Once again, his puppet masters are having Uncle Joe lie and lie and lie. After all the bank drama in the last week, do you remember this?
In his State of the Union
speech grand lie, Uncle Joe told us, “Our economy grew at a rate of 5.7% last year, the strongest growth in nearly 40 years.”
Right. With inflation both insanely under-reported and increasing daily, with supply chain collapse stopping work, with more and more people feeding on the taxpayer’s teat? Those were the second and third largest bank failures in American history, and not just due to inflation.
That’s crazy. Banks don’t fail in strong economies if the banks are well-run. As we at TPOL have pointed out before. Conclusion? One or the other or both: the economy and the banks are weaker than we were told.
The problem is, bad banking practice is good for politicians and corrupt bureaucrats. We know that large corporations – including banks – donate a lot of money to politicians hoping to hide their poor decisions from regulators. And they do other things, as well: supporting and following Woke practices (like ESG and all the rest) to get the “progressives” to love them. Why do they make “poor decisions?” Because that helps them maximize the money they can skim off – the over- and under-the-table profits.
One of the banks that failed was extremely “progressive:” hiring, investing, and corporate donations to political causes. The other bank supported cryptocurrencies (as another source of illicit profits?). Their boards were well-connected politically and socially to government big-wigs and “liberal” leaders.
Bad banking practice is great for corrupt bankers, twisted investors (usually), and for corrupt and connected politicians and bureaucrats. It does not work for depositors and for taxpayers. Or for small businesses dependent on the banks in our perverted economic and financial system and climate. Banks (and other businesses) try and buy political favors – and avoid being burned out by “protestors” – by making dubious business decisions. While their managers become more and more greedy and fearful, trying to feather their armored and hidden nests against the collapse their actions are hastening. This is NOT a climate of peace, prosperity, and liberty.
A climate that is created and sustained by stupid government tricks. It isn’t just a weak (and growing weaker) economy. It isn’t just the lies about inflation. It isn’t just about families having less and less freedom and opportunity. As Peter Zeihen and others point out, we can see it in the birth rate, we can see it in lack of demand for homes – especially first-time buyers. In the need for more and more multi-generational homes and changes in eating habits. In the increasing failure rate of new and small business.
What new and greater prices can we expect to pay? Will we listen to the warnings about literal fascism: corrupt politicians and government officials in league with corrupt businesses and extreme activists who are enemies of liberty? This time?
Are we and our families and friends prepared?
The good news, if we can call it that, is that I cashed out several of my investments in banking and bought Mrs. Steve a new car. She’s been hinting for the last few months, and I’ve seen the models she was looking at, and the look on her face when I set the key on her desk was priceless.
Do you know if the updated filing from SVB was substantially different than their last filing? I looked into it the day of, and now that seems to be unavailable, which tells me it was probably fraudulent, and maybe already evidence, but at the time, SVB had plenty of assets to cover depositors, but because they weren’t smart enough to realize that if there are two assets, one paying more interest than the other, you will have to discount the one paying the lower interest rate if you want to sell it, so still had an inflated balance sheet.
The second boo-boo (pretty common, but still a leverage risk) was buying back their own stock, then not retiring it, but instead keeping it listed as an asset. So when their stock plunged, their assets looked even worse, forcing even deeper losses to cover their position.
The third is that it evidently had not occurred to the dimwits that if options prices are rising, that means the market for those assets is souring. But rather than address the problem by adjusting the value of their current bonds, you know, mark-to-market, or of buying options to cover the potential loss, they just went full DIE, assuming their wokeness would save them. Which, turns out, it did.
From what I saw, according to that filing, there was still enough to make the depositors and creditors whole, but the stockholders, preferred or common, would be wiped out, and the bondholders would take a massive haircut, like more than half. The Biden administration, taking it’s cues from how Obama dealt with Chrysler in 2009 and MF Global in 2011, rewrote bankruptcy law to make their friends whole, forcing FDIC to pick up the tab.
That may not be how things stand now, or how they stood when they dug to the bottom of the asset/liability sheet (presumably) fraud, but that should not have been anywhere near as significant as mishandling it has made it.
Steve, really appreciate your understanding and explanation for those of us who don’t comprehend the nuances and perfidy of the banking system.
Your point about the dimwits in charge of SVB reminds me of a conversion earlier today about the rapidly declining intellect and knowledge of most in the more recent generations. A story about a young woman studying to be a paralegal who could not make proper change for her job in a convenience store sticks in my mind. When you combine a lack of basic math and other life skills with the obvious arrogance of SVB, SBF and his cronies, and others, what else can we expect?