🇺🇸 Silicon Valley Bust
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Plus, the biggest wastes of time we regret when we get older...
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🐘 Monday, March 13, 2024 Pennsylvania Republican Presidential Primary: Trump 49, DeSantis 31, Haley 5, Pence 5 (PPP)
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Right: House Democrats Attack Free Speech and a Free Press Jonathan Turley, The Hill
Right: Dems Are Terrified of an Educated and Informed Public Derek Hunter, Townhall
Right: The Left's Unconstitutional Assault on Guns Victoria Taft, PJ Media
Left: The True Cost of Dominion's Fox News Bombshells Katie Phang, MSNBC
Left: The Growing Ranks of Black Gun Owners Jennifer Stefano, Philadelphia Inquirer
Left: Is Fox News Finally Falling Out of Love With Trump? David Smith, The Guardian
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Banks Still Under Pressure, Bloodshed in Bakhmut, Sunshine State Seaweed
Economy: Investor who called Lehman collapse predicts the next big US bank failure (Fox News) + US Regional Banks Remain Under Pressure as First Republic Sinks (Bloomberg)
World: British navy warship escorts Russian frigate in waters close to UK (Reuters) + Ukraine war live updates: Kyiv claims over 1,000 Russians died in Bakhmut in the last week; Ukraine's first lady pleads for more weapons (CNBC)
US: Trump Has ‘No Plans’ To Testify In Grand Jury Investigation As Likelihood Of Being Indicted Increases: Report (Daily Wire)
US: Giant seaweed blob twice the width of the US takes aim at Florida (The Hill)
World: China’s Xi promises to build ‘great wall of steel’ in rivalry with West (WaPo) + Biden is selling US nuclear submarines to Australia to counter China (NPR)
Sports: Grizzlies' Ja Morant enters counseling program after incidents, still no timetable for return (Yahoo Sports)
Silicon Valley Bust
Last Friday, federal regulators took control of Silicon Valley Bank, one of the nation’s largest lending institutions. Despite being little known publicly, SVB lent money to a number of startups and fledgling tech firms, and marks the second-largest bank failure in US history.
Reporting from the Left: Biden vows to hold those responsible for Silicon Valley Bank failure 'fully accountable' (CNN)
Reporting from the Right: GOP presidential candidates react to Silicon Valley Bank collapse, Trump blames ‘out of control Democrats' (Fox News)
From the Flag: The Federal Government originally put the bank in receivership amid mounting losses in its bond portfolio. Late Sunday, after New York-based Signature Bank failed and regulators feared a bank run could result Monday, all of SVB’s deposits were guaranteed by the Treasury Department, FDIC, and Federal Reserve. Here’s more from both sides.
Fed's Mistakes and Failed Fiduciary Responsibilities
- SVB’s collapse highlights the Federal Reserve’s policy mistakes that it made both during and in response to the pandemic.
- Given the nature of bank runs and the psychology involved, it’s possible this bank run spreads even farther.
- It appears likely SVB failed in its fiduciary role by prioritizing things like ESG: how will Washington, DC respond?
“Silicon Valley Bank's Failure a Warning for the Fed” Desmond Lachman, New York Post Opinion: “Silicon Valley Bank could be a canary in a coal mine. (Its failure) shined a spotlight on the large losses that the whole banking system has seen on investments in bonds as a result of rising interest rates. After having created a credit market bubble with its ultra-aggressive response to the COVID-induced recession, the Federal Reserve would be well advised to think carefully before continuing to slam the brakes as it tries to control inflation. If not, we should brace ourselves for a hard economic landing as additional parts of the financial system start to break. If ever the Fed created a US and world credit market bubble, it was in 2020 and 2021. Not only did it keep rates near zero for far too long, it also flooded the market with liquidity by purchasing a staggering $4 trillion in US Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.”
“SVB Collapses: The Ghosts of 2008 Stir” Andrew Stuttaford, National Review: “An additional worry is that the run on SVB may spread. Bank runs are a mix of the rational and the rational. At their core is the mismatch at the heart of banking. Banks tend to borrow short-term (your deposit is a loan to the bank) and lend long. This creates a mismatch, which is generally fine—it’s how the banking system works. But it means that banks will only have a limited amount of funds to hand back to their depositors at any given moment. If enough of a bank’s depositors decide to ask for their money back at once, then the bank can face a liquidity crunch that could bring it down. Under the circumstances, depositors with more than $250,000 with the bank who hear of other depositors pulling out their money out, might decide… better safe than sorry—and so a bank run spreads.”
One more opinion piece from the Right: The SVB Fall: Green, Woke, and Now Broke James Pinkerton, Breitbart
The SVB Saga: Bad Banking, Rising Panic, and “Tech Bros” Bugging Out
- This isn’t an indictment of the tech sector per se, but rather an old-school bank run fueled by rising interest rates.
- It’s true this could have happened at any bank, but the incestuous nature of tech, venture capital, and SVB should be examined.
- The stunning collapse of SVB has left companies struggling to make payroll, and it’s not yet clear how widespread the impact will be.
“Three Lessons From Silicon Valley Bank's Failure” Kevin Roose, New York Times: “What brought SVB down wasn’t lending to risky start-ups, or gambling on sketchy crypto coins… It was an old-fashioned bank run, set off back in 2021… That year, the stock market boomed, interest rates sat near zero, and money was flooded into the tech sector. Many start-ups parked their cash at SVB, and the bank, in turn, took that money and invested it, including in a bunch of long-dated bonds. Those investments looked relatively safe at the time but became riskier last year as interest rates rose and the bonds lost some of their value. This year… SVB needed to sell some of its bonds at a loss and seek fresh capital to meet its obligations. … Venture capital investors got spooked, and told their portfolio start-ups to withdraw any money they had sitting at SVB. Other customers saw that happening, and they panicked, too. Voilà, bank run.”
“Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse reflects the tech sector’s deep anxiety” Adam Lashinsky, Washington Post Opinion: “Silicon Valley Bank’s demise on one level is a straightforward tale of a financial screwup. A massively bad bet on interest rates caused painful paper declines in its investments, forcing the bank to sell securities at an actual loss. This could have happened to any bank. Once depositors learned they might lose access to their cash, they panicked and began withdrawing en masse. Poof: Silicon Valley Bank incinerated in two days. In purely technical terms, this had nothing to do with the tech industry clients it served. Yet, at another level, the bank’s swift fall had everything to do with its clubby clientele of Silicon Valley start-ups and the venture-capital and private-equity firms that fund them. That its collapse coincided with a moment of intense anxiety in the tech industry is no accident.”
One more opinion piece from the Left: We’re only beginning to see the impact of Silicon Valley Bank’s implosion Mary Ann Azevedo, TechCrunch
Where Americans Bank, and What Comes Next
On Saturday, venture capitalist David Sacks polled his Twitter followers in response to SVB’s failure and found more than a third intended to start banking with the “Big Four” – Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo. Just over a quarter said they were already banking at those institutions. When the poll was held, it was still unclear how the Federal Government would proceed in terms of SVB’s depositors.
Right-leaning financial commentator Brian Westbury argues the federal government protecting SVB depositors will harm taxpayers overall, and he maintains deposit insurance should be a private enterprise.
Known Democratic donor and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman laid out his case for why he agreed with the government’s decision, saying it’s not akin to a bailout.
On the Upside, Re-find Your Mind, St. Paddy's Snacks
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Albert Arrives, Viral Monks, Crazy Shawshank Redemption Fact
On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein is born in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of relativity drastically altered human understanding of the universe, and his work helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.
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