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To mark the third anniversary of America’s Covid lockdown hysteria Rob, James and Peter give their uncredentialed thoughts on Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse and the FDIC doing something very different than what it was created for. They think through free market solutions, the fate of little banks and the buildings and what they meant for small town America.
The guys also chat with Stanford Review editor Walker Stewart to discuss the outrageous disruption of Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judge Kyle Duncan on the law school campus.
Also, Happy St. Patricks Day!
Song of the week: I’m Shipping Up To Boston by Dropkick Murphys
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That’s some absolutely excellent text manipulation there on the graphic.
Sometimes I scare myself.
OOooo Ooooo! We have a bank now?
Kudos to James for trying to shoehorn in that Warren Zevon reference, but that young lad wouldn’t have gotten it anyway.
Rob’s best podcast in years. I like when he is the expert on a topic. That said, the Donetsk squabble is a border dispute. It seems like more, because we are involved, but it really is a fight over which Slavic dialect some farmers are using.
You could say it’s the same with southern Texas and Arizona. A lot of people down there speak Spanish; do we really care where the border happens to be? Why not cede the land back to Mexico as a compromise?
The one to watch is Credit Dauphine. (from Alias.)
Also, go back to a show like “Alias Smith & Jones,” set in the later part of the 19th century. They had at least one episode where they were hunting for some money that another bank thief had hidden away. And other thieves might have been searching for it already, maybe for years. When they finally found the cash, it turned out to have been issued by a bank that no longer existed, and hence was worthless.
Yes, it used to be that each bank company issued its own currency.
@jameslileks you may want to check out The Ark. It’s pretty disappointing in some ways, including portrayal of technology, but at least so far they might be developing some interesting story lines that put it way ahead of so much recent stuff. It may yet turn out to be a crashing disappointment, but I try to be hopeful and I’m more hopeful now than I was after the first few episodes.
The “reboot” of Night Court, though, is just awful. I can’t think of any reason for its existence other than Melissa Rauch getting some kind of production deal after coming off The Big Bang Theory.
When talking about SVB and private insurance for large depositors, you forgot about regulators and rating agencies, both of which missed the coming fall. Regulators examine the bank and are supposed to spot the kind of mismatching of assets that led to the fall and we all pay for them. Why they don’t get more scrutiny, as they didn’t in 2007, is a mystery.
Barney Frank on the board and Gavin Newsom as in investor might be clues, Scooby.
I was a bank examiner a million years ago. I can’t understand how the government let this happen. I’m pretty sure you could look this up on the Internet.
It was a California state bank, and it was big enough to be under the Federal Reserve. The Fed governor out there is a total fruit worried about climate change and this is all documented on video. Biden literally tried to put a Russian born communist in charge of the national bank examiners. These people are out of control.
The vast majority of the time nobody knows anything about what a bank is going to do because you can’t look at the loan quality. The government hides it from everybody.
I’m not seeing it on the Internet, but I heard it was a pedophile.
During the 1970s inflation, agricultural commodity prices rose dramatically along with land prices. Local bankers encouraged their farmer customers to buy more land even when commodity prices could no longer support the cost of debt service, because real estate never loses value. Then came Reagan and Volcker, and inflation was pushed back. Prices fell, and farmers with huge debt burdens went bankrupt. And took a lot of small banks with them. The banks were not bailed out, but when they were bought by more solvent institutions for pennies on the dollar, the bankers went back to work and remembered the lesson. When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, banks in the area did not have large portions of their loan portfolios in real estate. If the depositors were made whole instead of too-big-to-fail bankers, would we be where we are now?
43 was completely freaked out about a pandemic. He read some book. He got all of the states to come up with their own plans. It was very serious government under an actual “public good” known as public health. When we actually got a pandemic, everybody threw out their plans.
I never saw this coming, but I don’t trust public health at all. I mean zero. The leftists and grifters seize control of it, and they turn it into a politicized menace.
I think you mentioned in 2020 that some states had bought stockpiles of medical supplies at that time. However, they have expiration dates and subsequent governors didn’t replenish the stockpiles and by 2020 the shelves were bare.
I don’t recall that, but it makes perfect sense.
Maybe it was an article during the early pandemic. There was a reference to states preparing under Bush’s request. I think Schwarzenegger was one of the governors. Then later governors didn’t maintain the supplies and spent the money elsewhere.
Unruly students ? EXPULSION! No return of tuition. Lefty profs walk out in solidarity, adios ! Two problems solved. See Air Traffic Controllers 1980. More recently Netflix ‘May not be the best place for you’ Very often this only has to be done once.
A very good episode. My dad started his own business when he was almost 40 with a wife, three very young children, and a mortgage (with those early 1980s interest rates that make our current situation look like a stroll in the park). He still resents banks for making the whole process of being a small business owner a nightmare. But now at almost 77, he and my mom still go to work at that family business where both of my brothers work supporting their families.
I think Mr. Stewart was correct when he alluded to these students as changing the companies where they end p working. Just ask Bari Weiss about The New York Times or read this in the Wall Street Journal.
As for going on three years with COVID hysterics still clinging to their terror I’m 100 percent with James. As an “essential worker” at working a lowly position at a pet supply store. Nothing changed as far as work: I still went in everyday to try and do my best at a minimum wage job that was fairly hard work stocking loads of kitty litter, cat food and bags of dog food. But the people and environment changed dramatically. Shortages and runs on supplies were a weekly occurrence and I knew without seeing or hearing it, if the governor held a press conference where he so sternly and gravely announced another two, three, four, weeks of shutdowns to “slow the spread” or flatten the curve because we were One Minnesota (except us “essentials” who I guess were just expendable) because the shop would be flooded with people who suddenly didn’t mind being in a crowded store to purchase whatever was on the shelves by the cartload. Their dogs are probably still eating out of the fourth fifty-pound bag of dog chow they bought in May of 2020.
And customers grew very nasty attitudes toward us “essentials” almost as if we occupied some lower rung on the societal caste totem just because we couldn’t stay home and fret over some grocery store worker who didn’t disinfect the cart to Karen’s standard. But I’m so very grateful I was able to go outside my house house for work every day. First to have a steady paycheck, and second because it gave me a balanced perspective. The world wasn’t enveloped in COVID Buckyballs, sticking to every surface and pore, despite whatever the television was saying. The people who seemed deeply and profoundly changed were those who closed themselves off from the world the most. Isolation is really a very highly destructive force for people. And I admit to being an introvert’s introvert! So when I see people in grocery stores or alone in cars wearing their masks I get a little angry, then sad. How rotten a way to go through the last three years and then the rest of these days on earth voluntarily shutting yourself off from humanity. It’s almost inhumane.
Almost clever, but it exactly proves the point that a border dispute is the business of the countries involved. There are currently two small islands claimed by the US *and* Canada. Why is that not in the news? The dispute in the South China Sea (see 9-line) is much more meaningful to the US than the Donetsk.
Except to the extent of Russia not stopping with Donetsk, as with China not stopping with some made-up islands in the South China Sea.
Don, this is a “border dispute” in exactly the same sense that your gangster neighbor taking your family hostage and moving into your house is a “boundary dispute”.
And nobody should intervene to help you, of course, because the “dispute is the business of the [property owners] involved”. (Like saying a rapist and his victim should work out their “dispute” between the two of them.)
Call the police? What police? International affairs is more like the Wild West. Unless the good people organize a posse, the strong and evil take whatever they want.
It is really a fight about whether our old enemy The Soviet Union will be returning to the world stage, or whether we will have the will to stop that from happening.
We have a bigger one in China . The USSR didn’t have major businesses, many politicians and didn’t buy much US debt during the last cold war.
I expect Putin would just love for you to shift your attention elsewhere.
Everything we did right in handling the Soviet Union we did wrong in China.
Everything we did in China could have been done in the post-Soviet Russia and the new Republics. And we didn’t. The neocons enriched the CCP and continued to threaten and encircle Russia. We totally screwed it up.
Sure, but to many people that seems to mean treating Russia the same as China, when what really needs to happen is treating China the same as Russia, if not moreso.
That bank depositors have no way of knowing if their bank is being run effectively is correct but totally beside the point—literally right beside it. That’s because every depositor at SVB had the ability to know how secure every one of their deposits were.
I support our efforts to help Ukraine against the Russian invaders. But it also seems to me that the pointer in our political compass is far from set. So while I too agree with the criticisms about DeSantis’s use of “a border dispute,” I believe his position on the conflict may be much more politically popular than our podcast hosts think.