Under the Dome: Think the bank collapse has nothing to do with NC? Think again.

Al Drago/AP

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Happy Friday! It’s Danielle here, with the privilege of taking over the newsletter this week.

What I’m not privileged to share with you is that the United States experienced its second-largest bank collapse in history a week ago.

Silicon Valley Bank set off the collapse, and while it would be easy to overlook this as “not a North Carolina issue” since the bank’s branches are located in California and Massachusetts, that’s just not the case.

Let’s talk about it.

First, we have Charlotte’s status as the country’s second-largest banking center, according to the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. SVB collapsed after its customers rapidly began pulling their money from the bank. When that happens, there is an immediate fear of customers panicking and doing the same where they bank. And that happened at Signature Bank in New York. Word around the U.S. Capitol Thursday morning was another unnamed bank was closely being monitored for a repeat.

The North Carolina Bankers Association tried to quell customer concerns Tuesday by sending out a news release stating: “North Carolina’s banking industry has long been a source of strength and stability for businesses and consumers. North Carolina bankers take great pride in the growth and prosperity of the customers and communities they serve. Banks in North Carolina are highly capitalized, diversified and are a safe place for your money.”

Second, there’s Rep. Patrick McHenry, a Republican from Lincoln County. McHenry spent his congressional career hoping to be named chair of the House Financial Services committee. He reached that goal in January just as the country hit its debt ceiling, and now this. What a time to be alive! I don’t envy him, but I also never wanted to chair that committee.

McHenry is now tasked with being the face of House Republicans’ response to what is nearly a financial crisis, and while many want to blame President Joe Biden for bailing out SVB customers to ensure they can access all of their money, McHenry has largely backed him and the federal response.

“This was the first Twitter fueled bank run,” McHenry said in a written statement Monday. “At this time, it is important to remain levelheaded and look at the facts — not speculation — when assessing the right path forward. I have confidence in our financial regulators and the protections already in place to ensure the safety and soundness of our financial system.”

To follow that up, McHenry tweeted Thursday that his committee plans to get to the bottom of the SVB and Signature Bank failures.

“While some in Washington are busy advancing their personal agendas, I’m focused on getting the facts to guide Congress’ response,” McHenry wrote.

Third, we have Rep. Jeff Jackson. The first-term Democrat from Charlotte somehow found himself as Congress’ face of the collapse after filming a 2 a.m. Sunday video explaining in the most basic terms what was happening, why it mattered and why panicking would only make things worse. He posted the video Sunday morning across his social media platforms, and it went viral on TikTok, where by early Thursday afternoon it had amassed 55.6 million views.

Jackson told McClatchy Wednesday that he followed the 2008 financial crisis closely and understood what was happening this week. As for talking about it in understandable terms, he said he doesn’t think he’s been in Congress long enough to be affected yet by the vernacular on the Hill.

On Thursday, the National Republican Congressional Committee called out Jackson for using the app. “Like other TikTokers, Jeff Jackson will do anything for clicks and likes, even at the expense of America’s national security,” said Delanie Bomar, spokeswoman for NRCC.

The app is being banned on government phones across the country, as allegations circulate that its creators in China are using the app to spy.

Jackson told MSNBC he has a dedicated or “burner” phone to record TikTok videos because of security concerns.

Lastly, North Carolina businesses — including some of the state’s startups — were among the customers of SVB and Signature, and North Carolina’s pension fund had investments in both, Brian Gordon reported.


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The North Carolina Senate passed Medicaid expansion, and Luciana Perez Uribe Guinassi walks you through the next steps.

Thousands could lose NC Medicaid coverage starting April 1. Luciana Perez Uribe Guinassi tells you what you need to know.

Thanks for reading. See you next week. In the meantime, tune into our stories, our tweets and our Under the Dome podcast for more developments.

— By Danielle Battaglia, reporter for The News & Observer. Email me at dbattaglia@newsobserver.com.