Tuesday, March 14, 2023


I see that the right-wing press is doing another "partners at huge law firms are collectively responsible for everything bad done by any client of any partner" smear. This one is in the New York Post:
Democrat Jon Tester to rub elbows with SVB law firm partner at Palo Alto soiree
(According to the right-wing media, Republicans "attend fundraisers," but Democrats "rub elbows" at "soirees.")
Montana Sen. Jon Tester will rub elbows Monday night at a ritzy fundraiser with a partner from Silicon Valley Bank’s legal firm — three days after the California bank suffered the second-largest financial collapse in US history.
Was this lawyer an executive at Silicon Valley Bank? No. Was he personally responsible for the bank's legal strategy? No. He was just a partner at the bank's law firm -- which has 305 partners.
Michael J. Danaher, who represents many venture capital clients for Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati....
So Danaher doesn't represent the bank -- he represents venture capital clients in tech. The Post assumes its readers think that's close enough for demonization.
... is hosting the 66-year-old Democrat at the posh event in Palo Alto, where donors have been asked to pay between $250 and $6,600 to attend.
$250! A king's ransom!
Executives from an array of venture-backed tech companies will also host Tester....

They include Jon Foster, a board member of the driverless, electric vehicle company Udelv....
But I thought right-wingers liked executives of electric vehicle companies! Or maybe they only like the one who's now a full-time social media troll.
Before its fall, Silicon Valley Bank had $209 billion in assets.
Here's the thing I don't understand about the right's "SVB failed because it was woke" messaging: If SVB's "wokeness" was so bad for business, how did the bank become successful in the first place? A week ago, it was the 16th-largest bank in America. Was it not "woke" until last Friday?
Douglas Clark, a managing partner at Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, lists SVB as a client.
Then we should certainly hang Michael Danaher and Jon Tester, right?
The firm also provided a guidance sheet for its wealthy list of international clients that may have been affected by SVB’s failure.
Omigod! These people told clients how to limit losses in the midst of a banking crisis! Is there no limit to their evil?
Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati has worked on behalf of many investment banks and venture capital firms in the Silicon Valley region since its founding in 1961. Founder Larry Sonsini previously served on SVB’s board of directors in the mid-200s.
That's supposed to be the mid-2000s -- no, the founding partner wasn't advising SVB when the Goths were invading Thrace. But please note that Sosini joined SVB's board in 2003. Also note that Sosini is not Michael Danaher.
The law firm and SVB ... agreed last month to sponsor a fellowship “to address systemic racial, gender, and other underrepresentation in talent across the life sciences and biotech industry.”
What the Murdoch press wants you to believe is that companies that express a commitment to diversity inevitably fail, while all the good companies avoid that woke stuff like the plague. A couple of days ago, at the end of this post, I showed you some of the Fox Corporation's boasts about diversity. The New York Post isn't part of Fox Corporation -- it's part of Murdoch's other big firm, News Corp. Guess what, folks?

And, of course, we're told:
Reports on Monday showed that the head of risk management at SVB spearheaded several “woke” initiatives in recent years — a move some Republicans faulted the bank for pursuing instead of focusing on safe investments for depositors.
Actually, Jay Ersapah, the executive in question, was the head of risk management for SVB overseas. As a commenter here noted on Sunday, Ersapah was based in the U.K. and her work had nothing to do with the collapse of SVB in the U.S.:
SVB UK was legally and operationally a stand-alone entity from the U.S. arm. (SVB U.K. secured a U.K. banking license in 2012 but became a U.K. stand-alone bank in August 2022 and has 700 full-time employees.)
In Murdoch Land, they know SVB collapsed because it held too many low-yielding long-term Treasury bonds at a time of rising interest rates. But the right-wing media and the Republican Party don't rely on facts to win arguments. They create misperceptions, then rely on those misperceptions to set the terms of the debate among people who haven't managed to master the facts (i.e., most Americans). Being well informed is hard work. News organizations (and political parties) should help citizens understand what's happening in their world. The right-wing press and the GOP do nothing of the sort. They misinform and mislead, because that's what they think it takes to win.

The Post didn't invent the trick of blaming law firm partners for what clients do. It's an old favorite on the right. I told you in August about a "scoop" at The Federalist: that Hunter Biden is represented by a lawyer at a firm where Liz Cheney's husband is a partner. But he was one of 911 partners at the firm. Consumers of right-wing media don't understand how any of this works, and the people who report for the right-wing media want to keep it that way.

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