Mar 18, 2023: Banking (ka)Boom - Asian Arab Peace - Nord Stream 2 Culprits - Ohio and Other Events

SiliconeValley BurnsDown HEADER

Posted: Mar 18, 2023   6:32:31 AM   |
by Pascal-Denis Lussier

A Few Matterings

US Senator Lindsay Graham. Did he find out that his days are numbered but feels that his life isn't complete until he's also been responsible for millions of deaths, maybe billions... like, soon? Or a pact with the devil, maybe? A weekend at the Deliverance Saunas with the Appalachian Banjo Banditos in exchange for a war?Graham wants a war!

Whatever his motivation is, "desperate" and "pathetic" seem to be a part of it. Hasn't his mommy told him that grown men don't beg? Or that true gentlemen can say "no" to a war?

That "no" means "no" still requires some work, though, hence why every news event that involves Russians — the Chinese also — is sure to present another opportunity to convince the House, maybe regular Americans, too, that Russians are the world's evil — the Chinese also — and they're badly in need of being bombed, by golly!

Why? Because they're evil seeing how they don't like to bend to the international rules-based order that God especially designed for the US, so, they're giving Mexico bad ideas; they've got those Taco-caine Esses thinking that the US bullies and disrespects the lot of drug traffickers that Mexico calls a population. They should all be bombed too, gee willikers! 

Case in point: A US military MQ-9 Reaper — perhaps armed — is peacefully flying halfway across the world, near America's shores along the Black Sea, the poor thing inadvertently being pushed further away from Lady Liberty and toward Crimea, naturally carried by the wind and the thermal shifts that suck in the cooler air from the US-adjacent Black Sea... and, boom! out of nowhere, a gang of flying Russian thugs piss fuel on a democratically-freely flying drone, who then gets roughed up, forcing its operator to commit dronal suicide.

Keep in mind: The US doesn't recognize Crimea as Russian soil and, despite there being a war it claims it isn't party to, the US is allowed to fly peaceful bird-watching airships over Ukraine. Per the rules-based order rules.

So, now, who here doesn't agree with Lindsey Graham that missiles ought to be fired at anything that's Russian and flying? 

No, of course not. When he said "jet", Graham didn't mean military jets, surely; he's not insane, willing to jump head first into a potential nuclear war. He must have meant a passenger jet filled with worthless, non-military Russians, certainly...

Never mind. My bad. He is insane; here's the actual quote from Graham: "The US should shoot down Russian fighter jets in response to Moscow shooting down a US drone."

Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, accused Graham of seeking to spark a nuclear war, saying "that a deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in neutral airspace would be an open declaration of war against the world's largest nuclear power."

Oh, boy! Now we're gonna be hearing about nuclear threats coming out of Russia for weeks on end, I bet.

What is surprising, despite some expressing the expected outrage and offense, is the mostly tempered reaction that came out of Washington and the Pentagon, calling the whole thing 'immature but a clear accident', according to the New York Times.

Be honest, that seems out of line somehow, doesn't it?

And why am I willing to bet more than I have that the drone was equipped with surveillance and recon equipment that far surpasses anything one is likely to find on any weather balloon? Shooting down four of them, real sane and controlled, right? (Three more that barely got any mention followed the initial drama.)

This isn't the last we hear of this incident, I'm certain. Or, if not this particular one, we'll be hearing about similar occurrences, these either increasing in number or in intensity over the next month, I fear.

On the plus side: Thank goodness that Graham is part of a dying breed.

Is it legal to strap these folks to a missile. You know, as a condition of war?

•     •     •

Just a derailment; nothing to worry about

Why didn't Biden go to East Palestine, Ohio, in the days following the derailment?
Because the train company said they were gonna blow up the damage back to an "almost like new" state, and get rid of the evidence while at it, so, what more could a President do, really?

Why didn't he go after the explosive clean-up failed?
Are you kidding? No one knew how big that mushroom cloud was gonna get. Why do you think Biden went to Ukraine? So he'd be safe if that thing got any fiercer.

And Pete Buttigieg?
God! You people are so needy. Trains or airlines? The man can't do it all! 

And, anyhow, Idaho is rea—oh! Right. I meant, Ohio. Ohio is really Republican country, and I'm guessing that Buttigieg doesn't speak redneck and that no translators were available? Is that why it took so long for him to get there? Or was there miscommunication and Buttigieg simply expecting Biden to take care of it since Biden, being Obama's "Workin' Man Joe," could reach all those who preferred white people in power — nothing against Blacks, it's just that none of them had proven themselves trustworthy yet, hence why none should be given the chance to do so — which means that Biden was habitually dispatched for these gigs.

The way he tells it: He'd arrive at the scene and, barely in town for five minutes, as if a sweet-tooth soothsayer, he'd know exactly which was the best ice cream stand in town; there, Biden would slap his White House Amex on the counter and tell the clerk to get everyone a one-scoop cone. He'd then stand outside and lick his cone, shielded behind mirrored aviator sunglasses and three bodyguards who'd hand out "Ice Cream for Dems" bumper stickers specially made for pick-up trucks. Three hours later, Biden and his bunch would be on their way back to Washington, and whatever crisis that had gotten them to God's back-country had been resolved, never to be mentioned again. Amen. Maybe.

Or, possibly, with a town named East Palestine, the Biden admins were afraid to be seen as Antisemites?

Quite frankly, I'm not sure there is a logical explanation behind the Biden administration's slow response and near-complete lack of involvement in Iowa, all of it at odds with so much else that could only be explained with "midterms" and "re-election" as end goals, only to lose whatever points they may have scored with those efforts through this major fail.

What's that?!  Did I say Iowa? Oh, I meant Idaho. Or Israel, perhaps? What were we talking about and why aren't we talking about Ukraine? The people there need money, weapons, and food; they need our help and reassurance like only the US can give. Let's go, America! Stop being so selfish. Let's all give all to Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, Trump, rarely missing a mega-payoff opportunity that's right there for the taking, dangling in front of his face, well, he opted to go to that non-Ukrainian place where the train thingy and toxic thingamajig non-Russian-linked event occurred...

And Buttigieg. Are many learning that this is the appointment where qualifications can't be faked and politiboobs can't coast through on their way to a top position in tech or weapons? What was he thinking, only showing up after Trump made a visit and someone on the Dem side seemed to finally clue in that, hey! this looks bad; maybe we should make a show of giving a shit? 

After all, didn't Biden make a big hubbub out of trains, aside from promising all sorts of transportation upgrades and infrastructure investments?

And, as usual, where's the Cackling Harris?

The handling of the Ohio derailment exemplifies this administration's seemingly aloof attitude toward anything affecting non-elites, the border being another such situation where just making a show, if only to give the impression that matters are being handled, appeared to be more painful than pulling off toenails with pliers.

Attorney General Dave Yost announced on Tuesday that "Ohio has filed a federal lawsuit against Norfolk Southern over last month’s toxic chemical derailment in East Palestine."

In my opinion, the Federal government owns the big bulk of responsibility. The whole regulatory field that's led to the situation isn't one party's fault, but the entire government's.

Silver lining: As America crumbles, everything that's happening in recent months is nothing but a constant stream of arguments against libertarian loonyness.

But, who cares, honestly?! How is Zeeskyy doing? That's what's important.  

•     •     •

Rumour is that Trump is thinking of moving away from the MAGA label and go for one that is sure to reach more people, it having a more direct relevance to voters: MABUA. Make America Before Ukraine Again.

•     •     •

In keeping with the liberal press' habit of clarifying all that has links with Putin and Russia, such as, e.g. Putin-ally Bob Badguy; Russian-backed separatists, etc., DMS&UY, seeing value in this practice, seeks to widen the effort, assuring that matters be as clear as they can possibly be for everyone, not just for non-Russians. 

Therefore, Ukraine should now be referred to as the Western-A-Hole-backed Ukraine, or as the psychopathically-supported Ukraine.

The European Union and other collective West leaders I've taken to calling the US' Bendable Buddies; feel free to use it. It's a small thing but it helps. 

NATO is Anglo-Saxon Atlanticist's Imperialist Machine

IMF is Satans' Injurious Monetary Fund

You get the gist; let's all be as clear as we can be. Curb fake news, and all that.

Nord Stream 2: The US Figured it Out!

Nord Stream 2 - Culprits Found, per US BS

New intelligence points to pro-Ukraine group in Nord Stream attack -NYT | Reuters

Bwahahaha hahahahaha hahaha hahahaha hahahaha hahahaha hahaha, hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha haha hahahaha hahahahaha.

Hahhaha hahahaha, hahaha hahahaha hahahaha ha hahaha haha, haha hahahaha haha!

Hahahaha hahahaha hahahaha hahaha, hahahaha haha hahahaha hahahaha.

Bwahahaha hahahaha hahahaha hahahahaha ha ha haha ha haha hahahaha haha hahahaha haha hahaha hahaha haha hahaha hahaha ha haha, hahaha hahahaha hahaha hahaha!

Hahahaha ha hahaha hahahahaha, hahahahaha hahaha hahahaha hahahahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha!

Too funny.

Those A-Holes. Each time they bring up things like "responsibility" and "accountability," always doing so while pointing the finger at some other government, telling others how they should behave and what's proper rules-based behaviour... Those A-Holes.

Peace Through Peace? who Knew?!

Other than a few bad apple pies, it seemed as if peace was everyone's priority for a brief period last summer, decisive events having unfurled like tumbling dominoes, bringing the world to a point of no return, leading us away from the US-led unipolar path we were on and the neoliberal hell it promised, having traveled past the bipolar world that had seen its own demise in 1991, and taking us into a once familiar multipolar realm of yesteryear, but without all of the period's trappings.

Despite the dangers, one thing mattered more: the globe wasn't gonna be ruled by US-A-Holes and their rules-based order.

Latin America sighed relief, and all of the global south bristled with excitement and possibility while the Middle East seized on the notion that Arabs were their own worst enemy that all were opting to vanquish, finally doing something about it, namely: branch out; forge ties; unite.

As simple as that. The will to do so and the strength to make it happen, that, however, is never simple.

Nonetheless, for the first time in my life I felt as if peace settling in that part of the world wasn't just something one said to convey an ideal too fantastic to attain but that all referenced as an ultimate aim possessed by all normal people, anyhow, much like saying "curing cancer." 

Looking back, it's embarrassing to see how I'd wrapped myself in a rainbow & unicorns naïveté that, for a moment, actually assumed that the US-A-Holes would suddenly turn reasonable and gracefully accept that their hegemony was fizzling out; they'd roll up their sleeves and give humanity a helping hand, not drop their pants and mark their territory.

At the time, the interviews I'd seen, notably ones with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had convinced me that the intent of those implicated in this redirection were genuine; regional leaders included in the Abraham Accords weren't just saying that they aimed to rectify the US' oversight and include those Arabs that had been omitted from the peace deal, namely, Iran, Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon, these being instantly excluded for reasons that establish that "power" took precedence over "peace" when the US were conceiving and implementing this plan.

Don't forget, last summer, which led to my addressing the topic, there was talk of tacking on a NATO component to the Abraham Accord, this providing all that was needed for the US to assert its complete dominance in the region.

Nonetheless, one has to give credit to Jared Kushner, Trump, and those involved in making the accords happen; this has provided the framework and momentum on which all further peace efforts depended, including the deal that Xi Jinping was able to put into place, bringing together Iran and Saudi Arabia, whose relationship has long been iffy but functional, until things had taken a turn toward the bitter-sour roughly seven years ago.  

I've always suspected that the limitations in regard to which nations in the region could be considered for the accords had been strictly imposed by hardliners directing the military end of things for the establishment, though I'm certain that, if this is the case, this received no pushback from Trump, Kushner, et al.

When, in line with the accords, Saudi Arabia opened up its airspace in that same summer of 2022, Biden made a trip to the region to celebrate the opening, and the Dems and their Bendable Buddies cheered him on, giving him resounding credit for bringing peace to the area and finally giving sense to Trump's [gasp] Abraham Accords, which many Americans could now name without feeling a deep sense of shame and perversion.  

The infamous fist-bump. That meeting between Biden and MBS. For me, this had been an extremely significant moment; it signified an end and a drastic change, providing an unambiguous sign that a new direction was inevitable. And this was a good thing.

The fist bump and Biden's hypocritical turn had nothing to do with it per se; it was the look of disgust on MBS' face. It went beyond the moment, filling his entire body and spilling out of him through gestures and expressions that betrayed an explosive temperament he did his all to keep under rein; he'd seen something in Biden and the Americans that had taken him into new state of awareness in terms of what is and what was now possible, none of it justifying the constant impositions and the continued violence that came with a so-called US friendship.

Like seeing what goes into a hot dog, and seeing all that being turned into one; you can't unsee it, nor ever eat another one. 

'That fist bump. That Biden... such a big weenie,' thought MBS.

Promises were made, hands were shaken (elbows were bumped); I believed it. Thus, I was disappointed but not surprised to hear that missiles and other military clashes were back in style within a month's time. But with the sudden desire to a be part of BRICS that had spread to the Middle East came — despite the constant conflicts — a change in attitudes, one that was initially seen through the relationship each had with the US, then, by the reaction each had to the US treatment of other nations in the region, and to the US' demands in general.

Yet, even with the small but important shifts witnessed, such as with Turkey and the Kurds, I can't say that I still had hope in seeing the energy that had manifested in the summer of 2022 materialize into anything resembling a veritable peace treaty. 

However. given the relatively short time frame and the scheduling requirements and negotiating space needed to arrive at, and set down, such an agreement, they pretty much went to work on this right away; they must have. What I wonder is whether they asked China to arbitrate this deal or whether China took it upon itself to make it happen?

This. It fills me with hope.

Any which way, keeping things under wraps until a formal announcement could be made: very wise, methinks.

•     •     •

The West wasn't too pleased by this news, but, as it's hard to spit on peace and not come across looking like an ogre, they, instead, raised their noses and voiced condescension-drenched incredulity along the lines of, "Well, good luck. They only have an agreement; they don't yet have actual peace. We'll see how they manage to pull off the rest." 

One aspect of all this that really stood out for me is the perspective adopted by the US and of the sphere it now wholly operates in, which is devoid of any and all diplomacy that wouldn't qualify as such if life were a game of "Grand Theft Auto."

Those US governmental authorities who were interviewed following the news of the China-brokered deal and who managed to offer some inwardly-aimed critique did admit that the US must accept a certain degree of responsibility for 'allowing this to happen, China now having a firm footing in the region.'

According to these, the US' failings are entirely tied to Washington's treatment of Saudi Arabia, especially since Biden took over; the US should have listened more to the Saudi's security concerns, and it shoudn't have hesitated to provide more weapons and more support to the Saudis, and to help it neutralise its regional foes, nor should the US have tried to impose restrictions and price caps; the US should have been more receptive to the Saudis' needs... especially since we've known for some time now just how underhanded the Chinese are, etc. 


Hence, why it's one of the best things for all — not just for those within the region — that the US be ousted from the region: How can the US ever be party to any efforts to bring about real peace when it can only see the world in terms of "self-interest" and those who oppose it, the dichotomy offered being falsely presented as good or bad, bendable or foe, Democracy or Dictatorship, credit or debit; one is with the US, or they are against it.

I believe this is called the "Dictating-Dickhead Doctrine"?

With that method, the US is, therefore, itself unable — more so than unwilling? — to resolve its own conflicts in the region or elsewhere in amicable and constructive ways (not to be confused with "reconstructive"), having been guided since WWII by a foreign policy wherein all relations are defined by domination or subjugation, and anything goes — and with unlimited sums — to make sure that the US' position can always be described by the former.

Iran remains a prime example of US dickheadery; I can't for the life of me see anything the US has done in relation to Iran being a peace-building effort in any way. 

One of the ways the US achieves control over a sphere of influence that's not even its own is by fragmenting an area into smaller, more manageable governments over which it is easier to impose limitations and apply control; equally important to this approach are tensions between neighbouring nations that the US create, introduce, or revive, imposing these to then maintain them through a self-justified military presence that the US generously offers as a protection against the rising threat that wasn't one until one had the right US weapons to see them as such. Sure, it comes at a cost, but the US is flexible, as it's always looking for resources or in need of parking space for its military hardware and soldiers.

Divisive and toxic. Leading to tribalism. Rings a bell?

The world in US' image? No, thank you.

The way the Middle East is presently reshaping itself, ditto Africa and South America... seems like many are now also saying, "No, thank you, USA!"

Nothing personal; people simply like to have more peace with their living, I bet.

Bucks You Can't Bank On

Is the US banking system going under? Are all those callous Wall Streeters finally forced to face the music, the synthetic world of value they spin disintegrating around them, and because of them?

And, yet, again, the Fed is simply going to hand over huge amounts, bail them out; save the rich?!

Jeesh! You'd think banks belonged to Ukraine or somethin'.

Unlike many, however, I don't see this "crash" as being anything comparable to the one in 2008, and I don't blame the banks for this one, albeit I do blame mismanagement for not averting the problem that had been thrown their way.

And now, the Biden administration is trying to establish itself as the good guys who protect depositors — over and above the standard $250,000 FDIC insured limit — but who, unlike previous administrations, is also tough on bad bankers?

Makes sense, no? Why should depositors pay for the foul decisions and actions of bank managers and owners, which includes stockholders, who should all know about the risks that come with investing, along with the sad fact that this, sometimes, takes the form of a loss, depending on one's social status, of course?   

Bit of a load of crock, that is, when such is said in relation to the types of depositors that are most assuredly customers of an entity like SVB.

The problem is: Business accounts notwithstanding, a great many depositors had over $250,000 in their account; these people knew the rules, and knew very well that those amounts over the limit weren't insured. People with that kind of cash in their bank account usually have a whole whack of assets, too, and aren't likely to wind up on the street given that, worst possible scenario, they're still $250,000 better-off than most people.

Keep in mind that SVB isn't an ordinary bank; it's more like a cash machine for venture capitalists (VCs), and, because of the nature of the tech market, the valuation process, and the path from concept to marketability, its core business does carry a high level of risk, but one that should be amply offset by the assured gains if carefully managed and caps are placed on the level of risk the bank grants itself at any one time. Stringent regulations are key, however, if all, from investors to owners to employees and simple account holders, and more, are to be protected.

That said, weak regulations, and the nature of the bank's business in combination with the momentous companies holding an account with SVB, this within an ecosystem that favours the rich, which the bank exploited, thanks to Washington, hence offering all sorts of preferrential loan and mortgage rates as well as other perks  to those willing to keep in their account an amount that exceeded the insurable limit. This was done in order to raise the bank's liquidity and boost their risk capabilities within the longer cycles to profitability that define the tech world.

There's nothing real shady there, and none of it is illegal. Nor is any of that what caused SVB's problem, or that of the three other banks that went bust in the last two weeks.

It appears that the Biden Bunch is also behind this disaster; the measures they've taken to curb the inflation they've played a big role in creating — by raising interest rates — has managed to turn many assets, especially treasury bonds, into toxic holdings.

Inflation is transitory, but a transition's duration may be more important than simply counting on something being transitory.

Math being math and money being money, that things turn negative very quickly should figure in one's calculations.

The current economic situation and the applied fix resulting in raised interest rates in turn converted the purchase value of many assets into one that was higher than the possible resale value. This, in turn, forced unrealized losses of $300 billion for 2022 across the financial landscape.

Here's where SVB management proved to be thoroughly incompetent: When those losses hit the books, they failed to properly communicate what this represented, their losses on that front being recoverable if patient.

However, spending and payroll being reduced for many during the pandemic, thus finding themselves with excess cash, the bank's management thought it wise to invest all that money in highly-secure bonds, and decided to maximize their possible return by opting for long-term ones.

Suddenly finding themselves in the negative due to the loss those assets now represented, and not being able to roll the necessary cash required to maintain client operations — payrolls being major ones — SVB found itself stuck with nothing but toxic assets it had to sell, and sell for much less than it had bought them for.

The SVB clients belonging to a relatively niche, insular world,  it didn't take long for stocks to dip down and for the word to spread and for account holders to make an ol' fashioned bank run.

It didn't take long to spark a reaction out of Washington, either. Measures were announced on Sunday night; joint support was offered by the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. In response, the FDIC said it will "resolve SVB in a way that fully protects all depositors.” Similarly, “all depositors” at Signature will be made whole.

Signature Bank, a New York-based bank specializing in cryptocurrencies, is the second of such banks to go under. San Diego-based Silvergate Bank, considered a central lender to the crypto industry, announced on 8-Mar-2023, "that it’s winding down operations and liquidating its bank."

The nature of the crypto world and the sums often dealt with impose certain financial demands that make this type of banking still vulnerable to marked changes and shifts in consumer attitudes. However, with First Republic Bank finding itself equally in need of a lifeline on Sunday, one gets the sense that the "rot" is spreading across all regional banks; which will be next, if any?

Incidentally: Crédit Suisse also went under, believe it, or not.

I agree that Biden did the right thing if simply to curb the panic that was sure to spread, the effect this would have had across the entire economy no doubt being far more detrimental than any bail out, which is what this is turning out to be, no matter how one dresses it up. 

Whether these two non-crypto banks failed for purely management-related reasons that are bound and limited to these entities and to decisions that impacted these only is moot, in my opinion, given the current global atmosphere, one that lends credence to a broad range of conspiracy theories that are sure to spark many bank runs with the wrong phrase or nudge, throwing the whole US in a panicked chaos regardless of what the eventually-provable reality will be established as. And with people having lots of guns, too. 

What's upsetting: Rich people getting richer by being rewarded for disregarding the insurable limits, then being rewarded for having disregard those limits. 

Unlike many, I don't think this is part of a plan to enforce Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), albeit the fact that that is coming, I bet.

In my opinion, what makes this impending crash all the more frightening, potentially leading the world toward a situation far worse than 2008's, is the fact that the cause is the result of the system's inbuilt stasis functions, making this a systemic crisis, meaning: it's the system that's affected, not a bank or product. 

If such is the case, we can expect that the issue will spread to other banks and certain types of institutions, as well as certain business categories. Regional banks are sure to go first, these being within the bank category that individuals should most be preoccupied with saving, should saving a bank strike anyone as a sane thing to do? It may actually be so, this time, though burning down the entire banking world may not be such a bad thing should one be seeking pure bliss and doesn't mind the highly-limited freedom that's sure to follow such an act. 

The too-big-to-fail banking behemoths, now known as Systematically Important Banks (SIBs)?

Some of these are sure to betray in the next few months that, hey, they weren't too big after all!

The following regional banks are those most at risk, and those that are most likely to go under. First Republic Bank already received aid over the weekend, saving it from its demise on Monday, which many experts feared would have been inevitable without said aid. 

First Republic Bank

  • Uninsured deposits: $119.5 billion
  • Uninsured deposits as % of total deposits: 68%
  • Unrealized losses on available-for-sale (AFS) investment securities as of Dec. 31: $471 million

Comerica Bank 

  • Uninsured deposits: $45.5 billion
  • Uninsured deposits as % of total deposits: 62%
  • Unrealized losses on available-for-sale (AFS) investment securities as of Dec. 31: $3.03 billion

Western Alliance Bank  

  • Uninsured deposits: $31.1 billion
  • Uninsured deposits as % of total deposits: 58%
  • Unrealized losses on available-for-sale (AFS) investment securities as of Dec. 31: $674.9 million

Zions Bank 

  • Uninsured deposits: $37.6 billion
  • Uninsured deposits as % of total deposits: 53%
  • Unrealized losses on available-for-sale (AFS) investment securities as of Dec. 31: $1.63 billion

Synovus Bank

  • Uninsured deposits: $25.1 billion
  • Uninsured deposits as % of total deposits: 51%
  • Unrealized losses on available-for-sale (AFS) investment securities as of Dec. 31: $1.6 billion

Source: Top 5 US regional banks with the most uninsured deposits |


The Streets Soundtrack

The day's improvised track


That French Movie About Foreign Spies

Solo electric guitar and effects; looper.



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