Tuesday, March 14, 2023

14: Russia

Richard Holbrooke, the Last Great Freewheeling Diplomat . .

Late Night Can’t Believe Tucker Carlson’s Texts About Trump “Oh, my God, it turns out the Trump hatred was coming from inside the house!” Seth Meyers said. ...... In one text, Carlson wrote of Trump, “I hate him passionately.” ........ “Wait, wait, are you telling me Tucker Carlson is secretly sane? I would feel so betrayed if I was a Fox viewer. This is like if you joined a cult, sold all your belongings, shaved your head, moved to the desert, and then it turns out the cult leader is just, like, a Methodist.” — SETH MEYERS ........ “That’s right, Tucker Carlson said he couldn’t wait to ignore Trump and that he hated Trump passionately. That’s as damning as the time I got caught texting Trump, ‘Real talk, I also think windmills kill birds.’” — SETH MEYERS ....... “I wouldn’t worry just yet. As of now, Biden thinks TikTok is the clock on ‘60 Minutes.’” — JIMMY FALLON ........... “Yeah, officials think China is using TikTok to spy on us, and China was like, ‘Yeah, well, we had a backup idea, but you shot it down.’” — JIMMY FALLON .

Elizabeth Warren: Silicon Valley Bank Is Gone. We Know Who Is Responsible. These recent bank failures are the direct result of leaders in Washington weakening the financial rules. ....... Greg Becker, the chief executive of Silicon Valley Bank, was one of the ‌many high-powered executives who lobbied Congress to weaken the law. In 2018, the big banks won. With support from both parties, President Donald Trump signed a law to roll back critical parts of Dodd-Frank. Regulators, including the Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, then made a bad situation worse, ‌‌letting financial institutions load up on risk. ........ got relief from stringent requirements, basing their claim on the laughable assertion that banks like them weren’t actually “big” ‌and therefore didn’t need strong oversight. ‌ ........ on Friday, S.V.B. executives were busy paying out congratulatory bonuses hours before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation‌‌ rushed in to take over their failing institution — leaving countless businesses and non‌profits with accounts at the bank alarmed that they wouldn’t be able to pay their bills and employees. .............. This business model was great for S.V.B.’s short-term profits, which shot up by nearly 40 ‌percent over the last three years‌ — but now we know its cost. ......... Signature had touted its F.D.I.C. insurance as it whipped up a customer base tilted toward risky cryptocurrency firms. ........ On Sunday night, regulators announced they would ensure that all deposits at S.V.B. and Signature would be repaid 100 cents on the dollar. Not just small businesses and nonprofits, but also billion-dollar companies, crypto investors and the very venture capital firms that triggered the bank run on S.V.B. in the first place — all in the name of preventing further contagion. ........... it’s no wonder the American people are skeptical of a system that holds millions of struggling student loan borrowers in limbo but steps in overnight to ensure that billion-dollar crypto firms won’t lose a dime in deposits. ......... Never again should large companies with billions in unsecured deposits expect, or receive, free support from the government. ........ S.V.B. and Signature shareholders will be wiped out, but their executives must also be held accountable. Mr. Becker of S.V.B. took home $9.9 million in compensation last year, including a $1.5 million bonus for boosting bank profitability — and its riskiness. Joseph DePaolo of Signature got $8.6 million. We should claw all of that back, along with bonuses for other executives at these banks. .

After Bank Debacle, Silicon Valley Reckons With Its Image Even as start-ups and investors began recovering their money from Silicon Valley Bank, the episode exposed the tech industry’s vulnerabilities. ........ On Twitter, several tech investors pointed fingers of blame for the situation at almost everyone but themselves, and then were surprised that so few outside the industry were sympathetic to their plight. ........ Some of the “loudest voices of the investment community” were “screaming about the end times,” positioning themselves as the victims of the bank’s failure, rather than the small businesses who couldn’t make payroll .........

some of the loudest voices were also those who had been repeatedly on the record against any government funded safety nets in other contexts

.......... Over the weekend, Garry Tan, the president of the start-up incubator Y Combinator, sent a message to hundreds of founders and entrepreneurs telling them to begin posting “tweetstorms” to humanize the impact that Silicon Valley Bank’s failure was having on them........... He later posted an online petition to the government asking them “to save innovation in the American economy,” which was signed by more than 5,000 chief executives representing nearly half a million employees. ........... the bank provided banking services to nearly half of all venture-backed technology and life-science companies in the United States and was also a bank to more than 2,500 venture capital firms. ......... “People are never going to unremember what happened on Friday.” ......... It offered low-interest loans to investors and start-up founders who banked with it, so they were able to secure such loans — which traditional banks declined — for multimillion dollar homes ........... said Silicon Valley Bank gave him a $4 million loan for his San Francisco home with an interest rate of 2.2 percent, while other banks were offering rates of 3 percent and higher. ........ the white-knuckle ride ended only on Monday when they and their companies got access to their bank deposits that had been frozen for more than 72 hours.

Jimmy Fallon Recaps Trump’s ‘Off the Rails’ CPAC Speech Fallon said Donald Trump “made some pretty intense promises” in his headlining speech on Saturday...... “In 2016, I declared, ‘I am your voice,’” Trump said. “Today I add, I am your warrior, I am your justice, and, for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution. I am your retribution.’” ......... “He’s either running for president or auditioning to be the next John Wick.” — JIMMY FALLON ........ “But let’s be real, the funniest comedy special last weekend was the CPAC, or as I like to call it, crazy white people.” — MARLON WAYANS, guest hosting “The Daily Show” ........ “If you don’t know about it, it’s an annual event where all the Karens and their husbands come together, and they complain about the rest of us. The Karens and the Darrens.” — MARLON WAYANS ....... “And some of that [expletive] make no sense at all. Like, Nikki Haley said, ‘wokeness is more dangerous than a pandemic.’ I never had to miss two weeks of work because of wokeness.” — MARLON WAYANS ........ “Yes, wokeness is such a dangerous virus that it apparently killed two-thirds of her audience. It’s got to be stopped.” — STEPHEN COLBERT .

As Economy Falters, China’s New Premier Tries to Boost Business Confidence Li Qiang, the country’s No. 2 leader, sought to reassure entrepreneurs who have been wary of making new investments. ....... private-sector companies would be treated equally with state-owned ones ...... many local governments have forced private companies to make large “donations” or pay arbitrarily imposed fines to help cover the costs of social programs. ...... At his first news conference as premier on Monday, Mr. Li delivered the most forceful statement by a Chinese leader in years of the need to preserve the vitality of the private sector. He promised a commercial environment “in which businesses of all forms of ownership will be treated equally, protecting the property rights and interests of entrepreneurs according to the law, encouraging fair competition between business entities of all types.” ........ “There is the massive scale of its market, its comprehensive array of industries, abundant human resources and a robust base for development — even more important, there are our clear institutional advantages,” he said, apparently referring to Communist Party rule. ............

Mr. Li’s remarks triggered a sharp jump on Monday morning in share prices in Hong Kong

........ The difference in tone and substance between the two men’s comments suggested that Mr. Xi would leave the details of economic policy to the premier, while Mr. Xi would play the role of the paternalistic Communist Party leader who provides security for the people but is not directly responsible for the month-to-month vicissitudes of the economy. ......... strong pressure on businesses to cooperate with the military under a “civil-military fusion” policy ........ “Opening up to the outside is our fundamental national policy, and no matter how the international situation changes, we will be unwavering in advancing it” ......... “This raft of appointments seems to at least partially buck the narrative that demonstrated fealty to Xi Jinping will trump technocratic competence in assigning top-level government positions,” said Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University economist. ........ factory activity accelerated strongly in February. In many Chinese cities, the subways, airports and hotels are busy again. ........... youth unemployment remains high, and the housing market is in a slump. China’s factories, the engine of its trade with the world, are facing weakening demand from the United States and Europe.

No comments: