Levin Report: The Wall Street Journal Suggests Silicon Valley Bank Failed Because Its Board Was Only 92% White (No, Really, It Did That)
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As you’ve probably heard by now, on Friday, Silicon Valley Bank—a lender to some of the most notable names in the tech world—became the biggest bank to fail since the 2008 financial crisis. How did this happen? Not surprisingly, a multitude of factors appear to have contributed to the company’s downfall, including its failure to account for rising interest rates; venture capital drying up; a prevalence of uninsured depositors, who usually ask for their money back when things are looking bad; and a lack of regulatory oversight, thanks to one Donald Trump. One reason SVB probably did not fail? The presence of a few women, one Black person, and an individual who identifies as LGBTQ+ on its board. Though TheWall Street Journal isn’t so sure!
In an op-ed titled “Who Killed Silicon Valley Bank?” columnist Andy Kessler writes: “Was there regulatory failure? Perhaps. SVB was regulated like a bank but looked more like a money-market fund. Then there’s this: In its proxy statement, SVB notes that besides 91% of their board being independent and 45% women, they also have ‘1 Black,‘ “1 LGBTQ+,‘ and ‘2 Veterans.’ I’m not saying 12 white men would have avoided this mess, but the company may have been distracted by diversity demands.”
Sure, Kessler is not flatly, literally saying “12 white men would have avoided this mess,” because even David Duke knows you can’t just come out and say that in 2023. But…he’s basically saying exactly that, hence the claim that the bank might have failed because it was “distracted” by supposedly burdensome “diversity demands.” (Here’s where we’d like to point out that having “1 Black” person on a 12-person board means that that board is still 92% white. The same math goes for that “1 LGBTQ+” person.) Weirdly, Kessler did not note, alongside his thesis, that SVB’s executive team doesn’t appear to have been plagued by “diversity demands.” He also apparently did not feel the need to acknowledge that all of the major banks that failed during the Great Recession were largely run by white guys.
As tech columnist Brian Merchant tweeted Monday, this piece “is basically an argument in favor of racial purity at a bank’s board of directors.” Not surprisingly, others were similarly unimpressed.
Of course, Kessler isn‘t the only one who has floated this “maybe it was the Black guy and the gay” theory re: SVB. The Republican Party’s most reliable bigots have also been banging the same drum, with everyone from Ron DeSantis to Marjorie Taylor Greene blaming the bank’s collapse on the “woke” left and its apparent capitalism-killing emphasis on diversity.
Fox News doesn’t appear to think very highly of its viewers
Unless former Tucker Carlson producer Alex Pfeiffer meant “cousin-fucking types” in a nice way! Per The Washington Post:
On the day after Carlson publicly challenged [Trump election attorney Sidney] Powell, [Fox vice president Raj] Shah and [Pfeiffer] weighed whether Carlson should devote time in his next show to Powell’s claim that she had an affidavit that would link Dominion to Venezuela. “Might wanna address this, but this stuff is so f—— insane. Vote rigging to the tune of millions? C’mon,” Shah wrote.
Carlson’s producer, Alex Pfeiffer, responded: “It is so insane but our viewers believe it so addressing again how her stupid Venezuela affidavit isn’t proof might insult them.” Shah advised that Carlson should mention the affidavit noting it was “not new info, not proof” but then quickly “pivot to being deferential.” Pfeiffer, who has since left the network, answered that the delicate dance was “surreal.”
“Like negotiating with terrorists,” he added, “but especially dumb ones. Cousin f—– types not saudi royalty.
We don’t want to step on any toes but we’re going to assume that, in fact, “cousin-fucking types” was not meant to be a compliment, particularly with the caveat that he did not mean rich Saudi ones but, apparently, the poor uneducated kind.
Bernie Sanders’s got Oscars content
(He’s not wrong!)
Want to see the strangest, cringiest thing to ever air on TV?
We got you covered.
Biden says taxpayers won’t bail out Silicon Valley Bank and the people responsible for its collapse will be held accountable: “No one is above the law” (Insider)
That Sound You Hear Is Donald Trump Shitting Several Bricks Over Michael Cohen’s Grand Jury Testimony (VF)
Lauren Boebert announces that she is becoming a grandmother at 36, praises high rural teen birth rates that “value life” (Yahoo)
Judge Who Could Ban Abortion Pill Doesn’t Want the Public to Know When the Hearing Is (Jezebel)
Mitch McConnell released from hospital after suffering concussion in fall (The Washington Post)
Mike Pence’s Condemnation of Trump Is Still a Sad Work in Progress (Intelligencer)
The hits keep coming for election-deniers (The Washington Post)
The FBI Has an Art Crime Team. And These Days, It’s Busy. (NYT)
Cat Found With Cocaine in His System Is Living His Best Life at Cincinnati Zoo (Yahoo)
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