Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 12, 2023

The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2023-59

Last week's post on Moon of Alabama:

> The US’ humiliating exclusion from the centre stage of West Asian politics constitutes a “Suez moment” for the superpower, comparable to the crisis experienced by the UK in 1956, which obliged the British to sense that their imperial project had reached a dead end and the old way of doing things—whipping weaker nations into line as ostensible obligations of global leadership —was no longer going to work and would only lead to disastrous reckoning. <

Other issues:

Silicon Valley Bank:


Twitter Files:

Use as open (not Ukraine related) thread ...

Posted by b on March 12, 2023 at 13:56 UTC | Permalink

next page »


China steps up, a new era has dawned in world politics - Indian Punchline

> The US’ humiliating exclusion from the centre stage of West Asian politics constitutes a “Suez moment” for the superpower, comparable to the crisis experienced by the UK in 1956, which obliged the British to sense that their imperial project had reached a dead end and the old way of doing things—whipping weaker nations into line as ostensible obligations of global leadership —was no longer going to work and would only lead to disastrous reckoning. <

Thank you b.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 12 2023 14:21 utc | 1

In review it certainly feels like one of those weeks when decades happened.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 14:36 utc | 2

Ructions in the “Promised land”; from Sputnik:

‘Delusional’: Israeli Leaders Hit Out at Each Other After Iran, Saudi Arabia Normalize Ties

Top Israeli officials continued to trade blame following a Chinese-negotiated deal that has led to the restoration of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran and a reduction in tensions in the Middle East.

After former Prime Ministers Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett claimed sitting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was responsible for allowing Tehran and Riyadh to normalize their bilateral ties, an anonymous senior Israeli political official struck back on Friday, accusing the pair of laying the groundwork for the deal during their tenures.

"The contacts between [Iran and Saudi Arabia] started a year ago, during the term of the previous government, because there was a feeling of Israeli and American weakness," the official reportedly stated, adding: "Weakness brings rapprochement with Iran, while strength pushes rapprochement away."

Lapid's office rejected that characterization as "delusional," and pointed out that "during the period of our government, an aviation agreement was signed with Saudi Arabia and the tripartite security agreement with Saudi Arabia and Egypt."

Lapid claimed that it’s actually Netanyahu who is responsible for an apparent deterioration in relations with the United States.

"All of this came to a halt when the most extreme government in Israel’s history was established here, and it became clear to the Saudis that Netanyahu was weak and the Americans stopped listening to him."

Lapid had previously lambasted the Iranian-Saudi detente as "a complete and dangerous failure of the Israeli government's foreign policy." and claimed that the development was linked to a controversial push to overhaul the judicial system that’s led to massive street protests.

"This is what happens when you deal all day long with legal madness instead of doing what needs to be done vis-à-vis Iran and instead of strengthening relations with the United States."

Virtually every Middle Eastern nation may have welcomed the deal, but former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett seemed to concur with Lapid’s assessment.

"The renewal of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a serious and dangerous development for Israel, a political victory for Iran and a fatal blow to the effort to build a regional coalition against Iran," he insisted.

"It is a resounding failure of the Netanyahu government, stemming from a combination of diplomatic neglect with general weakness and internal conflict in the country," Bennett claimed, adding, "the countries of the world and the region watch Israel and see a country in conflict, with a dysfunctional government. And so these countries choose a side."

I look forward to seeing a headline along the lines of ‘Russia & Iran Sign Co-Operation Agreement On Hypersonic Development’...

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 14:45 utc | 3

On the censorship story.

Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands), the ranking member of the House Judiciary subcommittee, attacked them as “so-called journalists” and said they were “a direct threat” to the safety of others by reporting the censorship story.

Taibbi pushed back, saying that “I’m not a ‘so-called journalist'” and giving a brief description of his award-winning career at Rolling Stone magazine and other publications.

Said the so-called delegate.

Remember the "so-called judge" story?

It was such an outrage by the dems back then.

Posted by: Vikichka | Mar 12 2023 14:45 utc | 4

This nordstream story just keeps getting weirder. Andromeda, a Bavaria 50? Packed up with two tons of C4 and equipment to get it down to 80 meters and neatly attach it to four pipes?

This is a riddle wrapped in sail inside a Bavaria, but perhaps there is a key. That key is US national interest.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Mar 12 2023 15:07 utc | 5

Bavarias are ugly, btw. Terrorists need better taste.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Mar 12 2023 15:08 utc | 6

Interesting expression in the Indian Punchline: Suez moment for the US. The Times of London used it today in one of its articles: this is a "Suez moment" ... but for Russia! Is that why the UK is so obsessed with Russia: The UK had its Suez moment, now it is Russia's turn?

Posted by: Jonathan W | Mar 12 2023 15:17 utc | 7

Mexico is applying to join the BRICS.
Military assistance would be the best way to fight cartels.
An orchestra in Mexico.
I think a lot of Americans would like that.

Posted by: la bouteille | Mar 12 2023 15:21 utc | 9

The ongoing creeping defection of Saudi Barbaria to the SinoRussian Alliance is more important than what's going on in Ukranazistan.

If Bidet is really, really stupid, he'll try to have Muhammad bin Salman al Saud al Bonesawi couped. That should complete the process.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Mar 12 2023 15:31 utc | 10

Posted by: Jonathan W | Mar 12 2023 15:19 utc | 8

Your link appears to be blocked by a paywall. If you are trying to drum up subscribers for The Times you might find you have stumbled into barren terrain.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 15:38 utc | 11

Two highly interesting new articles on covid by professor of infectology Pietro Vernazza published on (in German):

Can we smell the danger of infection?

An experiment in mice appears to suggest that there are direct nerve links between Prostaglandin PGE2 detectors in the nostrils and the brain, which appear to induce reflex behaviours that tend to reduce the risk of infecting others.

Fear: were you guilty of the irrational measures

An interesting interview of Prof. Vernazza on responses to the covid infection, what was effective and what was not.

Posted by: BM | Mar 12 2023 15:40 utc | 12

Fannie Mae killed Silicon Valley Bank!

SVB did not collapse because of credit default risks, but because of interest rate risks. SVB had invested over half of their assets in government guaranteed securities.

The Fly of iCoinBank notes that SVB had lost $2 billion last year because of the rise in interest rates and the loss in value of their $26 billion holdings in T-Bonds and other Available-for-Sale securities. But there is a far bigger black hole in the $91 billion portfolio of Held-to-Maturity securities. These securities had a fair value of only $76 billion, resulting in Unrealized Losses of $15 billion.

Available-for-Sale securities must be reported at fair value, but Held-to-Maturity securities are counted at nominal value. If you take into account the $15 billion of unrealized losses the bank had lost all of its equity.

See the table on page 125 of the Annual Report filed with the SEC on February 24, 2023.

Interest rates have risen even more this year, so SVB most likely had more unrealized losses. The problem is not unique to SVB, all US banks have similar hidden losses in their books. The root cause of the problem is the helicopter money distributed by the FEB. With no need for loans banks had to park the money somewhere. The obvious choice was government guaranteed securities. But someone had to carry the interest rate risk. Marc Rubinstein explains:

The Demise of Silicon Valley Bank

During the pandemic, banks took in record volumes of new deposits. Between the end of 2019 and the first quarter of 2022, deposits at US banks rose by $5.40 trillion. With loan demand weak, only around 15% of that volume was channelled towards loans; the rest was invested in securities portfolios or kept as cash. Securities portfolios ballooned to $6.26 trillion...''

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 12 2023 16:01 utc | 13

Optimistic mood today.

Regarding the Saudis deal with Iran, I notice a not inconsiderable effect will be...
Smaller less powerfull countrys will have much more bargaining power between the two major blocks politically.

My dream would be for the swing to happen so fast and so wide spread, it would be unstoppable.

Bring it on i say. But maybe in a year that chance could be missed.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 16:08 utc | 14

3 cheers for Caitlin!
3 cheers for b's Twitter sketch comedy about Oz spending $400 Billion to protect Oz's trade routes with China, from China, for the Evil Stupid Yankee psychopaths.

What's REALLY stupid about all this submarine malarky is that if AmeriKKKa believes its own bullshit about wanting a war with Russia + China, and that daydream comes true, then AmeriKKKa will be glowing in the dark before construction of the subs has STARTED.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 12 2023 16:18 utc | 15

And ...Hey Preston !!!!
We have a multi-polar Geo-political world be for tea time.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 16:20 utc | 16

Hey Presto not Preston..dammed predictive text
My above @ 16

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 16:24 utc | 17

thanks b - for helping me keep up!

i am particularly fascinated about the svb collapse... thanks @ Petri Krohn | Mar 12 2023 16:01 utc | 13 adam tooze articulated all that in an article yesterday... wonder when the next shoe drops??

they can keep manufacturing bullshit on nordstream, but i think the svb is not going away either... wonder what kind of bullshit they can manufacture on that.... the guy at the head of svb - greg baker was on the san francisco federal reserve board! he was forced to step down on friday.. you can't make this shit up... they were...

Posted by: james | Mar 12 2023 16:29 utc | 18

from the saturday night thoughts link

"What Dan does not mention is §401 of the 2018 Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act:

§165 of the Financial Stabiity Act of 2010… is amended… in the matter preceding paragragph (A), by striking “$50,000,000,000” and inserting “$250,000,000,000”…

supported by 50 Republican and 17 Democratic Senators (and by 225 Republican and 33 Democratic House members), and signed into law by President Trump.

If not for this action of “regulatory relief”, SVB would have been subject to the original Dodd-Frank NSFR, and would have been unable to have taken on the asset portfolio it took on, and so it would not have crashed—at least, not the way it did, and not now."

Posted by: james | Mar 12 2023 16:33 utc | 19


Likely beaucoup rushed meetings and agreements all weekend by the financial powerhouses trying to prevent 1) wholesale bank runs by retail and 2) foreigners taking their money out

Everything needs to be tied up by late Sunday night such that financial press has positive story line out early Monday am.

BTW the funniest little video from 2009 ; Quantative Easing Explained

Posted by: Exile | Mar 12 2023 16:37 utc | 20

The market futures are currently showing no change. Unless it's been rigged.

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 16:45 utc | 21

The market futures are currently showing no change.
Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 16:45 utc | 21


Wait for the dark pools to exhaust their liquidity.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 12 2023 16:54 utc | 22

Sudan would like to return direct flights to Russia, the republic's ambassador to Moscow told RIA Novosti.

“During the Soviet era, we had direct flights, while Aeroflot flew to Sudan and used the country’s airport as a hub to visit other countries. I hope that the issue of direct flights between the Russian Federation and Sudan will be reviewed and will be open direct flights."


Direct flights will open soon between Minsk and Tehran

“Very soon, direct flights will be established between the capitals of our countries,” said Belarusian Ambassador to the Islamic Republic Dmitry Koltsov on the eve of the visit of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to Iran.

The Belarusian airline "Belavia" operated flights on the route Minsk - Tehran - Minsk from August 2010 to the end of October 2017.

Lukashenko will pay an official visit to Iran on March 12-13.


Iran Launches Production of New Combined Trainer Aircraft/Close Air Support Jet in Tehran - Sputnik International, Mar11'23

Iran lost access to spare parts and maintenance for its fleets of US and French-built aircraft after the 1979 Revolution, and was slapped with a Security Council arms embargo from 2007-2020. While the restrictions were meant to weaken Tehran’s defense capabilities, they instead led to the creation of an advanced domestic defense-industrial complex...

“Among our main concern is training fighter pilots, because the process is of paramount significance and requires training aircraft in different classes,” Ashtiani said during the ceremony, addressing reporters and engineers responsible for the Yasin’s development and construction.
“The homegrown characteristics of the training jet make it suitable for close air support,” the commander said...

“Previously, our fighter pilots used to be trained abroad. The first area affected by the sanctions against our country was this field, which created difficulties for us in terms of training,” Brig. Gen. Hamid Vahedi, the commander of Iran’s Air Force, said at the event. “Utilization of the new aircraft will make training duration shorter and more complete,” he said.

Ashtiani said that most of the equipment in the aircraft has been localized, thereby reducing Iran’s dependence on forces or factors beyond its ability to control...

Iran has not let the decades that it has spent under crushing Western and international sanctions go to waste, creating one of the largest and most comprehensive defense industrial complexes in the Middle East, and producing everything from advanced missile systems and long-range radars, to a homegrown defense electronics sector.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 12 2023 16:59 utc | 23

@22 The dark pools have lots to think bout. It will be an interesting open tomorrow for sure.

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 17:01 utc | 24

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 16:45 utc | 21

Wait for the financial markets in Asia to open in a few hours time.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 17:01 utc | 25

the rich always get bailed out... look at 2008... perfect example... ponzi scheme works, until it doesn't... those in power will do everything to keep it going... screw the small people... that is the attitude..

Posted by: james | Mar 12 2023 17:05 utc | 26

Hmmm... A couple of posts from me seem to have been swallowed by TypePad gremlins. Even mentioning Hero Zedge causes irrecoverable hiccups..

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 17:06 utc | 27

from the wapo article..

“We must make sure all deposits exceeding the FDIC $250K limit are honored. Banking is about confidence,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said on Twitter. “If depositors lose confidence on the safety of their deposits over 250k then we are in trouble.”

lol.. have confidence in the ponzi scheme, lolol... without that, the ponzi scheme can't continue!!

Posted by: james | Mar 12 2023 17:11 utc | 28

So come on guys spill the beans here !
For us poor folk with no investments.
I'm already picking up on your vibes.
What's about to happen you fear ?
And is it a 'good thing' or bad.
Are we looking at another...
Black Rock fail and fall like a 'house of cards' or a 'domino effect' ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 17:12 utc | 29

james @26 SVB shareholders are not small people. Only deposits up to $250,000 are covered by FDIC

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 17:14 utc | 30

Let’s try this, from ‘a fringe blog’:

"Never Seen In Over 40 Years" - SVB Collapse Sparks Bank Runs As People Wait In Lines

Friday morning's seizure of Silicon Valley Bank by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) underscores the banking sector's vulnerability, exposing the Federal Reserve's lack of foresight in combating inflation through aggressive interest rate hikes that have caused regional banks to crumble. As venture capitalists and others with inside knowledge panicked and withdrew a staggering $42 billion in deposits before SVB's collapse, an old-fashioned bank run reminiscent of the one in the classic 1946 film "It's a Wonderful Life" has ensued, involving ordinary people.


The velocity at which elite investors and depositors removed $42 billion from SVB on Thursday is truly impressive, causing the most significant US bank failure since the financial crisis just one day later. Unfortunately, small banking clients had insufficient time to withdraw their funds, leaving their unsecured deposits likely lost, and the FDIC only provides protection for deposits of up to $250,000.


On Saturday, just like the bank run scene from It's a Wonderful Life, images and videos surfaced on social media of people lined up outside SVB branches and other SVB-exposed banks, trying to panic-withdraw as much money as they could.


Shades of 1930’s. This is my bank in Wellesley this morning. Boston Private Bank, recently acquired by Silicon Valley Bank. Ruh, roh.
I’ve never seen a bank run in Brentwood Los Angeles in over 40 years — this is at first republic bank branch. People standing in rain
On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said banking regulators are working to resolve failed SVB with a focus on depositors but didn't elaborate on details.

Yellen told CBS's "Face the Nation" that despite SVB's collapse, the US banking system remains safe, well-capitalized, and resilient. She said officials are "working to address this situation in a timely way."

“the US banking system remains safe, well-capitalized, and resilient.” which will wear as well as “sub-prime is contained” and “inflation is transitory” did.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 17:16 utc | 31

@ dh | Mar 12 2023 17:14 utc | 30

yes, i know that.. that is my point... they will have to be bailed, because they are big - just like in 2008.... meanwhile forget about addressing more pressing concerns on society in general... save the billionaires, lol... it could be the new slogan...

Posted by: james | Mar 12 2023 17:16 utc | 32

not to worry dh and andy - from the gaurdian today -

The UK Government announced that they were working on a lifeline for British tech firms that were affected by the collapse of the Bank and their branch in the United Kingdom as a part of the fallout from the parent bank.

Posted by: james | Mar 12 2023 17:18 utc | 33

@32 Looks to me like SVB shareholders lose their investment. Or most of it. They can probably afford it.

The big question now is contagion. Will there be a major bank run? How will it affect the general population?

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 17:21 utc | 34

Do not believe this has been posted prior ...

Arnaud Bertrand - Twitter - Charts at link.

What a chart in the FT: China is now as big as the US and the EU **COMBINED** (!) in terms of manufacturing value added (a measure of the net-output of all manufacturing activity in a country).

Just 15 years ago it was smaller than either one of these 2. Crazy fast change! &

And the craziest part is that its share of world manufacturing increases like this despite shrinking as a share of China's GDP 🔽.

In other words, other constituents of China's GDP (like services) grow even faster than manufacturing. &

And the proportional growth isn't finished, as the EU's share is bound to decrease *a lot* 🔽, which will increase other countries' proportionally (and probably China's disproportionally, since it is the best positioned to capture more manufacturing).

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 12 2023 17:24 utc | 35

Posted by: james | Mar 12 2023 17:18 utc | 33

Thanks for that, james. I feel much more reassured now that I know people from the government are “here to help”...

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 17:26 utc | 36

@ dh | Mar 12 2023 17:21 utc | 34

we'll see... i suspect the big folks will get bailed and they will make sure no contagion, although they whole system is a deck of cards..

@ West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 17:26 utc | 36

lol... yes - very reassuring, isn't it?

Posted by: james | Mar 12 2023 17:30 utc | 37

@36 Some of the 'big folks include mutual funds which lots of people (not MOA readers) depend on. Not really a question of big or small. Anybody with a bank account should be worried.

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 17:40 utc | 38

I predict one or more bank holidays this next week

Empire has fear ramped up to the max but they expect the public to not react to bank failures without fear and bank runs......good luck with that.

Do the lines to the banks start tonight?
I wouldn't be surprised.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 12 2023 17:46 utc | 39

@ psychohistorian | Mar 12 2023 17:46 utc | 39 who loves double negatives....sigh

There will be bank runs

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 12 2023 17:48 utc | 40

Anybody with a bank account should be worried.

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 17:40 utc | 38

Anyone with a bank account should always be worried! This is a healthy mindset, remember it is your money you have loaned to them (often under coercion).

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 17:49 utc | 41

What do you think would be the response if you ask the Taliban, Al Qaeda, or ISIS if their cruel and violent actions are morally and ethically justified? They would say that it is moral for them to be vicious and cruel because they believe human society to be in an emergency situation and they alone will save us. To them, the world is full of evil people who are offenders towards God and his desires. Therefore, anything and everything, no matter how harmful to others, is justified in their quest to take over. Because they will enforce God’s desires aka utopia, on the world. Their ends justify their means. Their ends are to gain power over everyone, their means are violence.

Just like them, the mainstream left have turned into proponents of political jihadism. Their ends also justify their means. Lying, deception, destruction, cruelty, viciousness—all of it is necessary because of an emergency. Their cherished ideals are not fully embraced by everyone, but they need to be because they are the enlightened ones — therefore they have a calling to toss aside any and all goodness and fairness if needed as the means to totally destroy all opposition. And just like the religious jihadists — their ends are to gain power over everyone, their means are violence. From Never Go Full Democrat

Posted by: kana | Mar 12 2023 17:50 utc | 42

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 17:40 utc | 38

Yes. Not many people realize how risky their mutual funds and even money market funds are. Money market funds are routinely dug into for risky endeavors.

Not only is there de-dollarization but the buck can also be broken.

Posted by: financial matters | Mar 12 2023 17:52 utc | 43

Futures are not open yet

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Mar 12 2023 17:58 utc | 44

@44 You're right. That CNBC link I posted was from last Friday. Sorry about that.

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 18:01 utc | 45

There will be bank runs

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 12 2023 17:48 utc | 40

Indeed, and this is a brush fire that can end up being much more damaging to the Empire than a Kinzhal missile. They have no idea where the cinders and embers might land, setting off more financial conflagrations.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 18:01 utc | 46

The breach of the Capitol on January 6 was timed to prevent a floor vote on 2 proposals to stop the certification and to investigate the claims of fraud. It was a coup. Known to Pelosi, McConnell, and Pence in advance. Pelosi even had her daughter there to film the coup. An exceptionally important story.

Posted by: Belle | Mar 12 2023 18:11 utc | 47

What SVB proves is USG securities are NOT a safe haven but have risk like all other investments. As I explained to my wife last night, Fed policy is based on false data and a very incorrect premise about the cause of the current bout of inflation. In fact, all Federal policy--domestic and especially international--is based on lies and falsehoods, some many decades old. IMO, the unwinding has commenced in the dollar zone. Cash is now King, and that includes most other RoW currencies.

Outraged #25--

Thanks for that!! What's detailed is what occurred when China decided to expand its domestic economy while not backing off its exports and reaping BRI's early returns. The contrast between rising and falling economic blocs couldn't be more stark and illustrates the utter insanity of the failing bloc's policy to disconnect from China.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 12 2023 18:25 utc | 48

@ karlof1 | Mar 12 2023 18:25 utc | 48

Isn't great! On a bit of a natural high today, post Iran-KSA rapprochement, Mexico applying to join BRICS+, discovering positive news here, there, everywhere. :)



Protestors take to the street to demand strict Swiss neutrality - swissinfo

An estimated 3000 demonstrators in the Swiss capital Bern have come out against the exports of Swiss war materiel to Kiev and economic sanctions against Russia...


Half a million Israelis join latest protest against Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul

Half a million Israelis took to the streets in the tenth consecutive week of protests against plans by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to overhaul the country’s judicial system, organizers claimed.

Israel has a population of just over 9 million, so if organizers’ estimates are correct, about 5% of Israelis came out to voice their opposition to the proposed reforms.

Nearly half of the protesters – about 240,000 – gathered in Tel Aviv ...

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 12 2023 18:50 utc | 49

War of the Worlds Podcast with George Eliason & John Helmer

Nordstream's 'Ukrainian hand', Kinzhal attacks, Georgia

Posted by: John Gilberts | Mar 12 2023 18:55 utc | 50

Thanks west of England Andy @ 31
Wow that sounds mega big.

The 6pm news in Britain was clearly designed to bolster up false confidence. Basicaly the govenment plans to dish out free money here there and every where. Strangely and remarkably out of charactor for torys.
Buying time.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 18:56 utc | 51

ZH has a posting up about the SVB latest and below is a quote

As fears deepened of a broader fallout across the U.S. regional banking sector and beyond, Yellen said she was working to protect depositors but ruled out a bailout.

"We want to make sure that the troubles that exist at one bank don't create contagion to others that are sound," Yellen told the CBS News Sunday Morning show. "During the financial crisis, there were investors and owners of systemic large banks that were bailed out ... and the reforms that have been put in place means we are not going to do that again," Yellen added.

Meanwhile, more than 3,500 CEOs and founders representing some 220,000 workers signed a petition started by Y Combinator appealing directly to Yellen and others to backstop depositors, warning that more than 100,000 jobs could be at risk.

Yellen is lying through her teeth about the value of the reforms to the private banking system.
The FDIC is trying to sell the bank with bids being opened today, Sunday....there is a certain crackle to the air today as we have leapt into the future by an hour here in the states...grin
What are odds on tomorrow being a bank holiday in the US?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 12 2023 18:58 utc | 52

Good ole' bloody Aussie Update from the bush, maaate.

I suspect fair dinkum Aussie legends here at the bar will agree with me when I say that Albo is piping us into the dustbin of history. This week's unprecedented SMH/Age screed, full of spittle and hate on behalf of the US MIC, is a new low in Australia's media history, which is already full of lows like Murdoch himself. The so-called 'educated classes' who don't read the Murdoch press here (The Australian (elitist rag) or The Telegraph (dog-whistle tabloid)) read the SMH (Sydney) or The Age (Melbourne) or the Financial Review. Of course, these morons are only 'educated' on paper because any learning they did was long ago left behind during the weekend at university. But this doesn't stop them from feeling smug because they read 'progressive' newspapers—"I even read the Guardian too to get a left perspective". At this point I fall off my perch choking with laughter.

But the 'Herald' (=SMH) really went to town this last week whipping up anti-China sentiment (easy to do in racist Oz), banging the drum for

-doubling defence spending to 4% gdp,
-hosting US nuclear weapons on Oz soil,
-reintroduction of national service,
-abandoning sovereing capability' to rely on US arms supplies.

All of this was accompanied by alarmist agitprop images of planes flying out of China to poke us in the bum. Great.

God bless former PM Paul Keating who slammed it as despicable, claiming that lining up 5 'experts' (shills from 'Strategic Policy Institutes' [wink-wink]) who unanimously call for billions in Oz taxpayers money to be given to US arms manufacturers, is NOT journalism.

Meanwhile our beloved PM, Anthony Albanese (or 'Albendzeknee' as I'm calling him on Twitter), is going to the imperial court to sign a deal which will see Australia footing the bill for new US sub bases here. Domestically he placates the progressives with sops to diversity and indigenous inclusion, while the middle class, health care, public schooling etc, are hollowed out by corruption, inflation and rate hikes. "But can't you see the Yellow Horde is upon us? They want to make Mandarin compulsory for 4 year olds in Tasmania! Force us to use chopsticks when we tuck into the beef and blackbean! Noooo!"

Australia is a timid teenage settler oligarchy that doesn't deserve the once in a million chance it currently has to be a serious nation, nay, regional power. Instead it goes to San Diego to kowtow (aha!) to Mummy Sunak and Papa Biden. Excuse my French, but fuck me if it's not an embarrassment to be an Aussie at the moment.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 12 2023 19:03 utc | 53

For the Wag The Dog types like me I find it coinkidental that just when empire has been put in check by the China/Russia axis geopolitically, empire triggers a mega banking event that has all, including me, enthralled as we watch every drip, drip, drip of the happening.

What comes next? Other than the more drips part?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 12 2023 19:04 utc | 54

"Though not well known to the broader US public, SVB is one of the oldest and largest banks active in the high-tech industry. It is considered one of the most prominent financiers of Israeli and US start-ups and has dozens of employees in Israel, meaning the bank’s failure could have major ramifications for Israel’s high-tech industry.

According to estimates, SVB finances over 100 Israeli startups."

Posted by: arata | Mar 12 2023 19:12 utc | 55

Posted by: arata | Mar 12 2023 19:12 utc | 56

The day Israel lacks a funding source for anything will be the day I know the world has truly changed.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 12 2023 19:15 utc | 56

With what appears to be a monumental movement of events, and if the prognostications on the imminent collapse of the USD$$ upon us, what do fellow barflies today see and/or wish for the fate of the USA. I'm not just talking about dismantling the financial/military empire represented by the ruling elite here. I'm asking more what do people see as the the future role of the USA going forward: an equal member of the multipolar order (is such order stable even...but that's another question)? complete disruption and dismemberment of the country? is there a place for democracies going forward or is the model represented by China's governance the way going forward?

While I personally am happy to see the lying cheating ruling elite running this place be put down and finally restrained -- and perhaps a new horizon where governance is fair and is answerable to the people (today's USA -- as most will agree here -- is woefully far a foot from that path) -- do people really foresee a benevolant world governance being successfully implemented and led by China? Don't people think the fallibility of human hubris and overreach will eventually corrupt their system as well?

I'm not trying to be a troll here. I sincerely want to understand this. I guess we won't really know until the reset is made. But I will say that it could turn out REAL bloody here in the USA when gas prices break 10 USD a gallon and scarcities start to rapidly creep in across ever sector of the economy.

BTW -- I used to go by Norogene, but have decided times have changed and now I pay homage to Ozzy, who was right and continues to be right all along.

Posted by: CrazyTrain | Mar 12 2023 19:19 utc | 57

Strangely and remarkably out of charactor for torys

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 18:56 utc | 51

Sort of, my cynical side reckons that the Tories have resigned themselves to losing the next election, so they are ‘poisoning the well’, so to speak, for any incoming administration by loading up the nation’s debt burden, lavishing debt-fuelled largesse on anyone who has a measurable pulse.

If, by some weird quirk, they manage to obtain a working majority, then the cry will be “Look how much debt we are in! We must slash pensions, slash social security, privatise the NHS, close rail lines etc, etc”.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 19:22 utc | 58

Some questions about the US.

1. Yellen just said there wount be a bail-out for SVB. Do the experts read it as "because there will be a bail-in." Which are the consequences of the bankruptcy?
2. I am tracking US-polls quite closely. It seems Biden is up and now more popular than ever (Rasmussen, a conservative pollster had him on 50% on friday). Does anybody have an explanation for it?
3. The "peacefull divorce" discussion has now some support by officials on both sides of the uniparty. Is it to be taken serious?
4. It seems that the empire is going berserk at the moment. Regime change operations are prepared in a haste everywhere. From Hungary to India to Georgia... its a sign of desperation.
5. Do we watch the beginning of the endgame?

Posted by: Orgel | Mar 12 2023 19:30 utc | 59

Forbes notes that the US depends on China as the only source for a half-dozen chemical ingredients used in its military explosives and propellants, and other countries of concern for another dozen, bringing the security of US energetics logistics chains into question.

Apparently only one plant in the US makes most military explosives.

In contrast, the article says that almost all US military explosives are made at one US Army plant at Holston, Tennessee, using World War II-style mixing systems and production techniques.
US lacks the explosive firepower to truly deter China

A morally and financially bankrupt nation full of blowhard politicians, Neocons, Ziocons, Christocons, and idiotocons with a flag waving populace is imploding before our eyes.

Posted by: circumspect | Mar 12 2023 19:33 utc | 60

Some questions about the US.

1. Yellen just said there wount be a bail-out for SVB. Do the experts read it as "because there will be a bail-in." Which are the consequences of the bankruptcy?

If there is no freakout Monday, they may have a chance.

2. I am tracking US-polls quite closely. It seems Biden is up and now more popular than ever (Rasmussen, a conservative pollster had him on 50% on friday). Does anybody have an explanation for it?

I don't believe it.

3. The "peacefull divorce" discussion has now some support by officials on both sides of the uniparty. Is it to be taken serious?

You may be sure both sides of the uniparty will stop at nothing to preserve their current racket.

4. It seems that the empire is going berserk at the moment. Regime change operations are prepared in a haste everywhere. From Hungary to India to Georgia... its a sign of desperation.

This is the part of Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon" where the bad guys starts trying to throw everything in reach at Bruce.

5. Do we watch the beginning of the endgame?

Seems about right.

Posted by: Orgel | Mar 12 2023 19:30 utc | 60

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 12 2023 19:43 utc | 61

"Unfortunately, small banking clients had insufficient time to withdraw their funds, leaving their unsecured deposits likely lost, and the FDIC only provides protection for deposits of up to $250,000."

I always figured if I had $250+k cash to park, I'd split it between different banks. If they chose not to do that, their problem, not mine. Seems kind of a no brainer.

In any event, 85% of SVB is not covered by fdic. Good source (Tom Luongo) says WEF is major investor there. So ++++ this is a big hit to their sick plans.

Do the lines to the banks start tonight?
I wouldn't be surprised.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 12 2023 17:46 utc | 39

They started Friday am. At least 1 bank I read of had police securing it.

Meantime certain billionaire trolls (looking at you are doing their best to spur retail bank runs do thry xan profit from the crash. (Before Thursday, he was advising get outta US to southern hemi asap.🙄)

Posted by: Mary | Mar 12 2023 19:46 utc | 62

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 17:12 utc | 29

Well, going thru 2008 certainly felt like a house of cards crashing down so I'd say we're looking at an even bigger tumble down than before...

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 12 2023 19:43 utc | 62

Bruce Lee!!! Go Bruce!

Posted by: nathan in WA US | Mar 12 2023 20:09 utc | 63

opinion polls and etc are tools used to manipulate public opinion... they are paid for by those wanting a particular outcome and you won't see anything they don't want you to see... they can pay for the results 10x and if one of these times, they get the results they want - that is what you will see... they are for fools and dupes essentially..

Posted by: james | Mar 12 2023 20:11 utc | 64

@ circumspect | Mar 12 2023 19:33 utc | 60

A morally and financially bankrupt nation full of blowhard politicians, Neocons, Ziocons, Christocons, and idiotocons with a flag waving populace is imploding before our eyes.

Alas, 'tis so. A hard rain is gonna fall.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 12 2023 20:39 utc | 65

Thanks for replys guys and your patience with my ham fisted presence here.
I earler mentioned Black Rock of course it was Northern Rock.
I just had a phone chat to some one I felt could be affected in a small way. He said "let's wait and see" in a rather patronising voice. I gave up.
He reckons you guys are "ramping"
I don't. I think he's yet another blind fool, but ther you are !
I find it no coincidence, that along with instant gratification comes a blindness to see or predict two steps ahead, And that is a major symptom and flaw in the psychopathic personality disorder.
Relevant maybe to this oncoming bank crash and multi-polar world .
Basicaly it all now got out of their control.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 20:53 utc | 66

intriguing times.

It seems old WW2 friends are beginning to fight amongst themselves of the sale of nuclear submarines to Oz down under. Will the French Frog navy toss in an offer to sell the the non-anglo speaking nuke submersible play toys too?

Now a conventional non nuclear submersible sardine can. Has a standard crew of 45 sailors(all ranks). Basically the same as the next gen super quiet AIP. A development of the WW2 Germania(1919), Rubber tiled Walther Hydrogen peroxide powered mini me coastal patrol patrol submarines 1939-45. Median crew level is 45.

The median crew level level UK/USSAN nuke unit is 110 hot bunking sardines. Stuffed between the food storage lockers. Plus the usual three loads basic submarine war toys.

In the Oz navy. the current number of submariner sardines is less than 250.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Mar 12 2023 20:58 utc | 67

Why on earth does the Counterweight Continent need submarines? Are there some nearby undersea gas pipelines to blow up?

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 21:03 utc | 68

@58 crazytrain

Ah, you are going to make me scratch my favorite leitmotif itch...

Yes, collapse seems to be the topic at hand right now.

Now we have been in collapse for quite some time, but this is continuously obscured and will be until the shining moment they can no longer obscure it. At this point, the elite will have hightailed it into whatever cavern they can lay dormant in until society has restabilized, developed high culture again, and have redirected their gaze towards the Logos.

At this point, the elites' hand is so terribly awful that between the Russkies beating them back abroad and their coming feeble attempt to install a CBDC, one can not help but reaffirm the notion that hubris and stupidity go hand in hand.

Wrt the U.S., it is not for any other country to decide its fate. There are over something like 400 million personal guns here in the states. And the problem for them I have been reiterterating here is the conservative patriot, NOT a leftist coalition. For all intents and purposes, the traditional left has been usurped by a statist, effiminate mob who will zealously grant any power to the state it so demands, and who would gladly usher in neo-feudalism.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 12 2023 21:10 utc | 69

West of England Andy @ 69
Australia would be better of sticking to the boomarang !
At least that will come back.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 21:10 utc | 70

NemesisCalling @ 70
Yep and take a look at what good the guns did for the public in Ukraine.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 21:21 utc | 71

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 21:10 utc | 71

True, and I’m sincerely hoping that the next lot of Ashes we win won’t be radioactive...

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 21:37 utc | 72

More Silicon Tits, sorry, I mean Valley Bank stuff here:

Some excerpts:

SVB is a casualty of the narrative that money printing does not cause inflation and can continue forever. They embraced it wholeheartedly, and now they are gone.


You do not solve the consequences of a bubble with more bubbles.


SVB did not collapse due to reckless management, but because they did exactly what Keynesians and monetary interventionists wanted them to do.

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 21:45 utc | 73

Thanks Andy.
But enough of humour things are very sereous!
You guys have got me on the edge of my seat.
It's gone quite, what's happening on the Asian exchange ?
America I beleave is 4 hours behind UK I need to listen out.
How do we predict what will happen 24 or 48 hours time. And can they just throw more dollers at it.
Don't be coy guys.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 21:53 utc | 74

@Posted by: Outraged | Mar 12 2023 17:24 utc | 35

The EU share of manufacturing will be going down hard in the next few years given their uncompetitive energy costs (e.g. petrochemicals, car and heavy manufacturing) and the disaster that the German car industry is entering with respect to the EV transition. Japan's car industry will also be gutted by the EV transition, as well as what remains of their battery industry.

An EV and EV-battery price war has broken out in China which is bringing EV costs to the same level of internal combustion engined vehicles. The biggest losers will be the German and Japanese car manufacturers in China, and the Chinese are now entering the Asian and European markets with increasing levels of exports. Japan also has a rapidly shrinking young labour population (half as many births as deaths) while being at a high level of income per capita - not a good base to compete with China in production or war.

VW joins EV price war as global rivalry heats up

Established European car brands braced for Chinese EV ‘price war’

Posted by: Roger | Mar 12 2023 21:54 utc | 75

Read my mind their, didnt see that before i pressed post thanks.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 12 2023 21:56 utc | 76

@ Roger | Mar 12 2023 21:54 utc | 76


I'm rather certain that EV adoption is driven by mining interests rather than transportation utility.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 12 2023 22:02 utc | 77

@Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 12 2023 18:25 utc | 48

Its the interest rate risk that got SVB, the bonds go down in value as interest rates rise. The fact that they didn't properly change the duration mix (to shorter duration bonds and short term money market instruments) and also hedge the interest rate risk is the sign of utter incompetence. The lending of funds to pre-IPO startups (in their none mark to market book) also turned them partially into a hedge fund. Someone else has pointed out that they were only able to risk themselves up this much due to some Trump era deregulation for bank's below a certain asset size. Deregulation in financial markets is like letting the foxes into the henhouse, a sure fire way to a financial crisis.

Most banks since the deregulation of the 1980s and 1990s are always at risk of a blow up, especially after a decade of being fed on QE after all the 2008 culprits pretty much stayed in their jobs after getting bailed out and collecting big bonuses.

Posted by: Roger | Mar 12 2023 22:03 utc | 78

What is public banking?

Banks that the public owns through their representative government and that work to benefit local communities. Like SVB.

Public banking is banking operated in the public interest, through institutions owned by the people through their representative governments. Public banks can exist at all levels, from cities to state to national. Any governmental body which can meet local banking requirements may, theoretically, create such a financial institution.
With public banks, interest and profits flow to the community that owns the bank. Like the hedge und managers that deposit at SVB.

It’s a very simple idea at its core. We all know private banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America operate to maximize profits for their shareholders, owners, and executives — no matter what crisis communities are facing. (In fact, as we saw in 2008, big banks’ practices have frequently caused economic crises.)

Publicly-owned banks, on the other hand, are legally obligated to operate in the interest of the public, meaning the community as a whole. That means their investment decisions are focused on growing the real, wealth-producing local economy, not the latest speculative scheme to boost private shareholder profits and executive bonuses.

Jay Ersapah is a good example, She acts as chief of risk assessment for SVB and is a queer person of color from a working-class background. To ensure that SVB operated in the interest of "the community," she organized a host of LGBTQ initiatives including a month-long Pride campaign and implemented 'safe space' catch-ups for staff.

Public banking. Its not communism. It just seems like it.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 12 2023 22:12 utc | 79

Orgel | Mar 12 2023 19:30 utc | 59

It seems that the empire is going berserk at the moment. Regime change operations are prepared in a haste everywhere. From Hungary to India to Georgia... its a sign of desperation.

I would have named Pakistan, Peru and Georgia. The empire performs "Regime Change" because they know how to do it without leaving too many traces, because it's the one thing they know perfectly how to do. Remember the regime change attempt in Belarus, conducted by the West in 2021. Put that together with Georgia now, Kasachstan in 2022, and Ukraine. It is clear which script the USA are following, it is all about encircling Russia.

It is much harder to figure out what to do against it. I have no advice whatsoever I could give Putin. The Georgian government had the right idea, trying to pass a law that would have allowed them to limit foreign influence - and they were stopped right in the middle of it.

The US part, the aggressor's part, is easier to play. So in the White House they are seriously hoping to win this. Because Biden believes in it.

Posted by: grunzt | Mar 12 2023 22:16 utc | 80

Have to agree with West of England Andy above (#2), and I suspect I'm not the only one feeling a sense of UNEASE at the pace of these developments.

Posted by: Jimm | Mar 12 2023 22:20 utc | 81

Dow futures jump 300 points as regulators announce backstop of SVB depositors

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 22:32 utc | 82

Don't bail out vulture capital funds. Fuck em. Fuck ze bubble.

Jay Ersapah is just doing rainbow capitalism. Neoliberalism is shit.

SVB works for vulture capital funds. The later are even worse than traditional banks.

Private equity acquisition of nursing homes has been linked to increased mortality, decreased resident mobility, high use of antipsychotic medications, decreased nurse-patient ratios, declines in compliance with federal and state standards of care, and increased costs to taxpayers

Posted by: Colin | Mar 12 2023 22:39 utc | 83

the rich always get bailed out... look at 2008... perfect example... ponzi scheme works, until it doesn't... those in power will do everything to keep it going... screw the small people... that is the attitude..

Posted by: james | Mar 12 2023 17:05 utc | 26

The feast of vulture capital continues again.

The government is again funding the most shameless bourgeoisie with the taxes from the proletariat.

This is why Marx said that bourgeois government is only a committee of the bourgeoisie.

Posted by: Colin | Mar 12 2023 22:43 utc | 84

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 12 2023 22:18 utc | 81

Fake. Period.

Posted by: Colin | Mar 12 2023 22:45 utc | 85

"the US banking system remains safe, well-capitalized, and resilient.” which will wear as well as “sub-prime is contained” and “inflation is transitory” did.
Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 12 2023 17:16 utc | 31

You're going to love this Irish gem from the last crash.

Posted by: jpc | Mar 12 2023 22:47 utc | 86

Busy weekend at the FDIC

"In a joint statement, the heads of the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, and FDIC said: "After receiving a recommendation from the boards of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve, and consulting with the President, Secretary Yellen approved actions enabling the FDIC to complete its resolution of Silicon Valley Bank, Santa Clara, California, in a manner that fully protects all depositors. Depositors will have access to all of their money starting Monday, March 13. No losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer."

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 22:58 utc | 87

CrazyTrain @57--Asks:

do people really foresee a benevolant world governance being successfully implemented and led by China? Don't people think the fallibility of human hubris and overreach will eventually corrupt their system as well?

The world governance being discussed is based on the principles contained in the UN Charter and would be led by all nations as zero hegemony is to exist. My answer is based upon what Russia, China, and their RoW partners have and continue to say and put into daily practice over the past five years at minimum. Russia's been espousing the need to follow/enforce the UN Charter since Putin came to power and his team plus the vast majority of Russian's endorse that view, and the same goes for China. China and Russia formed a Friends in Defense of the UN Charter organization almost three years ago that contains the rest of BRICS, SCO and other nations while slowly continuing to grow. I insist you read the Global Security Initiative forwarded by Xi Jinping along with the 4 Feb 2022 Joint Declaration made by Russia/China. Furthermore, while following Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, meetings globally for many years now, in most every review of his talks it's mentioned that it's agreed by the host nation that the principles of the UN Charter must be followed, or that there's no substitute for those principles. Putin in almost every speech aimed at an international audience for many years now has emphasized the principle of sovereign equality between all nations regardless of size or "geopolitical weight." The need to further democratize the UN is voiced by both Russia, China and their partners and echoed by all others except the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals. And yes, it's admitted that the current UN is corrupted by the Empire and thus doesn't obey its own principles thus requiring reform.

And then there's the international financial system that's mostly controlled by the Empire which has also proven its 100% untrustworthiness though its actions over many decades. That is currently in the process of being altered into the fair, just system demanded by the RoW.

I often emphasize that the war that's happening IS global as the RoW has finally banded together to defeat the Empire's hegemony. That may not be readily apparent but it's true nonetheless. Russia's December 2021 security proposals are based on the same principle as Xi's GSI and the UN Charter. Several years ago at the UNGA, Iran proposed a very similar plan for the Persian Gulf Region, which was based largely on a previous proposal made by Russia. The reality is despite the longstanding Establishment Narrative voiced by the Outlaw US Empire it is the semi-totalitarian entity responsible for the vast majority of human conflicts since 1945 that include several genocides. The current goal is to contain it, force it to retreat, then strip it of its vassals until most of its bloc has melted away. Perhaps by that time the many great contradictions that exist within the Empire will have finally forced a complete political overhaul; otherwise, it will retain and exploit its continental empire until revolution alters its nature.

So, my answer to your query is no, humanity will evolve beyond conflict to cooperation, and this is already very visible. The main entity restraining that evolution is the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals. No, it won't be instantaneous, and conflict will be a part of the process as the Empire will contest its containment and retreat; and within the Empire, there'll be suffering as the parasites continue to kill the host. But to prompt the required rebellion, economic suffering will be required as nothing else seems to be a motivating factor.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 12 2023 23:05 utc | 88

Colin | Mar 12 2023 22:45 utc | 86

i don't know: sounds like the real psychohistorian to me

Posted by: Jax | Mar 12 2023 23:06 utc | 89

Pathetic and bold-faced lie by New York Post: China pummeled by rain of worms as residents asked to carry umbrellas

Those are dried flowers from poplar trees got wet after rains, which is very common in Beijing and North of China in winter/ early spring. take a look of the flowers of poplar trees (at 1:50').

Western MSM are becoming farcical when come to China bashing.

The timing of this viral video from NYP immediately after Iran-Saudi rapprochement mediated in Beijing make man thinking ......

Posted by: lulu | Mar 12 2023 23:14 utc | 90

"Gary Lineker, former England striker and Match of the Day host, was suspended by the BBC on March 10 over a social media post where he criticized the UK government's controversial asylum policy. The commentator had likened the Tory bill to Nazi* practices." *Godwin's law)

Good to see all idiots and morons continue to exist at every senior level of management at the Brit B*LLS**T Corporation. For not one of the "Peter Principal brain dead fools running the BBC! Know or even understand "The Streisand Effect". Or how stupid mistakes are amplified to the nth degree. lol

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Mar 12 2023 23:19 utc | 91

Scott Ritter has a new Substack post up about the situation in Georgia. He's married to a Georgian, so he has skin in the game.

Farewell, Sukhumi
Georgian protesters unwittingly imperil their nation's survival

Those words resonated with me more than most Americans. My wife was born and raised in Sukhumi, and I travelled to Sukhumi in the summer of 1991 in a successful bid to convince her to marry me.

The youth of Georgia would do well to consider the following: few, if any, Americans can appreciate the role of Khinkali and Khachapouri in Georgian life, or the history of Georgian wine-making that is encapsulated in Kvanchkara, the social intricacies of the Kartuli, and the painful history behind the Khoroumi.

To most Americans, it is just food, wine, and some funny dancing.

This is the reality of the society you Georgians are betting your future on—America doesn’t care about you.

Americans don’t even really like you. We barely tolerate your food and wine, and we view your culture as a mere curiosity.

History clearly shows that we are definitely not going to die for you.

You exist only to serve our larger geopolitical goals and objectives.

You are nothing more than part of the “belt of instability” being installed by the United States along Russia’s periphery.

Reflect on that for a moment—Georgia’s American purpose is to generate regional instability. Who pays the price?

Not America.


Georgia is but a smaller version of Ukraine, another cog in the American “belt of instability.”

Reflect on that as you act on the American-driven goal of opening a second front against Russia.

Reflect on the fate of Ukraine.

Reflect on the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian dead.

Reflect on the tens of millions of displaced and homeless Ukrainian people.

Reflect on the trillion-plus dollars of infrastructure damage to Ukraine.

Reflect on the Ukrainian territory now permanently lost.

Reflect on the fact that Ukraine will, as was the case with Afghanistan before it (and South Vietnam before that), ultimately be abandoned to its fate by its good “friends,” the Americans.

And understand that what Russia has done to Ukraine in a year can be accomplished against Georgia in less than a month.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 12 2023 23:22 utc | 92

@92 I've seen enough of the BBC's 'impartiality' when it comes to the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 23:24 utc | 93

RSH @93 I'm waiting for a few courageous Georgians to start beating up Russian draft dodger in Tiblisi.

Posted by: dh | Mar 12 2023 23:30 utc | 94

Patroklos @ 53:

We had better avoid watching Q&A this week as good ol' ASPI senior fellow and colleague of those "experts" consulted by the Sydney Morning Herald / The Age stenographers, Stan Grant, is sure to refer to that article and maybe even invite some of the "experts", in case some of us (maybe most of us) don't read print news media anymore. ABC employees and their friends and relatives are sure to be in the audience pretending to ask questions of Mick Ryan, Lavina Lee and whoever.

Posted by: Refinnejenna | Mar 12 2023 23:45 utc | 95

It's very unfortunate for the US this Californian tech bank problem.

It seems that start-ups, the tech economical development model, require lots (more and more as tech economy grows) of financial support before they pays back. This is done by investors and bankers, who themselves rely on leveraged finance. It works quite well in the boom phase of the cycle, especially with low or ultra low interest rates.
Now that inflation rages and the cycle goes down, financial needs expands while financing and refinancing is way more expensive..

If this goes on like this in the whole tech economy, the tech bubble will burst just when technological war with China get serious.
It will also involve a much bigger part of the banking system. Banking system that have to adjust to high rates, after years of free for all economy, and may be way more vulnerable than is assumed.
A financial crisis is never good news. No need to say that in the context of quasi war against Russia and with China decoupling in sight, it could amount to a collapse of US' dollars world, if not of the US itself.

The usual thing would be to lower back interest rates. But then lower and middle classes will see their real wages (already on the downward trend) nosedive. Republicans, most likely under Trump, will come back with a vengeance.

The other option (in reality it's most of one and a little of the other or a lot of both) is to use federal budget to save banks and tech companies. It's unpopular, as no one likes to see public money saving the riches while everyone is engulfed in crisis. But the main difficulty is that Republicans have hold of the House. And they're already locked in a conflict (with potential default on the horizon) over Biden's deficit. Up until now Biden was absolutely uncompromising...
Will they accept to save the tech economy that is so pro democrats and that was so instrumental in hyping phoney stories against them and erasing any demi' inconvenient information during the Trump presidency ?

There is so much grudge in US politics, and there is such a long habit of getting away with anything in its leading circles, that it's not sure statesmanship will prevail in time should the crisis require.

Posted by: Saracen's Head | Mar 12 2023 23:45 utc | 96

Michael Hudson's timely essay on the coming banking crisis, "Why the Banking System is Breaking Up":

But in serving the banks and the financial ownership class, the Fed painted itself into a corner: What would happen if and when interest rates finally rose?

In Killing the Host I wrote about what seemed obvious enough. Rising interest rates cause the prices of bonds already issued to fall – along with real estate and stock prices. That is what has been happening under the Fed’s fight against “inflation,” its euphemism for opposing rising employment and wage levels. Prices are plunging for bonds, and also for the capitalized value of packaged mortgages and other securities in which banks hold their assets on their balance sheet to back their deposits.

The result threatens to push down bank assets below their deposit liabilities, wiping out their net worth – their stockholder equity. This is what was threatened in 2008. It is what occurred in a more extreme way with S&Ls and savings banks in the 1980s, leading to their demise. These “financial intermediaries” did not create credit as commercial banks can do, but lent deposits out in the form of long-term mortgages at fixed interest rates, often for 30 years. But in the wake of the Volcker spike in interest rates that inaugurated the 1980s, the overall level of interest rates remained higher than the interest rates that S&Ls and savings banks were receiving.

Depositors began to withdraw their money to get higher returns elsewhere, because S&Ls and savings banks could not pay their depositors higher rates out of the revenue coming in from their mortgages fixed at lower rates. So even without fraud Keating-style, the mismatch between short-term liabilities and long-term interest rates ended their business plan.

The S&Ls owed money to depositors short-term, but were locked into long-term assets at falling prices. Of course, S&L mortgages were much longer-term than was the case for commercial banks. But the effect of rising interest rates has the same effect on bank assets that it has on all financial assets. Just as the QE interest-rate decline aimed to bolster the banks, its reversal today must have the opposite effect. And if banks have made bad derivatives trades, they’re in trouble.

Any bank has a problem of keeping its asset valuations higher than its deposit liabilities. When the Fed raises interest rates sharply enough to crash bond prices, the banking system’s asset structure weakens. That is the corner into which the Fed has painted the economy by QE.

So, as I said cash is king. Hudson adds to that:

"There is now a flight to “cash,” to a safe haven – something even better than cash: U.S. Treasury securities. Despite the talk of Republicans refusing to raise the debt ceiling, the Treasury can always print the money to pay its bondholders. It looks like the Treasury will become the new depository of choice for those who have the financial resources. Bank deposits will fall. And with them, bank holdings of reserves at the Fed."

As he's said and I've echoed, the dollar won't disappear until the US Treasury does. But I don't advocate buying USG debt despite its seeming safety.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 12 2023 23:50 utc | 97

Fannie Mae Killed Silicon Valley Bank!

SVB did not collapse because of credit default risks, but because of interest rate risks. SVB had invested over half of their assets in government guaranteed securities.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 12 2023 16:01 utc | 13

Understand the headline is opposite the first graph of your comment?

No. Fannie Mae did not kill SVB. Fannie does not set interest rates. SVB clients were start-up techs and wineries. The FED does set interest rates and the bond market has been taking a hit for the last year as Mr. Powell aggressively raised rates in copying Volcker to fight inflation.

= = = = =

While more banks were being run on or shuttered, to add fuel to fire this morning Ms. Yellen said:
No, Bailouts for SVB

And we now read at sunset, 6:20 PM EDT: A huge Announcement:
Panic is finally here.

the Uninsured and Insured will be bailed-out.- First a TWO TRILLION print

Fed Panics: Signature Bank Closed By Regulators; Fed, TSY, FDIC Announce Another Banking System Bailout


On Friday, we said that the Fed will have to make an announcement before the Monday open, and we didn't have to wait that long: in fact, the Fed waited just 15 minutes after futures opened for trading to announce the new bailout, alongside even more shocking news: the Treasury announced that New York State regulators are shuttering Signature Bank - a major New York bank - adding that all depositors both at Signature Bank, and also the now insolvent Silicon Valley Bank, will have access to their money on Monday.

And as we process the shock of yet another small bank failure (which makes JPMorgan even bigger), the Fed just issued a statement saying that "to support American businesses and households, the Federal Reserve Board on Sunday announced it will make available additional funding to eligible depository institutions  to help assure banks have the ability to meet the needs of all their depositors. 

This action will bolster the capacity of the banking system to safeguard deposits and ensure the ongoing provision of money and credit to the economy."

The Fed also said that it is prepared to address any liquidity pressures that may arise, which in turn has just unveiled the first bailout acronym of the new crisis: the Bank Term Funding Program, or BTFP. Some more details:

The financing will be made available through the creation of a new Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP), offering loans of up to one year in length to banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other eligible depository institutions pledging U.S. Treasuries, agency debt and mortgage-backed securities, and other qualifying assets as collateral.  
These assets will be valued at par.  The BTFP will be an additional source of liquidity against high-quality securities, eliminating an institution’s need to quickly sell those securities in times of stress.

The Fed explains that the Department of the Treasury will make available "up to $25 billion from the Exchange Stabilization Fund as a backstop for the BTFP." And while the Federal Reserve - which was completely clueless about this banking crisis until Thursday  - does not anticipate that it will be necessary to draw on these backstop funds, we anticipate that the final number of needed backstop liquidity be somewhere north of $2 trillion.

More from the Fed statement:

The Board is carefully monitoring developments in financial markets.  The capital and liquidity positions of the U.S. banking system are strong and the U.S. financial system is resilient.[.] (original emphasis)

After giving UKR all those billions, no choice but a full bailout. AND likely the tab will be another $30 trillion.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 12 2023 23:53 utc | 98

More details on the Iran-Saudi deal, "Exclusive: The hidden security clauses of the Iran-Saudi deal":

Saudi Arabia’s current interests are related to the ambitious political, economic, financial, and cultural targets that MbS has set out for his country, and are based on two pillars:

Diversifying regional and global partnerships in order to adapt to global systemic changes that will help realize Riyadh’s grand plans.

Establishing security and political stability to allow Saudi Arabia to implement its major projects, especially those outlines in MbS’ “Vision 2030,” through which Riyadh envisions itself transforming into a regional incubator for finance, business, media, and the entertainment industry – similar to the role played by the UAE in decades past, or by Beirut before the Lebanese civil war in 1975.

In short, regional and domestic security and stability are vital for Riyadh to be able to implement its strategic goals. As such, confidential clauses were inserted into the Beijing Agreement to assure Iran and Saudi Arabia that their security imperatives would be met. Some of these details were provided to The Cradle, courtesy of a source involved in the negotiations:

Both Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran undertake not to engage in any activity that destabilizes either state, at the security, military or media levels.
Saudi Arabia pledges not to fund media outlets that seek to destabilize Iran, such as Iran International.

Saudi Arabia pledges not to fund organizations designated as terrorists by Iran, such as the People’s Mojahedin Organization (MEK), Kurdish groups based in Iraq, or militants operating out of Pakistan.

Iran pledges to ensure that its allied organizations do not violate Saudi territory from inside Iraqi territory. During negotiations, there were discussions about the targeting of Aramco facilities in Saudi Arabia in September 2019, and Iran’s guarantee that an allied organization would not carry out a similar strike from Iraqi lands.

Saudi Arabia and Iran will seek to exert all possible efforts to resolve conflicts in the region, particularly the conflict in Yemen, in order to secure a political solution that secures lasting peace in that country.

According to sources involved in the Beijing negotiations, no details on Yemen’s conflict were agreed upon as there has already been significant progress achieved in direct talks between Riyadh and Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement in January. These have led to major understandings between the two warring states, which the US and UAE have furiously sought to undermine in order to prevent a resolution of the Yemen war....

What is perhaps most remarkable, and illustrates the determination by the parties to strike a deal without the influence of spoilers, is that Iranian and Saudi intelligence delegations met in the Chinese capital for five days without Israeli intel being aware of the fact. It is perhaps yet another testament that China — unlike the US — understands how to get a deal done in these shifting times. [Emphasis Original]

There are further details in the article not provided above. Yet another example of The Cradle's value!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 12 2023 23:58 utc | 99

@ 81 is not me

When you have no moral position one reverts to childish schoolyard pranks...sad

This is also what you get when you are out there with your identity and those attacking you hide behind the digital curtain from where they fling their textual feces

The new world based on merit will not treat these folks well

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 13 2023 0:00 utc | 100

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