, which is also kind of generally how this kind of thing has been dealt with since the New Deal. 

This goes back to what I said earlier: At the moment, despite what people like Larry Summers were saying, this is a one-off. This is a uniquely mismanaged bank. True, I mean, the right rising interest rates have created some stress in the financial system. But we’re not seeing the kind of situation that we saw in the fall of 2008 in terms of the entire banking sector having essentially sort of destroyed itself. 

So what you have here is something that has largely gone on within the New Deal order, and in a way that, in my view, should have been done with some important modifications in 2008. The thing that’s different; the thing that’s ad hoc here is the decision to — and you began your question with this — is the decision to ensure, to extend and deposit insurance to all of SVB’s depositors. 

Now, some background here is necessary to understand this. The federal deposit insurance system that’s run by the FDIC insures deposits up to $250,000. And there’s a system of insurance premiums that are paid by banks that support that system. And there is a theory behind it, which is that under $250,000 are people who can’t afford to lose the money and have no real ability to figure out whether or not their bank is strong or not strong, whereas over $250,000 is amounts of money deposited largely by financially sophisticated people and institutions who have a capacity both to absorb losses and to police the banks themselves and that this is an important mechanism for market discipline over the banking sector, while at the same time, we have this broad insurance that there is a balance maintained between ensuring that we don’t have runs on banks and that ordinary people aren’t victimized by poor bank management or bank fraud. And on the other hand, we don’t just have, essentially, a nationalized banking system with private profits, right? Which is what would happen if said: OK, well, we’re gonna just guarantee the banks, everything about the banks will be publicly guaranteed, but we have them be run by private parties for private profits. 

RG: Good deal. 

DS: [Laughs.] Right! It would be a good deal. 

RG: For the bankers. 

DS: Right. And the FDIC insurance system is designed to maintain a balance between those two things. 

Now, here comes SVB. And with SVB, almost all of its deposits were uninsured because they were so big. Right? Only about 7 percent of the total deposit base of SVB was within the insurance limit. And it’s not just anybody: it’s very wealthy, powerful, connected people — the people on the Signal chats you’re talking about. And it’s not just that they’re wealthy, powerful, and connected, it’s that the nature of their connections runs to venture capital firms and to larger aggregations of wealth and power. 

And so all these people show up and say: Oh, never mind! All of these people who are exactly the kind of people that the policy system envisions taking responsibility for themselves, show up and say: Oh, no, we need a bailout. Never mind that we didn’t pay the insurance premiums for our deposits. Never mind that many of us knew something about this bank because we were all close to it — or should have known something about this bank. We want a special deal. 

And they went and pounded the table and they called their political friends and all that went on last week, Thursday and Friday, right? Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and into the weekend. 

Some of them said: Our payroll is in this! 

The wine industry particularly was saying: Our payrolls are in this bank. I don’t know what the truth of all that is and how many weeks of payroll they had on an advance deposit — that’ll be worth looking at in some detail later.

RG: And as Ken Klippenstein reported, Gavin Newsom’s wineries had banked at Silicon Valley Bank

DS: Right, well. 

RG: So, speaking of friends in high places. 

DS: Well, and it was, after all, a California State Bank. It was regulated by the California State Bank regulators. But these demands were then made. And if you’re an experienced bank regulator, you take all this with a grain of salt, right? 

Silicon Valley Bank was not big enough by itself to set off contagion. It was a tiny portion; it is about 2 percent of the U.S. banking system. It’s .01 percent of the world banking system. It’s not like there’s a contagion issue in that sense; the risk of contagion was psychological. And the risk of contagion had to do with the size of uninsured deposits in other medium-sized banks around the country. 

So the policymakers had to decide what to do here, against the backdrop of it being ad hoc, and really not good policy, to extend insurance to these very favored people, whereas a number of banks have failed in this country in the last 15 years — like hundreds have failed. And most of them are small banks and community banks, some of them were fairly large, across the middle of the country. Banks supported not by tech geniuses, but by people doing useless things like farming and small business. 

RG: [Laughs.]

DS: And those people were not rescued. Right? The leading citizens of those small towns, cities, and counties, who put money into those banks, I mean, sometimes they may have been fortunate enough to have their bank sold in whole to another bank. But to the extent that buyers could not be found, or the banks were really in terrible trouble, the leading citizens of those communities who put their deposits in those banks were not rescued. 

So the demands from the Silicon Valley elites and the winery elites and so forth, to have their deposits, all of them over the insurance limit, insured was really problematic on a lot of levels. But the regulators, and the Biden administration — and I think it’s important to understand [that] this wasn’t a decision the President of the United States made on his own. It was a decision that was jointly made by independent regulators, including some Republicans, most prominently J. Powell at the Fed, it was a decision jointly made by everybody. 

And I think they made it for a good reason, which was that there was a serious risk of contagion, psychological contagion here, across the middle of the U.S. banking industry. The four giant banks that dominate the banking industry post-2008, they were never in trouble, this never threatened them. But it threatened that middle section of the banking industry, which is important, and which, if it came apart, you don’t know what the knock-on effects would be. We’re not talking about tiny banks. We’re talking about banks with tens, hundreds of billions of deposits and investments. 

So they made that decision. And as you said, Ryan, I gotta say that I can’t fault them for that, given what we are told they knew about movements in the financial markets, as of Sunday. It was a case of being kind of over a barrel. 

But now, really, we’re close to being back in the calm moment. And now there are some important things that need to happen to ensure that our democracy functions the way it should. 

The most important one is to make every effort — and I mean every effort, the full power of the American state needs to be deployed here — to try to find the remnants of SVB a home in another private institution, and to take the responsibility for covering these deposits off of the entire banking industry, and place it someplace where it can be managed in a way that’s not effectively socializing it. That is really important that that happened. And I believe that the regulators and the Biden administration understand this. The question is: Can they get it done? Is it possible to do? And I think the question of whether they can get it done or not is a deep question. 

The second thing that needs to be done is the type of investigation we were discussing earlier, and everything about this, every step of the way. And the third thing that needs to be done, which is kind of obvious, is what Elizabeth Warren has been saying. Elizabeth Warren chaired the oversight panel that I was the vice chair of; Elizabeth was the most, I think, a ferocious opponent of weakening Dodd-Frank in the U.S. Congress. Elizabeth is one of the heroes of this story. OK? There aren’t a lot of heroes in this story. Elizabeth sure is one of them. 

RG: Mhmm. 

DS: And another hero of this story, unfortunately, is no longer with us, who was the president of the AFL-CIO at the time, in 2018, Richard Trumka, who wrote a letter to every Democratic senator who voted for this bill demanding that Senator explain directly and personally to him, why he had hurt working people so badly. That letter, by the way, is in the American Prospect this week. And, as I think you know, Rich died tragically of a heart attack two years ago. 

But Elizabeth has three things that she said need to be done. The first, obviously, is to reverse the 2018 rollback of Dodd-Frank and move the systemically significant number back from $250 billion to $50 billion. The second thing that needs to be done is to do something about payroll bank accounts. It does seem kind of correct that we shouldn’t have payroll bank accounts at risk in a situation like this. But we need the insurance system to cover them in a systematic and ordinary way with premiums. And that needs to be worked out between Congress and the bank regulators on how to do that because we can’t be put over a barrel like this again. And then the third thing is to look into the question of whether there need to be further legislative reforms to address the fact that such a fundamental failure of bank regulation occurred here. And are there further measures that need to be taken? And Elizabeth has been talking about some of that recently. But those first two things are no-brainers that need to happen immediately.

RG: Well, Damon, thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it.

DS: Oh, you’re very welcome, Ryan. It is a pleasure to be able to talk to you in a non-trivial way about this. [Laughs.]

RG: [Laughs.] Yeah, well, it’s non-trivial stuff. So I appreciate it. 

[End credits music.]

RG: That was Damon Silvers, and that’s our show. 

Deconstructed is a production of The Intercept. Our producer is José Olivares. Our supervising producer is Laura Flynn. The show was mixed by William Stanton. Our theme music was composed by Bart Warshaw. Roger Hodge is The Intercept’s editor in chief.

And I’m Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief of The Intercept. If you’d like to support our work, go to theintercept.com/give. And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us additional feedback, email us at Podcasts@theintercept.com. Thanks so much!

I’ll see you soon.

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