Sunday, March 12, 2023


Republicans are responding to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank the way they respond to every newsworthy event: by trying to use the story to make people hate liberals.

Here's a headline at the Daily Mail:
SVB had NO head of 'risk assessment' for nine months before it collapsed... as woke boss for Europe, Middle East and Africa was busy organizing a month-long Pride campaign and a 'Lesbian Visibility Day'
This headline makes sense if you believe this was a binary choice: Let's see ... we can have a head of risk assessment or we can acknowledge LGBTQ people. We can't possibly do both! It's one or the other! Let's express solidarity with diverse communities by not hiring a head of risk assessment!

I'm kidding, but that's how right-wingers actually think this all works.

The villain of this story is SVB's chief risk officer for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, who's described as overly focused on diversity-related matters.
... Jay Ersapah, who acts as CRO for the bank in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and who describes herself as a 'queer person of color from a working-class background' - organized a host of LGBTQ initiatives including a month-long Pride campaign and implemented 'safe space' catch-ups for staff. In a corporate video published just nine months ago, she said she 'could not be prouder' to work for SVB serving 'underrepresented entrepreneurs.'

Professional network Outstanding listed Ersapah as a top 100 LGTBQ Future Leader....

It adds that she is 'allies' with gay rights charity Stonewall and had authored numerous articles to promote LGBTQ awareness.

These included 'Lesbian Visibility Day and Trans Awareness week.'
SVB, of course, was an American company, doing most of its business in America. Maybe not having a chief risk officer in America for nine months was the real problem.
SVB's former head of risk, Laura Izurieta, who formerly performed a similar role for Capital One, left the bank in April 2022. She wasn't replaced until January 2023 when the bank hired Kim Olson, formerly of Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui.
And let's not overlook the lobbying SVB did to persuade the federal government to exempt the bank from regulations that reduced risk.

At Breitbart, the lead story is a post by James Pinkerton:
Green, Woke, and Now Broke — How SVB Became the 2nd Biggest Bank Failure in U.S. History
Green? A company with massive investments in crypto? If you say so.

Pinkerton writes:
Oh so woke, oh so green, oh so diverse Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) just went bust.

... SVB officials will need to answer a lot of questions, including, What role did wokeness play in SVB’s failure?

Another term for wokeness, of course, is ESG, which stands for environmental, social, and governance. ESG is a pertinent question, as there’s a considerable body of economic literature showing that woke investments aren’t good investments....

Shorter version: ESG makes less, costs more, and is a fraud.

Of course, if ESG investing only soothed the conscience of gullible trust-funders, it might be okay. But now, as a big ESG bank goes belly up, we see the danger of systemic risk to the whole economy. That’s what happened when bank failures domino-ed back in 1929.
That's what your right-wing relatives believe: that ESG could lead to a second Great Depression, and that failed banks are "ESG banks," while successful banks avoid all that "woke" nonsense.

Well, here's the ESG page for JPMorgan Chase, which is the largest bank in America, with more than $3 trillion in assets. Here's JPMorgan Chase boasting a few years ago about earning a perfect score for LGBT equality for sixteen consecutive years. Here's a JPMorgan Chase page from 2022 about celebrating Pride Month. If you want more, here are ESG reports from the #2 bank, Bank of America ($2.41 trillion in assets), and here's BoA's LGBTQ equality page.

Fox News got a 93-year-old ex-CEO to weigh in:
Home Depot co-founder torches ‘woke’ Silicon Valley Bank collapse, warns recession may be here already

Banks are more concerned with 'global warming' than shareholder returns, Bernie Marcus argued

... "I feel bad for all of these people that lost all their money in this woke bank. You know, it was more distressing to hear that the bank officials sold off their stock before this happened. It's depressing to me. Who knows whether the Justice Department would go after them? They're a woke company, so I guess not. And they'll probably get away with it," [Marcus] said to host Neil Cavuto....

"I think that the system, that the administration has pushed many of these banks into [being] more concerned about global warming than they do about shareholder return. And these banks are badly run because everybody is focused on diversity and all of the woke issues and not concentrating on the one thing they should, which is, shareholder returns," Marcus continued.
Wait till we tell Bernie Marcus about the company he co-founded:

If SVB's collapse causes cascading problems in the economy, it's all going to blamed on "wokeness." And at least 45% of American voters will think that makes a lot of sense.


UPDATE: Look who's "woke" ...

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