What’s Going On? The Silicon Valley Bank Collapse vs. the 2008 Financial Crisis

Confused? Here’s a simple (yet thorough!) explainer.

Anna Burgess Yang
16 min readMar 12, 2023
Image created via Midjourney

Ever heard the phrase “Explain it like I’m 5”? It means taking a complex topic and breaking it down into terms that a 5-year-old can understand.

Over the past few days, I’ve watched a lot of commentators explain the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. They’re talking about insured deposits, venture capital, ripple effects on the economy…. but what do those things even mean?

I worked in banking during the 2008 financial crisis (at a tech company with banks as clients). Now I’m a freelance content marketer and most of my clients are venture capital-backed tech companies. So I’ve had a front-row seat for both crises.

There’s plenty of information for founders and business owners right now, but what about regular people? Here’s some background about what happened and what it means.

Edited: I’ve been adding to this article as events have been unfolding!

What happened in 2008?

For several years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, some banks were engaged in risky business.



Anna Burgess Yang

Freelance Writer. Practical Tips for Solopreneurs. Career pivots are fun. 🎉 https://start.annabyang.com/