Peter Thiel said he had $50 million in a personal account at Silicon Valley Bank when it collapsed, despite telling his portfolio companies to pull their money

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Peter Thiel said he had $50 million in a personal account at Silicon Valley Bank when it collapsed, despite telling his portfolio companies to pull their money
Founders Fund partner Peter Thiel.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Peter Thiel told the Financial Times that he had $50 million of his own money in SVB when it collapsed.
  • Some have blamed Thiel for helping trigger the run on SVB after he told Founders Fund companies to pull deposits.
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Despite advising clients to pull their cash from Silicon Valley Bank last week, billionaire tech mogul Peter Thiel said he had a large sum of his own money tied up in the doomed bank when it collapsed on Friday.

"I had $50 million of my own money stuck in SVB," he told the Financial Times.

Thiel, a powerful figure in Silicon Valley and co-founder of both PayPal and Palantir, has been widely accused of adding momentum to the bank run that triggered Silicon Valley Bank's implosion: one day before the bank's failure, Thiel's venture firm, Founders Fund, advised all clients to pull their deposits out.

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However, Thiel told the FT that he did not believe the SVB would fail last week.

Other VC firms, including Coatue Management, Union Square Ventures, and Founder Collective, had similarly advised startup clients to transfer money from SVB after the bank revealed a $1.8 billion loss and the bank's share price collapsed.

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These firms have pushed back against accusations that they were spreading panic, saying that they were giving financial advice they believed would be in the best interest of their clients.

In a statement provided to Axios, Founders Fund CFO Neil Ruthven said that "Thursday morning it was clear we were in the middle of a bank run, and we reacted in line with our fiduciary duties."

Thiel told the FT that his account was frozen on Friday when regulators stepped in and took control of the bank. However, it is once again accessible after the US government stepped in earlier this week and shored up all customer deposits in SVB.

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