Long-running animated comedy “The Simpsons” has been credited with making some predictions on screen that have come true. Users on Twitter are circulating an episode of “The Simpsons” that shows a bank run.
What Happened: On Friday, Silicon Valley Bank collapsed and saw the bank shut down and taken over by the FDIC. One of the reasons for the takeover was liquidity issues, amplified by users pulling out their money quickly on Thursday.
Silicon Valley Bank, a unit of SVB Financial Group SIVB, may have seen what is known as a “bank run.” When customers withdraw funds at increasing rates in close time frames of each other, a bank run can occur.
The phenomenon was featured in an episode of “The Simpsons” previously.
“What do you mean the bank is out of money,” Bart Simpson says at a banking location in an episode.
Simpson is also heard saying the bank is “insolvent” and only has enough cash for the next three customers.
The comments from Simpson prompt many in the bank to rush to the teller windows to demand money to withdraw.
“I don’t have your money here, it’s in Bill’s house and Fred’s house,” the bank teller tells the customers.
“What the hell are you doing with my money in your house, Fred,” Moe Szyslak says.
The comments from the bank manager caused a riot and fights to break out among the bank customers.
The scene was part of the episode titled “The PTA Disbands,” which aired in 1995. The episode was from season six of the comedy series and is the 21st episode in the season and 124th overall episode.
The edited clip on Twitter shows the building being called Silicon Valley Bank in the episode, but it has been altered from the original episode, which featured First Bank of Springfield, a fictional bank.
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Why It’s Important: The clip from “The Simpsons” is reminiscent of a scene from the 1946 movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring James Stewart.
In the movie, a scene features a bank run happening at the fictional Bailey Building and Loan financial institution with customers demanding to withdraw funds. The bank doesn’t have enough money to return to its customers before protagonist George Bailey and his wife Mary ultimately use $2,000 from their honeymoon funds to pay customers the amounts they need to get by. The bank ends the night with $2, with Bailey postponing the honeymoon and coming back to run the bank.
The movie is well known by many as it airs on network television during the Christmas season and is rated as one of the top 25 films on IMDb, a movie database site that polls users for their movie ratings.
Regarding what happened with Silicon Valley Bank, Fast Company calls the collapse of the real life bank a “It’s a Wonderful Life bank run for the digital age.”
Over the years, The Simpsons has been credited with predicting several real-life events including the launch of FaceTime, a bailout of Greece, the merger of Fox and The Walt Disney Company DISautocorrect, FIFA corruption, the US Men’s curling team winning a gold medal and even Donald Trump becoming president.
“The Simpsons” may have also predicted Elon Musk buying out social media platform Twitter.
In the case of Silicon Valley Bank and the bank run, the event was more likely “predicted” by “It’s a Wonderful Life” than an episode of “The Simpsons.”
Episodes of “The Simpsons” air on Fox, a unit of Fox Corporation FOXFOXA. Old episodes air on Disney+, a unit of The Walt Disney Company.
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