Despite decades of working in financial services, mostly in customer facing roles where I kissed ass and took the heat for the screw-ups of others, I don’t fully understand what happened with Silicon Valley Bank but when a top 20 bank collapses, it is big news.
As others have pointed out, while SVB is a top-20 bank it pales in comparison to the really big players like Chase and Bank of America. Chase alone has something like $3.2 trillion in assets.
Notice that the bank right below them, Fifth Third Bank where I was a branch manager at a couple of locations, has slightly lower total assets but 1,104 branches while SVB only had 16 branches but more in “assets”. This was a very different kind of bank. Still it is a significant event getting little coverage because Sniffy Man Good is President instead of Orange Man Bad. It was also another opportunity to mock The Wrongest Man Alive, CNBC’s Jim Cramer, who is so reliably wrong you could base your investment strategy just off of doing the opposite of what he recommends (not investment advice, etc)
It is amazing that someone as dumb as Jim Cramer still makes a bunch of money being incorrect.
While I would hesitate to go full Zerohedge and declare this is a harbinger of imminent collapse, it does show us again that the financial system we operate under is a Jenga tower. You can pull a piece out here and there but one of these times a critical piece will come out and the whole thing will fall.
It almost happened in 2008 and we are in much worse shape economically and culturally in 2023. There is a seething undercurrent of anger and resentment that crosses a lot of different streams within our various tribal identities, all just looking for an excuse to riot or loot or to just simply start feeding degenerates into a woodchipper. In 2008 the nation was more unified than it is today and most people, especially working class and middle class Whites, still trusted and believed in the system. Today? Thanks to Covid, January 6th, Ukraine, etc more Whites than ever have realized the deck is stacked completely against them and are saying the mantra many of us have been chanting for years: we aren’t voting our way out of this.
I would and have argued that all that is holding our nation together at this point is shared consumerism. As long as we can keep consuming, whether than means new variations on existing tech products or cheap calories or endless entertainment, the lid stays on. When I can watch Netflix on my new iPhone and order delivery Taco Bell on the same phone, I might grumble but deep down still believe things are OK. A major economic calamity would disrupt that somnolent state and lots of people will realize how much they are pissed off and that they really don’t like vast swaths of our population.
Another theme here at dissident thoughts is that desperate people will do desperate things and even the meekest guy can flip and become a killer under the right conditions. You may look at the corpulent lard-ass who looks like his wife bosses him around all day and think he is harmless, and under most circumstances that is true, but I suspect a lot of even cucked men can get pretty violent pretty quickly under the right circumstances. Multiply that by tens of millions and you get the sort of scenario we often talk about.
Something else I am pretty confident in saying is that we probably won’t know it is happening until it really blows up. Who watched the video of George Floyd being arrested and thought “I bet this will lead to a whole year of rioting and looting”? Or watched a clip about some new flu coming out of China and thought “Well I guess we will close the whole country down and be forced to wear a piece of paper across our face for two years”? My point being that it might not, almost certainly won’t be a cascade from SVB, but it will be something and since you don’t know what it might be, you have to be ready for anything. On the bright side, when Jim Cramer tells us that things are going great that will be a clear indicator that the wheels are about to come off….