Fed staff worked around the clock on March 9 to save the bank, searching for enough collateral to borrow additional billions of dollars from the Fed's discount window to honor withdrawal requests, Barr said.

The morning SVB was seized, regulators believed they may have solved the bank's shortfall, only to run into a $100 billion wall of withdrawals.

"They were not able to actually meet their obligations to pay their depositors over the course of that day and they were shut down," Barr said.

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