2023 Mar 18 - SVB Collapse

Sir Michael Caine turned 90 and 'not a lot of people knoww that
I received an email asking me to spell "maps" backwards but it turned out to be spam

The big story this week though was the collapse of the US financial firm Silicon Valley Bank, which in turn has set of a chain of donimos around the world that threaten to destroy the lifestyles of some executives who'd hoped to retire in their 50s but whose share certificates may now as well have pictures of that Dogecoin dog on it. They could barely run a bath, let alone a business, I've seen candidates on the Apprentice make a better job at selling food down the market.

There have since been a series of accusations about what specifically went wrong, most of which center on the fact that the management was obsessed with diversity rather than competance, to the extent that the board of directors only had one member with previous banking experience. For those of you with a goode technical understanding of the markets, the entire business was geared around using short term lending facilities to cover long term investments and when rates went up, everything fell apart because the operation was backed by 10 year treasury bills paying less than 2%.

Who was running things then? Mostly people who'd make political donations to the democrats which is why President Biden has since stepped in and guarenteed everyone's money, not just the first $250k that the Federal Reserve would normally cover. In this case, a $250k limit would only be enough to cover 3% of the deposit capital, such is their customer base. Make no mistake, this is one of the largest transfers of wealth from poor people to wealthy people in US history, up there with the time that George Lucas convinced everyone to pay $10/time to watch Jar Jar Binks costar in not one but 3 terrible movies. Harry and Meghan have all their money parked there at SVB and they will be bailed out by working class people in a way that even King Charles would find a bit unseemly

The UK assets of the bank? Well those were picked up by HSBC for the nominal cost of £1. I believe that figure came about because it's all the banks treasurer had on him after he'd already handed over a twenty pound note at Starbucks on the way to the meeting. But it is a reminder that the contageon from this is global and there were other banks making the same terrible financial decisions. One of those is Credit Suisse which is large enough that its collapse could do the unthinkable and destroy the Swiss banking system. And I find that a terrfying prospect though largely because I'm a huge fan of that swiss chocolate money you get at Christmas time.
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