The Evening Blues - 3-17-23


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Snooky Pryor

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago blues harmonica player Snooky Pryor. Enjoy!

Snooky Pryor - Rollin' And Tumblin'

"Neoliberalism is going to fail by being replaced. The system is entirely broken. Whenever you have a system that equates a market economy with a market society and claims that capitalism is democracy, you've not only got a massive lie being imposed on the people, but you've got the foundation for a form of authoritarianism and a much more intensive form of class warfare."

-- Henry Giroux

News and Opinion

The Billionaire Bailout Society

In case we need any more proof, the bailout of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is yet another overt sign that we are operating within a new version of capitalism. The wealthiest among us have little fear of losing money from their most important financial investments. They know they will be bailed out and the rest of us will pick up the tab.

The crisis at SVB has made a mockery of bank deposit insurance and private banking. In the U.S., bank deposits are insured up to $250,000. If the bank fails, those with accounts below that amount are fully protected. But deposits over that amount are not.

The reason is straightforward. If you insure all accounts, no matter their size, bank executives will have every incentive to maximise their profits by investing depositor money in the riskiest, highest-yielding investments they can find.

If they succeed, the bank officers and investors become rich. If they fail, the government makes the depositors whole. It’s a business model with little downside.

This logic has been understood since the first bank insurance was debated and put in place during the 1930s. (President Franklin Roosevelt worried that bank insurance would unfairly subsidise poorly run banks.) So why is this rule being breached now?

The reasons given are many. Small businesses with sums in SVB above $250,000 won’t be able to make payroll. Workers will be laid off. Cutting-edge high-tech enterprises will fail. People will lose confidence and cause bank runs. The entire financial system, it is implied, is so interconnected that a failure of one bank may take down many others, and so on.

But perhaps the major reason in the case of SVB’s bailout has to do with the very wealthy venture capitalists who are invested in many of the tech start-ups that have their money parked in SVB accounts. These VC moguls, many of whom profess to be anti-government libertarians, made it clear to the political establishment that a bailout was required — and immediately!

This time, they didn’t care about bailing out the investors or bank officers. Those days are over. The big money was wrapped up in more than $200 billion in uninsured deposits. Their argument was simple — we are just too important to America for it to allow our operations to suffer financially. We are the backbone of high tech, of innovation, of American economic leadership. (And we put a lot of money into your political campaigns.)

SVB’s failure — and the failure of New York-based Signature Bank that followed — will lead to much hand-wringing about the need to tighten regulations, which were weakened in 2018 during the Trump administration.

SVB lobbied successfully to avoid facing the same regulations as the “systemically important” mega-banks. They wriggled out of some of the strongest provisions of the Dodd-Frank banking legislation, as the bank assets threshold [for those banks affected by the provisions] was increased from $50 billion to $250 billion. (Barney Frank, the Frank in Dodd-Frank, incredibly, supported the weakening of his own bill. He sits on the board of the failed Signature Bank, having received more than $2.4 million in cash and stock awards over the past seven years.)

While the need for tighter regulations will dominate the discussion, we are missing the bigger picture. The financial barons and their CEO partners have a stranglehold over our economy: They are too big to fail and too politically important to suffer any appreciable financial harm. We will always bail them out, or the economy will crash, harming millions of working people.

Why 3 US banks collapsed in 1 week: Economist Michael Hudson explains

US banks launch $30bn rescue of First Republic Bank to stem spiraling crisis

Wall Street’s giants moved to end the US’s spiraling banking crisis on Thursday by agreeing to prop up troubled First Republic, a mid-sized bank whose shares have been pummeled amid a wider banking turmoil.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and others will deposit $30bn in First Republic, which has seen customers yank their money following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and fears that First Republic could be next.

“The actions of America’s largest banks reflect their confidence in the country’s banking system. Together, we are deploying our financial strength and liquidity into the larger system, where it is needed the most,” the banks said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The big banks have received billions in deposits from smaller, regional banks as the banking crisis has spooked their customers. US authorities swooped in to take control of SVB and New York’s Signature bank last weekend after frightened customers pulled their deposits.

Banks and regulators are hoping that the action will act as a firewall by protecting First Republic and stopping the crisis spreading to other smaller banks. Shares in First Republic – a San Francisco-based bank that largely caters to wealthier clients including Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg – had fallen about 70% since the news of SVB’s collapse. They fell another 22% on Thursday before the bailout but ended the day up nearly 10%.

Professor Richard Wolff: Silicon Valley Bank Bailout Crisis NOT Definitely Contained

Janet Yellen: US banking system is ‘sound’ despite two collapses in a week

The treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, told Congress on Thursday that despite two US bank failures over the past week the US banking system “remains sound”.

The government’s response to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank last weekend were “decisive and forceful actions to strengthen public confidence in our banking system”, Yellen told the Senate finance committee. Yellen’s remarks were designed to reassure nervous depositors and investors that despite the spread of financial system eruptions to Credit Suisse and beyond, the emergency measures taken on Sunday had succeeded.

“I can reassure the members of the committee that our banking system remains sound, and that Americans can feel confident that their deposits will be there when they need them”, Yellen said.

But she also underscored the message that political, finance and regulatory officials have been making since the two banks collapsed that the government’s intervention was not the same as the unpopular bailout of banks in the 2008 financial crisis. “Shareholders and debtholders are not being protected by the government. Importantly, no taxpayer money is being used or put at risk with this action. Deposit protection is provided by the Deposit Insurance Fund, which is funded by fees on banks,” Yellen said.

Republicans on the committee questioned whether the backstops will become a new normal and the implications that could have on moral hazard.

US banks launch $30bn rescue of First Republic Bank to stem spiraling crisis

Wall Street’s giants moved to end the US’s spiraling banking crisis on Thursday by agreeing to prop up troubled First Republic, a mid-sized bank whose shares have been pummeled amid a wider banking turmoil.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and others will deposit $30bn in First Republic, which has seen customers yank their money following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and fears that First Republic could be next.

“The actions of America’s largest banks reflect their confidence in the country’s banking system. Together, we are deploying our financial strength and liquidity into the larger system, where it is needed the most,” the banks said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The big banks have received billions in deposits from smaller, regional banks as the banking crisis has spooked their customers. US authorities swooped in to take control of SVB and New York’s Signature bank last weekend after frightened customers pulled their deposits.

Banks and regulators are hoping that the action will act as a firewall by protecting First Republic and stopping the crisis spreading to other smaller banks. Shares in First Republic – a San Francisco-based bank that largely caters to wealthier clients including Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg – had fallen about 70% since the news of SVB’s collapse. They fell another 22% on Thursday before the bailout but ended the day up nearly 10%.

Too big to fail Credit Suisse

Biden Shows Support as Senate Advances Repeal of Iraq War Authorizations

As the U.S. Senate on Thursday teed up a vote to end the congressional authorizations for the Gulf and Iraq wars, President Joe Biden formally backed the bipartisan bill.

The progress on finally repealing the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs) comes just ahead of the 20th anniversary of the George W. Bush administration's costly and devastating invasion of Iraq.

The bill (S. 316/H.R. 932) was reintroduced in February by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and has GOP co-sponsors in both chambers. On Thursday, 19 Republican senators joined with all Democrats present to advance the measure.

The legislation has not yet been approved by the House of Representatives, which is narrowly controlled by the GOP. However, if it reaches the president's desk, he supports it, according to the statement of administration policy released Thursday.

Telegraphing the spring offensive

It’s Good To Be Mean To War Propagandists

Sydney Morning Herald editor Bevan Shields has published an article titled “We are not above criticism but these attacks go too far“, tearfully rending his garments over criticisms his paper’s three-part war-with-China propaganda series “Red Alert” has received from former Prime Minister Paul Keating and from ABC’s Media Watch.

The whole article is Shields moaning about the way Keating raked Australian war propagandists at the National Press Club of Australia on Wednesday. He cries about how Keating told “Red Alert” co-author Matthew Knott “you should hang your head in shame” and “do the right thing and drum yourself out of Australian journalism,” mocked the intelligence of Sky News reporter Olivia Caisley for seriously suggesting that China is a military threat to Australia, and called Sydney Morning Herald editor Peter Hartcher a “psychopath” and “maniac”.

“For years, we have laughed along with Keating as he hurls his trademark barbs. But it’s not funny any more,” weeps Shields.

And you know what? Good. It’s good that these disgusting war propagandists are crying. They deserve a lot worse than a public tongue-lashing from a former prime minister.

To be clear, when I say the people Keating ripped into at the National Press Club are propagandists, that’s not just how I see them — that’s how they see themselves. They might not use that label, but they plainly see themselves as responsible for promoting Pentagon-friendly narratives, as evidenced by their behavior at that very press conference. If you watch them line up to question Keating and listen to what they are saying, over and over again you hear them trying to insert narratives like a propagandist rather than asking probing questions like a journalist.

You hear ABC’s Andrew Probyn work to insert the narrative that China is a threat to Australia by citing things like sanctions on select Australian products in retaliation for Canberra’s playing along with Washington’s attacks on Beijing over Covid, regurgitating the discredited claim of Chinese “debt diplomacy”, and babbling about China’s militarization as though the US wasn’t encircling China militarily and engaging in increasingly aggressive acts of brinkmanship.

You hear the aforementioned Olivia Casely work to insert the narrative that China is a military threat to Australia.

You hear Bloomberg’s Ben Westcott work to insert the narrative that Australia should work with the US to protect its trade from China, hilariously accidently re-enacting the famous Utopia sketch by ignoring the fact that China is Australia’s primary trading partner.

You hear The Australian’s Jess Malcolm work to insert the narrative that China building up its own military in its own country is somehow a “provocation” against Australia, which Keating immediately smacks down with appropriate disdain.

You hear the aforementioned Matthew Knott work to insert the narrative that Keating is a treasonous Xi Jinping puppet by sleazily insinuating that the former prime minister must say critical things about the “Chinese Communist Party” in order to prove his fealty.

Over and over again they line up to act like loyal defenders of the US empire, and over and over again Keating treats them like what they are: propagandists. Power-worshipping bootlickers for the most powerful empire that has ever existed.

Watching Keating tear strips off all those war pornographers was so satisfying because it showed Australians the appropriate emotional posture to have toward these depraved freaks. That’s the bare minimum level of contempt they should always be treated with. Australians who don’t want a war with China are still unclear about how to respond to this deluge of mass media war propaganda our country is being smashed with, and Keating showed exactly how to respond; he provided a solid model for us all.

If anything, Keating was too kind to those ghouls. One really can’t have enough disdain for those who peddle war propaganda professionally and pass it off as journalism to the unsuspecting public. They’re right up there with all the absolute worst human beings who have ever lived, and they should be treated as such.

Bevan Shields melodramatically refers to the public excoriation of his colleagues as “Donald Trump-like abuse of journalists doing their jobs,” but they are not journalists doing their jobs. They are propagandists. If you want to call yourself a journalist, you need to act like it. Be skeptical, question your sources and their funding, and get the story right. That’s the job. In this case the lives of nearly 26 million people are relying on you to get it right. It’s a huge responsibility and you are failing us. You deserve so much worse than to have mean things said to you by a retired politician.

These Pentagon puppets deserve more than just shame. I can’t believe they can so blithely push our country into the frontline of someone’s else’s war. How very generous of them to offer up our sons and daughters in the name of the almighty US of A.

It should enrage all Australians that a war of unimaginable horror is being shoved down our throats by the US empire, and it should enrage us that people who call themselves “journalists” are using the trust of the public to help manufacture consent for it. We need to start saying “NO” to this, and we need to whip up enough fire in our bellies to make sure that “NO” comes out with enough force to generate fear in these bastards.

Australians are not good at rage, but rage is what these actions should elicit, and our own actions need to start flowing from there. We can’t just let them inflict this horror upon our world with a signature Australian “Ah, whatever you reckon’s a fair thing mate.” The war propagandists cry about “abuse” when being put in their place by a 79 year-old ex-PM while inflicting the most abusive thing imaginable upon our civilization.

This cannot stand. We’ve got to get moving, people. These pricks will get us all killed if we don’t.

Dem Senator Spins UNHINGED Fantasy About Ukraine War!

Julian Assange's Father & Brother Speak Out on His Jailing, Press Freedom & New Documentary "Ithaka"

Macron uses special powers to force through plan to raise pension age

The French government has used controversial special constitutional powers to force through a rise in the pension age amid chaotic scenes in parliament in which radical left MPs sang La Marseillaise at the top of their voices to stop the prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, from speaking.

The president, Emmanuel Macron, took a last-minute decision to avoid a parliamentary vote and instead push through his unpopular plan to raise the pension age from 62 to 64. Minutes before MPs in the lower house were to vote, Macron was still holding a series of frantic meetings with senior political figures, and suddenly chose to use special powers instead of risking a vote, which he appeared poised to lose.

MPs on the left shouted “Resign! Resign!” at Borne, and members of the radical left party France Unbowed sang the national anthem so loudly that Borne could at first not speak and the session had to be suspended before she tried again to be heard. Borne told parliament the bill would be pushed through because the government could not “gamble the future of our pensions”. ...

Shortly afterwards, thousands of people gathered in a spontaneous protest at Place de la Concorde in the centre of the city, as trade unions promised to intensify the strikes and street demonstrations that have taken place since January. The head of the hardline CGT union, Philippe Martinez, said forcing through the law “shows contempt towards the people”.

Police fired teargas and water cannon and charged in an effort to disperse the crowd on Thursday night, as some protesters threw cobblestones. In several other French cities including Marseille there were also spontaneous protests against the reform. Police have arrested 120 people in Paris, according to Le Figaro. A police officer was reportedly injured in one standoff with protestors and rioters.

After the rally was dispersed, some protesters created fires and caused damage to shop fronts in side streets, Agence France-Presse reporters said. Several stores were looted during protests in Marseille, in the country’s south, while clashes between protesters and security forces also erupted in the western cities of Nantes and Rennes as well as Lyon in the south-east, they said. French unions called for another day of strikes and action against the reform on Thursday 23 March.

Macron faces new fury after forcing through France pension law

Rural populist party emerges as big winner in Dutch elections

A new populist party surfing a wave of rural anger at government environmental policies has emerged as the big winner in Dutch provincial elections, dealing a heavy blow to the four-party coalition of the prime minister, Mark Rutte.

The success of the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) in Wednesday’s vote, which will determine the makeup of the senate, casts doubt over the government’s ability to pass key legislation, including its plans to slash nitrogen emissions.

“The Netherlands has clearly shown we’re fed up with these policies,” BBB’s founder, Caroline van der Plas, told the public broadcaster NOS. “It’s not just about nitrogen, it’s about citizens who are not seen, not heard, not taken seriously.” Van der Plas, a former agricultural journalist who founded the BBB four years ago, said the party was “ready to talk with everybody”, adding that the movement “cannot be ignored any longer. The train in The Hague keeps rolling. We’re going to stop it.”

With almost 90% of votes counted, the BBB had secured a share of 19% – enough, according to projections, to give it 15 members in the 75-seat senate when the provincial assembly members choose the new upper house in late May. That would make the new party the biggest bloc in the upper chamber with the combined Labour (PvdA) and GreenLeft parties, also projected to have 15 senators. Rutte’s coalition is on course to see its combined seat total fall to 24 from 32. ...

At the very least, however, the result looks likely to severely complicate the remainder of [Rutte’s] premiership. In principle, the rightwing liberal leader could turn to the PvdA/GreenLeft alliance for the senate majority needed to pass new legislation. In practice, both parties have said they will block the coalition’s entire climate programme unless it goes further and faster, for example by closing all coal-fired power stations within two years and halting subsidies for fossil fuel-based industry.

Toxic Chemicals Found After Ohio Train Derailment

Two trains derail in Washington and Arizona amid rising rail safety concerns

Two BNSF trains derailed in separate incidents in Arizona and Washington state on Thursday, with the latter spilling diesel fuel on tribal land along Puget Sound.

There were no injuries reported. It was not clear what caused either derailment.

The derailment in Washington occurred on a berm along Padilla Bay, on the Swinomish tribal reservation near Anacortes. Most of 5,000 gallons (nearly 19,000 liters) of spilled diesel fuel leaked on the land side of the berm rather than toward the water, according to the state ecology department.

State, tribal and contract cleanup teams were responding and working to remove the remaining fuel from two locomotives that derailed before righting them. A hazmat team from a nearby oil refinery was also available to provide additional spill response equipment.

The derailment in western Arizona, near the state’s border with California and Nevada, involved a train carrying corn syrup. A spokeswoman for the Mohave county sheriff’s office, Anita Mortensen, said that she was not aware of any spills or leaks.

Protesters denounce ‘kangaroo court’ after high-stakes Texas abortion pill hearing

Dozens of protesters were gathered outside the JM Jones federal building in downtown Amarillo, Texas. Holding aloft signs that read “Defend Medication Abortion” and “Not Your Uterus, Not Your Opinion”, they chanted “My body, my choice” as passing cars honked in support and court security guards looked on.

As they stood on the busy street corner, a truck sponsored by the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet circled the block, displaying a large banner reading: “A majority of Americans support abortion access. Judge Kacsmaryk, you can’t hide from us.”

The occasion for the protest was a four-hour hearing held earlier in the day by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, in a lawsuit challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion drug mifepristone. The Women’s March organizers who planned the protest lamented the fact that the hearing had not been publicized until Monday evening, preventing more protesters from traveling to the remote Texas city, which is roughly an eight-hour drive from Austin and a five-and-a-half-hour drive from Dallas.

Citing threats to the court, Kacsmaryk had sought to keep the hearing secret to minimize public attention, a delay that prompted outrage from media groups who said his efforts were unconstitutional and contravened the public’s right to access highly consequential court proceedings. The controversial case could severely curtail medication abortion nationwide and throw the FDA’s authority to regulate drugs into disarray. Kacsmaryk said during Wednesday’s hearing that he would rule “as soon as possible”.

Despite the late notice, about 30 demonstrators from the Texas Panhandle and neighboring eastern New Mexico turned out.

the horse race

Stormy Daniels: Donald Trump legal team ‘pushes for end to hush money case’

Donald Trump’s legal team recently urged the Manhattan district attorney’s office not to indict the former president over his role in paying hush money to a porn star, arguing that the payments would have been made irrespective of his 2016 presidential candidacy, sources familiar with the matter have said.

The lawyer who represented the Trump team at the meeting with the district attorney’s office, Susan Necheles, also argued that campaign funds had not been used for the payments to the porn star, known as Stormy Daniels, and were therefore not a violation of campaign finance laws.

The arguments presented to the district attorney’s office mark the most formal defense that the Trump team have raised to date, as they attempt to settle on a strategy to avoid conviction in the event that the former president is charged with a misdemeanour or felony over the payments.

Trump may face an uphill struggle with those arguments, given the fact that having “mixed motives” to protect himself personally and to protect his campaign could leave him liable, and the timing of the payments suggests there was an urgency to pay the money before the end of the 2016 campaign.

The effort to convince the district attorney, Alvin Bragg, not to bring charges may also prove futile amid increasing signals that an indictment is likely.

the evening greens

Global fresh water demand will outstrip supply by 40% by 2030, say experts

The world is facing an imminent water crisis, with demand expected to outstrip the supply of fresh water by 40% by the end of this decade, experts have said on the eve of a crucial UN water summit.

Governments must urgently stop subsidising the extraction and overuse of water through misdirected agricultural subsidies, and industries from mining to manufacturing must be made to overhaul their wasteful practices, according to a landmark report on the economics of water. Nations must start to manage water as a “global commons”, because most countries are highly dependent on their neighbours for water supplies, and overuse, pollution and the climate crisis threaten water supplies globally, the report’s authors say.

Johan Rockstrom, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a lead author of the report, told the Guardian the world’s current neglect of water resources was leading to disaster. “The scientific evidence is that we have a water crisis. We are misusing water, polluting water, and changing the whole global hydrological cycle, through what we are doing to the climate. It’s a triple crisis.” ...

Many governments still do not realise how interdependent they are when it comes to water, according to Rockstrom. Most countries depend for about half of their water supply on the evaporation of water from neighbouring countries – known as “green” water because it is held in soils and delivered from transpiration in forests and other ecosystems, when plants take up water from the soil and release vapour into the air from their leaves.

Many of the ways in which water is used are inefficient and in need of change, with Rockstrom pointing to developed countries’ sewage systems. “It’s quite remarkable that we use safe, fresh water to carry excreta, urine, nitrogen, phosphorus – and then need to have inefficient wastewater treatment plants that leak 30% of all the nutrients into downstream aquatic ecosystems and destroy them and cause dead zones. We’re really cheating ourselves in terms of this linear, waterborne modern system of dealing with waste. There are massive innovations required.”

Biden administration sides with climate lawsuit against fossil fuel companies

The US Department of Justice filed a legal brief Thursday in support of local governments in Colorado that are part of a growing wave of local and state governments pursuing climate litigation against fossil fuel companies.

In the brief, the DoJ argued that the Colorado case against the Canadian energy giant Suncor should be heard in state court, which is considered more favourable than federal court for plaintiffs who are suing oil companies over climate change. ExxonMobile is also a defendant in the case.

Experts say the DoJ brief is an action by the administration in support of climate litigation, fulfilling a campaign promise by President Joe Biden. “They’ve definitely come out on the side that the climate advocates wanted,” said Dan Farber, law professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

State and local governments across the country have filed lawsuits in recent years alleging that energy giants, including Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP, failed to warn the public about the harms of fossil fuels and engaged in deception or misrepresentation about their products, resulting in devastating climate emergencies in those jurisdictions. In court filings, fossil fuel companies have argued that media coverage of climate change extends back to the 1950s but local governments continued to promote and encourage production and use of oil and gas.

Supporters of the wave of climate lawsuits have compared them to cases against Big Tobacco in the 1990s that resulted in settlements of more than $200bn against cigarette companies. If the lawsuits are successful, they could change how firms do business, compel companies to pay for climate adaptation, and reinforce banking industry concerns that fossil fuels are a risky investment.

Florida beaches brace for 5,000-mile blob of seaweed to deposit rotting goop

It’s brown, it weighs millions of tons, it stretches over 5,000 miles and it is headed for Florida’s beaches. An enormous clump of seaweed circulating the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic is set to coat beaches in a spongy goop, bringing with it a pungent odor similar to rotting eggs.

The huge mass of sargassum is the latest in a series of massive blooms scientists have noticed in the Atlantic since 2011 but could be the largest yet. It is pushing west through the Caribbean and beaches in Cancún, Mexico, and Key West, Florida, have already seen large mats wash ashore.

The brown morass has doubled in size every month from November to January, forming a belt wider than the continental US. It is expected to hit beaches elsewhere in Florida and along the Gulf of Mexico this summer, potentially causing problems for tourists. ...

Sargassum has always naturally formed in the Atlantic and, out at sea, provides a huge floating habitat for animals such as turtles, birds, crabs and shrimp. Some animals, like the sargassum fish, live their whole lives in the floating brown armada. The seaweed also soaks up carbon dioxide.

However, sargassum can pose problems once it has washed ashore and scientists have noticed a large increase over the last decades in the amount now routinely clogging up shorelines in piles five or six feet deep.

California water restrictions eased as cliff sides crumble after storms

Drought-busting rainfall from California’s 11th atmospheric river has brought the end of water restrictions for nearly 7 million people, which imposed limits on activities such as outdoor watering as the state grappled with severe shortages. But the state is still picking up the pieces from the most recent brutal storm that pushed parts of the state from desperately dry to excessively wet.

On Thursday, thousands remained under evacuation warnings or without power. Flooding also closed several miles of the Pacific Coast Highway, and 43 of the state’s 58 counties have been under states of emergency due to the storms. Dramatic drone footage showed saturated hillsides along the Orange county coast that crumbled this week, leaving homes lurching precariously over newly created cliffs.

“Look back – last few years in this state, it’s been fire to ice with no warm bath in between,” Governor Gavin Newsom said as he surveyed flood damage in an agricultural region on the central coast on Wednesday, noting that California could potentially see a 12th atmospheric river next week. Officials have not yet determined the extent of the winter storms’ damage, both structurally and financially. ...

In Orange county, four apartment buildings in the city of San Clemente were evacuated and red-tagged after the bluff gave way behind them and parts of the famous Pacific Coast Highway were buried under mud and trees, forcing closures.

Engorged rivers also caused calamity in California’s Central Valley prompting evacuation warnings in Plumas county and orders in Tulare county. More than 200 residents in the Porterville area have been displaced from their homes while officials scramble to remove debris and secure bridges before the next round of storms expected to hit early next week.

Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

SVB and the Only Choice We Have

The Next Bomb to Go Off in the Banking Crisis Will Be Derivatives

NYT Pushes New False Claims By Debunked Anti-Russia Propagandist Clint Watts

Ukraine - Effective Mortar Range And A Map

Roger Waters threatens legal action over German concert cancellations

Rachel Corrie 'Lives On in All of Us,' Say Palestinians 20 Years After IDF Killed Activist

Jim Gordon, session drummer on dozens of hits such as Layla, dies aged 77

Blood and Treasure: Documenting the Costs of Iraq War from Civilian Casualties to Trillions Spent

Never Again: Human Rights Groups & Japanese Americans Warn Biden Against Jailing Migrant Families

Canada Calls For REGIME CHANGE In Russia!

A Little Night Music

Snooky Pryor - Key To The Highway

Snooky Pryor - Shake Your Boogie

Snooky Pryor with Mel Brown - Learnt My Lesson Well

Snooky Pryor - Raisin' Sand

Snooky Pryor - Judgement Day

Snooky Pryor - Come on Down to My House

Snooky Pryor - Someone To Love Me

Snooky Pryor - Keyhole in Your Door

Snooky Pryor - Stick Way Out Behind

Snooky Pryor - Little Brown Hen

18 users have voted.


Saint Patrick's Day.

10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


yep, it's time for the french people to stand up and do what the french do well. they knew exactly what to do with dr. joseph-ignace guillotin's invention when the need for it presented itself.

11 users have voted.

downing of the USAF MQ-9 reaper drone. /S

The Russian government has awarded the pilots involved in the harassment and crash of a U.S. drone in international airspace.

Russian minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu presented state awards to the fighter jet pilots responsible for downing a U.S. drone over the Black Sea earlier this week.

11 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

It seems as if the news is getting quite depressing. If
not Covid, war, inflation, bank failures, train derailments
it's effecting us all regardless.

Woody tells us it's up to us the people, I agree

Have a great weekend bluesters!!

13 users have voted.

I never knew that the term "Never Again" only pertained to
those born Jewish

"Antisemite used to be someone who didn't like Jews
now it's someone who Jews don't like"

Heard from Margaret Kimberley

joe shikspack's picture


heh, i like woody's sentiments. i'm not so certain that even concerted consumer boycotts will be able to stop u.s. military aggression, but if they were large enough, they might cause some serious disruptions i guess. perhaps that's the best we can hope for. i dunno.

have a great weekend!

8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

be well and have a good one

8 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

thanks for the excellent tune!

have a great weekend!

5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

Still reading and listening, busy day and late start.
Have a wonderful weekend
be well and have a good one

5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russia's president over the invasion of Ukraine, but few in Moscow or beyond expect Vladimir Putin to be led away in handcuffs anytime soon.

The warrant issued on Friday relates to Putin's alleged involvement in the deportation of thousands of children from Ukraine to Russia. Another was issued for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia's commissioner for children's rights.

News of the warrants brought cheers from Ukraine and derision from Moscow. Russia is not among the 123 countries that have signed on to the ICC, making such warrants "null and void" within its borders, said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

But if Putin were to set foot in any of those other countries, they'd have to arrest him, said Payam Akhavan, a senior fellow at the University of Toronto's Massey College and an adviser on genocide to the ICC prosecutor. He'd then be sent to The Hague for trial.

The likelihood of it happening is minute!

The teleprompter adds its 2 cents.

President Biden on Friday said the International Criminal Court (ICC) is “justified” in issuing an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over allegations of war crimes.

“Well, I think it’s justified,” Biden told reporters before leaving the White House for Delaware. “But the question is, it’s not recognized internationally by us, either. But I think it makes a very strong point.”

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joe shikspack's picture


the icc is a lawfare institution, weaponized by the west mostly against african nations whose leaders won't get in line with western imperial priorities. they are not a global justice organization.

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snoopydawg's picture


He said in written statement on the occasion of addressing the National Press Club on Wednesday that the submarine deal is fundamentally about "US strategic hegemony in Asia" and that Australia has now unwisely hitched its wagon to Washington. Keating wrote in the rare critique that "China has committed, in the eyes of the United States, the great sin of internationalism. And what is that sin? To develop an economy as big as the United States."

"The Americans will never condone or accept a state as large as them. That’s what China presents. They would have preferred that [China] - 20 per cent of humanity - remained in poverty forever. But the fact that China is now an industrial economy larger than the United States … it is not in the playbook."

That's when he concluded that ultimately, "This is what [Aukus] is about, the maintenance of the US strategic hegemony in Asia."

In reference to the deal announced and confirmed by President Joe Biden on Monday in San Diego while standing beside his Australian and British counterparts, Keating wrote, "For $360 billion, we're going to get eight submarines. It must be the worst deal in all history."

He took direct aim at the current Australian PM and other top officials, writing the following:

"This week, Anthony Albanese screwed into place the last shackle in the long chain the United States has laid out to contain China."

"No mealy-mouthed talk of 'stabilisation' in our China relationship or resort to softer or polite language will disguise from the Chinese the extent and intent of our commitment to United States's strategic hegemony in East Asia with all its deadly portents."

"History will be the judge of this project in the end. But I want my name clearly recorded among those who say it is a mistake. Who believes that, despite its enormous cost, it does not offer a solution to the challenge of great power competition in the region or to the security of the Australian people and its continent."

I’m betting it’s either bribes or blackmail.

Ha! Of course they’re throwing that at him.

English-language media in some instances was quick to suggest he's playing into Chinese and Russian propaganda while not dealing with his actual arguments. Anthony Albanese also said the former PM has "diminished" himself. "It is unfortunate that Mr Keating chose such a very strong personal statement against people. I don’t think that that does anything other than diminish him, frankly," the prime minister said. "We’ll continue to do what we need to do to defend our nation," he added, but without addressing how the government hopes to pay for the massive decades-long nuclear submarine program.

Thanks for the week of the blues. Have a great weekend!

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joe shikspack's picture


well, of course albanese has to toe the u.s. line and tamp down any sort of dissent. the last aussie pm that got out of line was couped by the u.s. and it's local flunkies.

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soryang's picture

Love Michael Hudson. Richard Wolfe too. Thanks for the news roundup and blues Joe.

In far east news-

The southern prefecture of Okinawa hosts about 70 percent of US military facilities in Japan.

The US military and Japan's Self-Defense Forces are stepping up joint drills amid concerns over a possible contingency involving Taiwan.

Governor Tamaki Denny arrived in the US on Monday on a six-day visit. He met in Washington with officials of the US State Department and the Pentagon, as well as Congress members.

Tamaki reportedly described Okinawa's burden of hosting US military bases, and his opposition to the Japanese government's plan to relocate the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station within the prefecture.

He also reportedly called for diplomatic efforts to ease tensions, saying Okinawa should never again become a battlefield.

Okinawa governor lobbies in Washington for reducing US base burden NHK Mar 10

Good luck to the governor of Okinawa prefecture. US Ambassador Emanuel said, they're not a burden, they're a blessing. From a Tim Shorrock tweet I couldn't post:

Shingetsu News Agency had some great coverage on the Yoon-Kishida summit.

Yoon's Surrender Tour in Tokyo: South Korea President Yoon Suk-Yeol is in Tokyo, trying to squeeze out what benefits he can from his surrender of the rights of the Korean people. There will be no compensation to victims of forced labor from Japan, nor even an apology, but the Kishida administration is eager to do what it can to assist Yoon--short of anything that might antagonize the sensitivities of Japanese right wingers. That means there are photo ops symbolizing friendship and mutual respect, pledges to restart mutual visits by senior officials, and Tokyo dropping some of the export controls it had placed on Korea in order to pressure the previous Moon government. Kishida's effort is given an assist by the mainstream media, national and international, spinning this as a positive development for relations in East Asia, a fresh-eyed look towards a better future, and a "realistic" response to the new "threats" in the region. Unfortunately, this leaves it mainly to progressives to be the Debbie Downers at the party, pointing out how profoundly this is a betrayal of Japan's historic responsibilities. We too want to be "forward-looking," but progress must be based on solid foundations of genuine repentance and reconciliation, not on simple political expediency aimed at facilitating regional militarization. South Korea Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-Myung isn't wrong when he states, in regard to his country's president, that "he's tanking our national reputation. I can almost hear them snickering all the way over in Japan." Another lawmaker of the same center-left opposition party told the local media that "Yoon’s compensation plan is an unconstitutional attack on the very foundation of our nation. This will trigger a serious conflict between President Yoon and the Korean people, including the victims of forced labor." Lee Man-Yeol, former head of the National Institute of Korean History, adds that "the president and the ruling party assert that this is a bold decision made with the future in mind, but that future is the one desired by members of Japan’s far right. Japan will only grow more brazen in its denial of the crimes associated with its colonial rule... Concessions without benefits will only lead Korea-Japan relations to an even greater rupture."

Rahm Emanuel also thought this is just great. According to Japan's government there was no such thing as "forced labor" during WWII. Also, no sex slaves. Kishida told Yoon to get with the 2015 agreement on "comfort women" that former president Moon threw in the garbage. Kishida also raised the Dokdo territorial dispute with Yoon, which Yoon's office denied after being confronted with Japanese newspaper stories that reported it. According to the South Korean presidential office, it never happened. The Japanese said they would discuss relieving some of the trade restrictions on photo resist exports to South Korea.

Gaffe a day Yoon bowed to the Japanese flag at the diplomatic welcoming ceremony. He was also mocked in social media in Japan and South Korea for having a meal with Kishida, in some (low class) hole in wall restaurant. There have been reports that Yoon's protocol office has had resignations lately.

Kim Jong-tae one of my favorite commentators reported on OhMyTV News that Yoon at a prior casual meeting with Kishida at Phnom Penh gave away South Korea's most critical intelligence information in real time to Japan. In the general press, this is described as a guarantee of the GSOMIA agreement, general sharing of military information agreement. This intel was shared with the US, which in turn shared it with Japan.

Former President Moon suspended the agreement because of unfair trade practices by Japan, but the US pressured him to restore it before Yoon took office. The intelligence on North Korean activities, such as missile tests, will now to be piped directly to Japan real time, with no prior analysis, Kim Jong-tae reported. According to Kim, who has a least one source inside the armed forces (one time he claimed a general gave him a story in an MOD bathroom), a lot of senior military officers are not in favor of this new GSOMIA arrangement. The information from the system could be used against Russia or China as well as North Korea, which is not necessarily a good thing (for South Korea). They prefer the old GSOMIA where information shared was evaluated first. The Korean armed forces probably remember Japan as their historical enemy, the more recent military incidents in the East Sea, and Japan's insistence that Dokdo, occupied by South Korea during the Syngman Rhee administration in the 50s, is Japanese territory.

Direct sharing of intel information on an immediate basis could have adverse consequences when one considers Japan's new offensive "counterstrike" strategy for its armed forces, which is actually a preemptive strike tactic. This actually puts Japan in the position to perhaps start a military conflict using South Korea's superior intelligence on the mainland and surveillance systems information, with North Korea or other state, without any prior consultation (with South Korea).

What could go wrong? According to Kim, South Korea's military regards this as unwise. What Japan regards as a military threat and what the South Korean military interpret as a real time threat, may be quite different. In any case, what was the diplomatic incentive to give away unique South Korean military advantages achieved at billions of dollars of expense for nothing at the summit? This is how I understood Kim's commentary.

This was another good commentary on the Japan-South Korea summit in Hankyoreh:

Why must Yoon charge ahead so impetuously? The answer is that he’s clueless about the sensitivity of Korea-Japan relations and the significance of history.

Officials report that Yoon’s advisors kept insisting that Japan should be expected to at least offer an apology, but Yoon ignored their advice, which he’s convinced represents an outdated attitude toward Korea-Japan relations. The Korean president is trying to create a country that no longer demands an apology from Japan — exactly what the Japanese right wing has long desired.

Another factor is Yoon’s nervous assumption that Korea can’t move forward with the US until it settles its outstanding historical disputes with Japan. Yoon’s foreign policy seems to be based on the belief that cooperation among Seoul, Washington and Tokyo on military matters and economic security is key to the US’ strategy of containing China and that South Korea will be left behind if it doesn’t take part in that.

“President Yoon keeps making radically provocative moves based on his assumption that Korea’s very survival will be endangered if it falls outside of the US’ sphere of influence,” said Kim Heung-kyu, a professor at Ajou University, during a seminar organized by the Northeast Asia Research Foundation on Tuesday.

“If he keeps this up, China will use the same tactics employed by Japan to bring Korea to heel,” Kim warned.

[Column] The dangers underlying Yoon’s “grand giveaway” in Japan
Posted on : Mar.17,2023
By Park Min-hee, editorial writer

The joke is now that if Yoon is impeached, he can get a job as the prime minister of Japan. At the Justice Party demo against the summit today in Seoul Plaza, there were signs telling Yoon not to come back.

Then there are the upcoming US restrictions on South Korea and Taiwan affecting high tech exports in semiconductors to China. Additionally, strict regulations affecting their manufacturing facility investments in the US, will not allow subsidies, unless there is technology sharing with the US. I saw at least one article today that interpreted recent US and Japanese moves as intended to supplant South Korean and Taiwanese dominance in these markets.

Great overview of US-North Korean negotiations over the years and the failure of Biden's current US policy in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists-

Tensions are dramatically escalating on the Korean Peninsula, after a series of missile tests from Pyongyang in 2022. The United States and South Korea have responded to these threats with military maneuvers of their own, raising the stakes even further. But this is a recipe for disaster: To avoid an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula, the United States must stop the muscle-flexing, commit to diplomacy instead, and adopt a peace-first strategy.

North Korea’s progress in weapons development should come as no surprise; in 2021, Kim Jong-un announced that North Korea would expand its nuclear weapon capabilities in order to deter what they perceive as hostility and aggression from the United States. This perception by Pyongyang is a direct result of the Biden administration’s continuation of decades of failed policies—consisting of isolation, sanctions, and military threats—all these dotted with occasional flurries of diplomacy. To have even a chance of halting the expansion of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and preventing a conflict that crosses the nuclear threshold, the United States must address the root cause of tensions: the unresolved Korean War.

The US must trade muscles for diplomacy to end the North Korean nuclear crisis
By Colleen Moore | March 16, 2023

Good summary of the history of nuclear talks with North Korea- recommend the entire article.

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語必忠信 行必正直

joe shikspack's picture


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soryang's picture

@joe shikspack Tim Shorrock had a great thread today. I check his twitter feed almost every day. I borrowed from it heavily, because of the links to English language articles and other authors who follow far east news, particularly Japan and Korea.

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語必忠信 行必正直

joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the news/analysis. it sounds like the u.s. has its man in sk. i am guessing that the u.s./cia will make him hard for the people to get rid of (by hook or by crook) as long as he continues toeing the line.

have a great weekend!

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dystopian's picture

Hi all, Hey Joe,

Been too busy lately to stop and hang... lucky to sneak a few songs in a day lately.

Who better than Rahm Emanuel to know what is good for Okinawins?

It appears we simply must figure out how to make something from excess Sargassum.

Thanks for the good blues!

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture


heh, rahmbo always knew better than us what we needed. i don't know how we're getting by without him back home. /s

there must be something useful in sargassum that we can use. a lot of old new england houses used sea kelp as insulation, perhaps if they could get the stink out of sargassum (if there's nothing else better to do with it) it would make a fine building product.

sorry to hear that you're so busy these days, i hope that things calm down to a reasonable level soon. take care and have a great weekend!

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snoopydawg's picture

Don’t hold back, Scott. Tell us how you really feel about him!

Pompous, perfumed, prick.


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I am enjoying Scott's thoughts on Lindsey.

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snoopydawg's picture


After ripping on Graham he continues adding more people that he despises which isn’t a powerful enough word…
He is very angry about the loss of life for regular Ukrainians and thinks it’s over 300,000 that have died. And for what? There is no way that Ukraine will win this war and no it wasn’t unprovoked.

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@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

It is well worth my time viewing it. He doesn't pull any punches except for Biden (temporarily) LOL

ps. I just subscribed to this YouTube channel.

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@snoopydawg too listen to the ass rip vid tonight, but tomorrow will be great for it.
I really like Ritter.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp

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snoopydawg's picture


to the Gettysburg and Kersch battles that basically were the end of the wars because the losses were so significant. To keep fighting after one side lost was just more loss of life.

And wouldn’t it be great if China does get a peace treaty signed? Let’s hope that something like this is in the works!

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The Chinese effort would be great but unfortunately many in the US leadership see China as our latest opponent.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

.... insanity, folks here pointed out that unilateral sanctions and tariffs levied against competitive nations were counter-productive. They would end up punishing the American people through higher unit costs for goods due to fees and tariffs passed on to consumers from every part of the supply chain.

Tariff and sanction mania rapidly expanded in the background during the Trump administration. It was a policy that emerged from Intelligence propaganda and psyop activities that were exacerbated after Trump naively appointed Neocons to fill critical Cabinet seats and key leadership roles at the State Department and in the Intelligence Community.

Inflation spikes struck the West, as predicted. The Neocon handlers of the Biden administration, continued Trump's sanctions policies, which were designed to cause economic harm to rivals. They loudly denied that soaring inflation in the US was the unintended consequence of illegal US sanctions. These consequences included counter-sanctions and counter tariffs, distorted commodity pricing in global markets, and the continuous exploitation of US consumers by greedy US corporations who used the political chaos to quietly hike their prices — yielding excessive profits that they used to buy back their own stock, increasing the share prices. This multiplied the value of their profits. Yet they maintained the inflated prices that burdened US consumers, pushing many out of their homes and into poverty. Bribed legislators looked the other way.

Meanwhile, elected officials turned to the Federal Reserve to use their financial tools to lower the rate of inflation. Interest rate hikes is the tool used by the Federal Reserve to slow overheated
economic expansion. Unfortunately, the current inflation crisis is not caused by "overheated economic expansion." It is caused by geopolitical sanction wars. The higher interest rates remedy did not lower already inflated prices, it only harmed the cash-strapped middle and working classes who had to borrow to stay afloat and pay the rent. Higher prices for necessities largely stayed the same.

Somehow, the Fed didn't know that these frequent and radical interest rate hikes would harm key banks around the world that held large investments in US treasuries purchased at lower rates. This Federal Reserve sabotage could render foreign banks potentially insolvent if their customers discover that the "real" value of the bank's (US treasury holdings) are worth significantly less than their "face" value. A relatively small bank run in one foreign bank could force the bank to liquidate their Treasuries and declare themselves bankrupt. This could easily trigger a global bank run, which might happen at any time.

China's Xinhua Global News Service reported the following foreign financial reactions this week:

European regulators furious at handling of SVB's collapse: Financial Times

Source: Xinhua| 2023-03-18 06:34:45|Editor: huaxia

LONDON, March 17 (Xinhua) -- European financial regulators were angry at U.S. authorities' handling of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) crisis, according to British newspaper Financial Times.

Some of the European regulators have privately accused U.S. authorities of "tearing up a rule book for failed banks that they had helped to write," said the paper in an article on Thursday.

Quoting a senior Eurozone official, the newspaper said the European regulators were shocked at the "total and utter incompetence" of U.S. authorities.

The Europeans were particularly unhappy with the U.S. authorities' decision to cover all SVB depositors, which might "undermine a globally agreed regime," said the Financial Times.


Japan: U.S. Fed aggressive rate hikes shock financial system, further restraining operations

Source: XinhuaEditor: huaxia2023-03-17 11:21:00

TOKYO, March 17 (Xinhua) -- As the shocking collapse of U.S. Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) triggered turmoil in global financial markets, Japanese media and experts blamed the U.S. Federal Reserve's continued aggressive interest rate hikes.

Continuous price drops in bonds held by SVB led to a large amount of booking losses, which might translate into real losses when the lender has to sell its bond assets due to tight liquidity. News of such losses triggered ferocious withdrawals from the bank and a final shutdown.

Start-ups, which SVB mainly serves, were experiencing the ebb tide in the U.S. economic cycle as they began a run on the bank due to difficulties in raising funds, said Takahide Kiuchi, a former Bank of Japan (BOJ) board member. Kiuchi added that the aggressive rate hikes put banks like SVB to trouble and pushed the U.S. Treasury yield curve to its deepest inversion in over four decades, with two-year note yields exceeding 10-year yields, thus making the business model of SVB hard to sustain.

Kiuchi believed the fallout from SVB could spread around the world. Many banks in Europe and Japan also face large booking losses and inverted yield curves, and a string of problems could follow if trust in the financial system is damaged. Financial markets are worried that the impact of the Fed's aggressive rate hikes will eventually hit the U.S. economy hard, said Kiuchi.

SVB's emergency shutdown has in fact led to a sharp rise in the market's risk-averse sentiment. Money has been poured into safe assets such as the Japanese yen, the Swiss franc and gold since last weekend. The Japanese stock market plunged for days, with the yen soaring and Japanese long-term interest rates decreasing significantly.

Teppei Ino, a chief analyst at MUFG Bank, said that SVB's shutdown brought concerns about the outlook for the U.S. economy into the mainstream, and that the U.S. dollar could depreciate further if volatility in America's financial system continues to spread.

Data from the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation showed that unrealized losses of banks across the US swelled to 620 billion U.S. dollars by the end of last year. These are bank assets which have decreased in value but have not been sold yet, highlighting the vulnerability of the U.S. financial system in dealing with sudden shocks.

If deposits are pulled from US banks for higher-yielding investments, many banks will face huge paper losses in their bond operations, and could potentially be shut down.

Persistent high prices from inflation, now combined with the SVB collapse, exposed huge risks in the U.S. banking sector. The Fed's next move may be constrained. The inflation damage has already been done, and it may be difficult for the Fed to justify further interest rate hikes as a solution.


Turkey | U.S. irresponsible monetary policy triggers SVB collapse, says expert

A prominent Turkish analyst said that the U.S. irresponsible monetary policy should be blamed for causing the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and putting the world financial market at risk.
Tufan explained that years of low-interest rates had fueled venture capital investment and boosted the growth of tech startups, which were major customers for banks like SVB.

However, the U.S. Fed continuously adopted aggressive interest rate hikes in 2022, causing turmoils in domestic and international financial markets.

The analyst suggests that in order to reduce global financial risks, it is necessary to move to a policy based on increasing the economic welfare of the world in a prudent and rational way.

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The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato
joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

sounds to me like this might hasten the end of the dollar as the world's reserve currency as foreigners find that being tied to the dollar is causing them catastrophic losses.

have a great weekend!

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Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are reportedly discussing security preparations in the event former President Donald Trump is indicted on felony falsification charges sometime in the coming days, according to multiple media outlets citing anonymous officials.

The agencies are carrying out “preliminary security assessments” in and around a Manhattan courthouse to prepare for a possible indictment linked to an alleged “hush money” scheme involving a woman who claimed to have been intimate with the ex-president, five senior officials told NBC on Friday.

While the officials stressed that the discussions are “precautionary” given that no charges have been filed, they said preparations are being made for an indictment that could come as early as next week. Four law enforcement officials reached by the Associated Press confirmed the interagency conversations, which they said involve “security, planning and the practicalities of a potential court appearance” by Trump.

The agencies discussing security preparations reportedly include the New York Police Department, New York State Court Officers, the US Secret Service, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Manhattan DA’s Office.

The Secret Service will eventually determine whether Trump is handcuffed in the event he is charged, according to a “source in the courts” cited by Fox News.

I am no fan of Trump but the spectacle would require plenty of Popcorn

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