Social Media as a Bank Run Catalyst
53 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2023
Date Written: April 18, 2023
Social media fueled a bank run on Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), and the effects were felt broadly in the U.S. banking industry. We employ comprehensive Twitter data to show that preexisting exposure to social media predicts bank stock market losses in the run period even after controlling for bank characteristics related to run risk (i.e., mark-to-market losses and uninsured deposits). Moreover, we show that social media amplifies these bank run risk factors. During the run period, we find the intensity of Twitter conversation about a bank predicts stock market losses at the hourly frequency. This effect is stronger for banks with bank run risk factors. At even higher frequency, tweets in the run period with negative sentiment translate into immediate stock market losses. These high frequency effects are stronger when tweets are authored by members of the Twitter startup community (who are likely depositors) and contain keywords related to contagion. These results are consistent with depositors using Twitter to communicate in real time during the bank run.
Keywords: Bank Runs, Social Media, Social Finance, FinTech
JEL Classification: F30, F36, G38, Q50
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