A pedestrian walks by the First Republic Bank headquarters on March 13, 2023 in San Francisco, California.
Hear what weakened First Republic Bank and triggered $30B bailout
02:26 - Source: CNN

Editor’s Note: This is an updated version of a story that originally ran on March 19, 2023.

New York CNN  — 

Wall Street can seem bewildering, given its sheer amount of jargon, banking terms, and acronyms.

But as concerns mount that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will take receivership of troubled First Republic Bank, potentially the third US bank to fail after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, the business of finance has become a national concern.

So when you hear the FDIC is taking over, a Treasury portfolio is sinking or a bank was backstopped and bailed out, what exactly does that mean?

Here’s a guide to all the key terms you’ve been hearing.


It’s an acronym for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, an independent government agency that protects depositors in banks. It’s one of the main names as banking failures play out because it can step in and make sure the institutions are operating properly.

When a bank fails, the standard insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.


Providing financial support to an institution that would otherwise collapse. Bailouts are associated with government intervention, as it so famously did during the 2008 financial crisis.

It’s important to note that though a government dispatched a rescue mission for SVB and First Republic, they were not bailed out by it.


How easily a company or bank can turn an asset to cash without losing a ton of its value. Liquidity can be used to gauge the ability to pay off short-term loans or other bills. People feel comfortable in liquid markets because it’s generally fast and easy to buy and sell.

The most “liquid” asset, as you can probably guess, is cash.

Deposits, withdrawals and bank runs

Deposits are cash you put into your bank account, and withdrawals are money that’s taken out. A bank run is when a rush of clients withdraw money all at once, often due to rumor or panic.

Loan-to-deposit ratio

If a bank has a ratio above 100% (like First Republic), then it loans out more money than it has deposits. That’s not a good situation to be in.