In the wake of the collapse of the Silicon Valley and Signature Banks and the Fed’s bailout, the proposed megabank “rescue” of First Republic, the run on other regional banks and the bailouts and reorganization which will now ensue, one thing is clear. The entire gaggle of executives in government, finance, Congress and the media are so incompetent, corrupt, and unwilling to accept responsibility that the American people must clean them out now and replace the whole lot. With good timing, President Trump released a new post on Truth Social today pledging to do just that.
When the 2007-2008 collapse of the speculative financial system (the so-called New World Order of Margaret Thatcher, George H.W. Bush OBE, and Alan Greenspan OBE) erupted, Barack Obama assured the bankers that he would stand between the bankers and the American people out there “with pitchforks” who were about to be totally ripped off in the bank bailout.
It’s time that those pitchforks came out again. Not allowing ourselves to be fooled a second time, the pitchforks should rally behind the call to fire the Fed and put it through bankruptcy, while reversing the neo-liberal economic paradigm in which these pirates and crooks operate “freely.” Replace it with a Hamiltonian National Bank solely dedicated to issuing credit to drastically increase the output of the productive economy based on frontier infrastructure, science, and fostering human creativity. Pass Glass/Steagall to prevent future bailouts. Hold Congressional hearings on the Fed’s actions since the reign of Alan Greenspan, demonstrating to the population exactly how they have been ripped off by these “oh so intelligent” grifters.
Books will be written documenting the failures and stinking corruption which came to the surface last week, but for now a short summary concerning the main actors will do.
Crocodile tears were shed over the weekend about the potential suffering of Silicon Valley startups and venture capital firms which were about to lose their uninsured deposits in SVB. Dry your eyes. The bankers and their customers were both victims of their own stupidity, corruption, and arrogance. First, SVB pretended to be a bank, but was really a hedge fund playing with free money. In collusion with the billionaire venture funds, SVB ran a scheme to hoard startups, many with no product, profit, or even cashflow, into their bank, in exchange for stock warrants and for pledges that customers keep all their deposits in SVB, even to the point of exceeding the well-known FDIC insurance limit of $250,000. And in return for corralling their startups into SVB, the venture fund managers got sweetheart deals from the bank. The whole scheme was facilitated by SVB’s networking soirees, wine tastings and woke social events.
At the same time, SVB’s CEO, Greg Becker, sat on the Board of the San Francisco Federal Reserve until he was quietly replaced when SVB collapsed! To highlight the character of the San Francisco Fed, its head, Mary Daly, allowed Samuel Bankman Fried’s FTX scam to buy a bank charter and get access to the federal payments system and a Fed backstop.
Matt Stoller has written a perceptive post about this on his Substack. https://open.substack.com/pub/mattstoller/p/fire-the-fed?r=v0y2&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web Here’s how he describes the consensus now on the Fed’s regulators from his banking sources: “arrogant patronizing fucks who are not good at their jobs.” That is the consensus now in any media exhibiting an ounce of intelligence.
With respect to SVB, Stoller notes: “The closer you get to the facts the worse it looks. Supervisors should never have allowed a bank funded with between 90-100% uninsured ‘hot money’ deposits by venture capitalists to bet on unhedged long-term bonds. And you didn’t need to be a genius to get this fact. Everyone in Silicon Valley knew that SVB was insolvent, it was pretty much an open secret. The piggishness of the place, and the social climbing, was legendary. . . it went beyond just self-dealing, the social aspect was just as important. Tech titans would place $100 million in deposits to get things like invitations to famous venture capitalist Marc Andreessen’s house for drinks. Powerful financier Ron Conway had up to $200 million at the bank, probably because SVB CEO Greg Becker is, you know, a good guy.”
SVB’s management played a crooked game, but one can’t completely blame them for trying, as they were doing just what the Federal Reserve and government regulators wanted. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed has been printing money and buying treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to artificially depress interest rates. This punished savers and forced investors into riskier assets. This was accelerated during the pandemic, compounded by the unjustified lockdowns, which crushed the real economy and further inflated the bubble. The trillions of dollars let loose into the economy by Congress’s fiscal stimulus inflated it still further. When the predictable inflation became manifest, Fed Chairman Powell, Treasury Secretary Yellen, President Biden and others insisted that inflation was transitory. Long after it became apparent that this wasn’t true, the Fed continued to print money and buy bonds.
The Evil Yoda, Janet Yellen, is a prime example of people who must be cleaned out. She was the champion of quantitative easing and 0 interest, she fought for the repeal of Glass/Steagall, she engineered the 2008 bailout on the backs of the American people and now, as Treasury Secretary, she wants to tell us the banking system is “safe” while fully bailing out SVB and other zombie banks.
Are they really so ignorant, corrupt, and incompetent? Of course, they are!
The major factor in this disaster, which Stoller documents, is ideological. It is neo-liberalism:
“The reason the Fed screwed up is ideological. Regulators there simply do not believe in placing constraints over banks, for fear they will hinder American strength. The era of Fed independence occurred in part because of our national strategy; America in the 1980s shifted from a nation whose power came from its manufacturing base and towards a nation whose power came solely from its control over the global financial order, with the trade deficit that implied.
As such, today it is the strength of large banks, as well as ‘financial innovation,’ that matters to the Fed, not the underlying simple utility service of operating payments, making loans, and safekeeping cash. And let’s be clear, financial innovation is always, and I mean always, gambling with other people’s money, using new technology or a new instrument.”
Let that sink in. According to the Fed, “America’s strength” is in its subservience to the predatory financial model of the modern British financial Empire, something Stoller doesn’t see clearly. It is an imperium built on worthless paper, not production of real goods and groundbreaking inventions under the former American System of political economy. Add to it that Silicon Valley is a key player in the National Security State presently censoring and brainwashing the American population while serving as the main financial guarantor of the Democratic Party and you have the main story.
The American people:
Generally, the American people get an understandable pass for not immediately rising up fully against the corrupt incompetents in government and finance. But there is a caveat here. Many still fall prey to the lies of the media, Bushies, and Democrats, and allowed or participated in a stolen election that put the incompetent (in more ways than one) Biden administration into office.
There is salvation, however. Get out those pitchforks now! Demand the Fed be fired and replaced by a Hamiltonian National Bank. Demand Glass/Steagall banking separation. Demand full hearings on the corrupt history of the Federal Reserve from 2007-2008 to date. Flood the Congress with these demands.