continued from page ciples that ….
continued from page
ciples that any undergraduate student in business learns. That is, banks make a profit by lending, investing at higher rates of interest than they pay on deposits.
So, managing interest rate risk is finance 101. Yet mismanagement of risk — the bank ignoring huge problems they would have if interest rates increased — is what brought it down.
How can it be that people who are allegedly smart do things that are incredibly stupid?
I attribute it to a detachment from reality. Detachment from reality is a direct symptom of a lot of government and politicization of our lives.
After the 2008 crisis, there were major government bailouts. This builds into the mentality of a culture that if you are big enough, government will not let you fail. And if you believe government will not let you fail, that government is your friend, you tend to do stupid, irresponsible things.
On top of this, when government passes laws like Dodd-Frank, it builds an attitude in the culture that the problem has been solved. In this case, that the regulatory system was put in place under which banks won’t fail.
As our culture becomes more deeply mired in a sense that our lives get better with more government and politics, more and more business people become detached from reality.
In this case, over recent years, “woke” culture has become rooted more and more deeply in business, particularly high-tech companies, a major customer base of Silicon Valley Bank.
Woke and ESG investment guidelines — environmental, social and governance — seems to have captured more attention at Silicon Valley Bank than the risk management essential to running their business.
The proxy statement of the bank, writes Wall Street Journal columnist Andy Kessler, notes that the board is “45% women” and there is “1 Black … 1 LGBTQ+ … and 2 Veterans.”
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy notes that SVB announced in 2022 committing $5 billion in “sustainable finance and carbon neutral operations to support a healthier planet.”
Worth adding to the picture is that the interest rate increases that SVB did not anticipate resulted from the inflation generated by trillions of dollars of government spending during COVID.
Now, fellow citizens, hold on to your wallets as our government bails out SVB, despite Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen saying it won’t happen.
The only good news is it increases prospects for a Republican victory in 2024.
Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “Cure America with Star Parker.” To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS. COM