Gavin Newsom hailed the Biden administration’s decision to federally insure all depositors of Silicon Valley Bank — without disclosing the fact that the failed lender counts the California governor as a client.
Newsom, the Democrat governor, owns three Northern California wineries that are listed on the bank’s website as clients, according to The Intercept news site.
A longtime former aide of Newsom told The Intercept that the governor also maintained a personal account with the Santa Clara-based bank, which was put into a receivership by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
A spokesperson for the governor, Nathan Click, told The Intercept: “Governor Newsom’s business and financial holdings are held and managed by a blind trust, as they have been since he was first elected governor in 2018.”
The Intercept cited bank records which list clients including CADE, Odette, and PlumpJack — all of which are owned by Newsom.
In 2021, SVB also donated $100,000 to a charity founded by Newsom’s wife, actress Jennifer Siebel Newsom, according to the news site.
The bank cut a six-figure check to the nonprofit, the California Partners Project, at the request of the governor, The Intercept reported.
The Post has sought comment from Newsom’s office and Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, the newly created entity that is managing the accounts of the lender after it was placed into FDIC receivership.
The Biden administration announced that it would backstop all depositors — including those whose accounts hold more than the $250,000 threshold for FDIC insurance coverage.
Over the weekend, Newsom’s office released a statement praising the move — without noting that the governor is a beneficiary of the move.
“The Biden Administration has acted swiftly and decisively to protect the American economy and strengthen public confidence in our banking system,” Newsom said in the statement.
“Their actions this weekend have calmed nerves, and had profoundly positive impacts on California — on our small businesses that can now make payroll, workers who will get their paychecks, on affordable housing projects that can continue construction, and on non-profits that can keep their doors open tomorrow.”
Newsom added: “California is a pillar of the American economy, and federal leaders did the right thing, ensuring our innovation economy can continue to grow and move forward.”
Before entering politics, Newsom became a multimillionaire after he opened up PlumpJack Wines, a San Francisco wine store that began in 1992 as a joint business venture with Gordon Getty, heir to the Getty oil fortune.
The business then expanded, encompassing bars, restaurants, a Napa Valley winery, and a ski lift and lodge in Squaw Valley.
After Newsom was elected governor in 2018, he moved to place ownership interest in PlumpJack Group into a blind trust.
Title and control of the businesses were transferred to Shyla Hendrickson, a family friend, lawyer, and certified public accountant who agreed to serve as a trustee, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Hendrickson is legally barred from speaking to Newsom about business considerations.
She made news during the pandemic when she relocated to Utah, a state with far more lax business restrictions than California.
Newsom’s administration was widely criticized for imposing lockdown measures on restaurants, retail, and other business sectors during the coronavirus pandemic.
By law, Newsom is permitted to maintain an ownership stake in the company. He is also legally allowed to sign legislation from which he would derive financial benefit so long as all residents of the state could profit as well.
Newsom’s most recent tax filings show that the governor and first lady reported $1.47 million in income in 2020. The couple also paid $480,223 in taxes.
The governor’s income included a $20,000 advance for a children’s book he wrote about dyslexia.
The couple also donated $28,763 to charity, according to the filings.
In 2019, the Newsoms earned $1.7 million. Siebel Newsom derives her income from her documentary production company.
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