Kaanapali Beach Maui

Escape To Maui: Living In Disgrace Never Looked This Good!

Living the good life on Maui is never out of reach, even when you just got fired by the federal government and left unprecedented wreckage behind. While Hawaii can be an escape from everyday life, your problems can follow you to paradise, as Gregory Becker, ex-president and CEO of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) just found out.

For now, Becker and his wife Marilyn Bautista still fly first class to Hawaii and are enjoying their $4+ million dollar completely remodeled townhome at Maui’s Puamana Resort.

You could afford these perks when making nearly $10M a year. But now, the optics of flaunting wealth are not playing well. Earlier this week, the couple arrived just the day after his high-visibility firing.

In typical Hawaii-casual island wear, Becker was later seen walking on Front Street in nearby Lahaina town. That comes as the Justice Dept. begins probing his cash-out of nearly $4 million just weeks before the bank’s collapse and $30 million in the past 24 months. So while SVB shareholders, executives, and other investors worry about their losses, even as those with deposits were made whole, the Beckers appear happy enjoying their luxury Puamana digs.

The couple arrived at San Francisco Airport via chauffeur-driven car, then flew first class on United nonstop to Maui. The price of one-way tickets to Maui on United varies from $900 to about $2,000 per person.

Home, Sweet Home Away From Home…

Their three-bed, three-bath home at Puamana, seen here before they purchased it in 2018, was torn down and rebuilt larger than before. It sits directly on exquisite Maui ocean frontage. Getting around on Maui, at least this week, their wheels are a newish convertible Mini Cooper by BMW.

The couple lives in Menlo Park when not at their island home. Before leaving California for an unknown duration on Maui (perhaps forever?), Becker sent bank staff a video asking that they “stick together (and) support each other through the crisis.” He said, “It’s with an incredibly heavy heart that I’m here to deliver this message,” according to Reuters. “I can’t imagine what was going through your head and wondering, you know, about your job, your future.” The future of the bank’s nearly 9k employees isn’t clear, even as senior leaders have already been terminated. Employees were left less than impressed by the ex-CEO’s video.

Cheeseburger in Paradise

Where do the Beckers dine: Cheeseburger in Paradise!

In a strange juxtaposition to their extravagant flight and posh Maui home, they did a pickup at a Lahaina burger joint for dinner. Cheeseburger in Paradise features oceanside dining and great views, which the Beckers did not avail themselves of. The well-known restaurant is located on Front Street, oceanfront in Lahaina. They’ve been in business since 1989. Recent reviews range from “Great food, music, drinks, service, and location!” and “Nice place with good beers, burgers, and pulled-pork sandwiches” to “salad had dry chicken with bag lettuce that tasted like it was opened days ago.” Well, it is 4-star rated, not 5. It is open from breakfast through dinner, with nightly entertainment.

More about Puamana Maui.

This is a private, beautifully situated, and well-regarded 30-acre gated community in Lahaina (lead photo). Most of the properties there are vacation rentals. Amenities include tennis, three swimming pools, a clubhouse, and more, with golf nearby. Units range from 1 to 4 bedrooms, with the Beckers sitting comfortably at three bedrooms. Some units, including theirs, feature fantastic ocean views.  It is a low-rise development with lush, tropical landscaping.

What does it cost to stay at Puamana?

Never mind ownership; what about a vacation at Puamana? Just one week at Puamana in a unit of their size at this time of year will likely set you back no less than $7,000 total.

In a YouTube Video from January 2023, Becker was still “optimistically looking ahead.” As someone said in the video comments, “this didn’t age well.”



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49 thoughts on “Escape To Maui: Living In Disgrace Never Looked This Good!”

  1. Sadly, the era of tax payer bailouts for bank fails, leaving poor manager practices allowed a free pass, will continue. With all the land Zuckerberg and Oprah have bought up, along w/others…one only can wonder if the majority of the islands will be privately owned?

  2. Pure and simple, SVB needed to diversify their deposits! This lands on the feet of the Board of Directors who were incompetent at best, their Chief Risk Officer and CEO Greg Becker. Additionally, having worked there for several years, the C suite always touted what a great 40-year relationship they had with the VC community. You might think that over again because in the end they screwed you big time!!!

  3. I know that your goal here is to make them seem lavish, but Puamana is pretty low end, so there’s that, and they could have afforded to fly private vs “$1k” for first class. There are likely dozens of other banks that bought the same long term bonds. The issue is that a bunch of people decided to run for the exit at the same time and the FDIC has made the foolish mistake of thinking that $250k limits would deter that. Well it didn’t, especially for a small business bank where most have more than that in an account. They need to remove the limits.

    1. FDIC needs to increase the insurance coverage by double and has been indicating that it may actually occur. That insurance is meant to protect the Average Person and not Businesses and the Wealthy. For them there is insurance that they can purchase to better suit Their Needs and Protect Their Assets. Apparently it’s time for people, depositor’s, to discover who/what/how much the FDIC Covers. At one time this was taught in Economics and Math classes, beginning in 5th grade through 12th. This was Not a “Small Bank” and is/was a Haven for the Wealthy/Politically Connected, a Prestigious Bank! Why else did President Biden step in to Guarantee All of the Deposits! If the FDIC or other Insurance didn’t cover a loss it shouldn’t have been.

  4. Three of my college classmates went into banking through different venues. And when asked years later when asked, all 3 of them maintained there’s only two ways a U.S. bank can fail:

    1. Sheer incompetence
    2. Corruption (read: malfeasance — garden variety off-the-books “banking”/stealing/embezzling)

    And if you really want a 3rd reason??

    3. A combination of #1 and #2 …

    1. Your Comments, as well as your 3 friends, are pretty much on the “money” with their content. What really shows the Incompetent Culture in our Government Agencies is the fact of how many pulled their money out prior to the collapse, bank executives. This, and the Regent Bank Failure, should have us all concerned about the Health and Stability of the banking industry. The Banks that shored up Regent have, and will continue, received money from the Government. Taxpayer’s Money, what President Biden said would not be used!

  5. The tone of the responses to this article is disappointing. They are reminiscent of an accident scene on the freeway with participants pointing the finger at who is to blame, when the immediate action should be triage for the injured. This is exactly what the government is doing by backing all depositors of the failed SVB. Otherwise the consequences for the economy will be far worse and infinitely more costly. And yes, I sympathize with all depositors whether they be rich or poor, politicians or business owners. The shareholders of the bank are the ones to suffer, and in my opinion rightly so because that is the inherent risk that investors undertake.

    1. The FDIC’s job is to make sure this doesn’t happen. They did not do their job. This bailout is only happening because of the ties the current administration has with California. The lack of checks and balances this bank had is against the regulations…FDIC sat on this and now we are paying to bail out billionaires. This bank going down is not our responsibility. More money the government spends the less you will see.

      1. Nope. It was the prior administration that voted and passed bill in 2018 to weaken Dodd-Frank regulations. Fact. Sorry.
        Thank you.

        1. Eldo, yes Dodd-Frank was weakened by the prior Administration, but what were the reasons behind it my friend? The 2008 Economic Collapse was actually, Factually, Directly Tied to Provisions contained within the Legislation. It was Originally a well meant measure but had enough loopholes to be exploited by Banks, Et Al. It would have been gutted by the Then Administration, however, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were somehow still Hailed as Heroes for the Legislation. This is where we Hailed certain Banks as “Too Big to Fail,” what a mistake! The prior admin didn’t go far enough, but Yes did do something needed, my friend. We could debate this for Years on the merits of each! Reforms are Needed Quickly, No Bailouts.

        2. One of the authors of Dodd-Frank, former Rep. Barney Frank stated that the rollback of the regulations had absolutely nothing to do with the failure of SVB. He said it was sheer incompetence. Besides that, it was also passed with bipartisan support.

      2. The FDIC guaranteed up to $250,000 on some accounts and then the Rest of the Deposits were covered separately by the Government, All of those Funds Are Taxpayer Money! The Politically Connected and Wealthy Depositor’s were taken care of very quickly and entirely! Must be Nice.

      3. Right
        The financier was a major prior administration supporter. Put the blame where it belongs on the prior administration for cutting all kinds of regulations.

    2. Sorry to hear that your view of Democracy in action to save the Wealthy and Politically Connected with Our Money is preferred. Any Account not covered by the FDIC should not have been rescued, they could have purchased private insurance to protect their assets. We have been lied to yet again!


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