Socialism for the rich: Citing a desire to avoid any sort of "systemic" failure in the banking sector, on Sunday the US Treasury made the "unusual" decision to cover all depositors at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which served a lot of tech start-ups before going belly up last week, according to the Washington Post. We also saved New York's Signature Bank, which nearly collapsed due to the run on SVB and a bad bet on crypto banking.
bUt Is It A bAiLoUt? The Biden administration will source its bailout funds from "a pool of money" banks pay into, but that pool of money is "ultimately backstopped by the Treasury Department—and therefore U.S. taxpayers," writes the Post.
Who's to blame? Structurally: Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo and the four conservative Democrats who spearheaded a 2018 bill to deregulate "stadium banks" such as SVB, a bill that SVB, of course, lobbied to pass. Procedurally: Venture capitalists and tech CEOs lit the match when they apparently orchestrated a bank run partly via group texts lol. Then those very same people had the gall to ask the govt to protect the depositors they abandoned.
in the future whenever I start feeling like I might be too stupid for anything, really, I'm going to read this, get it tattooed on my eyelids https://t.co/3vSDJRYTqg pic.twitter.com/SE9ISWn9n9— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) March 13, 2023
And is Joe Manchin mad that some of this money will most certainly be used on drugs to deal with the anxiety of a rough weekend??? Likely not, considering that he backed the Biden admin's move in a statement.
Well, I hope Manchin is vocal in his opposition to bailing out SVB too, then. Because it looks like some of that bailed-out payroll will be used on drugs. Can't have that. https://t.co/Mdeb83gRRZ pic.twitter.com/r3nJcqA6rL— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) March 13, 2023
Fallout in WA: KING 5 reports that an estimated 10-20% of Washington's wine industry used SVB. The Seattle Times reports that between "30% and 50% of Seattle-area startups have worked with SVB at one time or another." Companies who used the bailed-out banks may have trouble accessing credit to finance stuff, including payrolls.
An Everett cop shot and killed someone: Details remain thin. On Saturday morning at 1:30 am, a SWAT team "was shouting at a man to surrender himself." According to KIRO 7, neighbors heard between three and five gunshots, and then their neighbor was no more.
What will you weather today? Wetness.
Wet night— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) March 13, 2023
Hey, it's the 35th anniversary of "Never Gonna Give You Up" reaching #1.
Here's a meteorologist version 😂:
"I'll never give up on the weather, no
I'll never let it get me low
I'll keep on dancing through the rain and snow
And never let the weather control my soul." pic.twitter.com/FzG4FuHgjk
Looking for a pet rabbit? The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County needs to find a home for nearly 250 rabbits after cops seized the fluffy little guys in the agency's "largest ever" confiscation effort, KOMO reports. Animal Control decided to take the animals in response to "repeated complaints" about the number of bunnies at some house in Puyallup. To encourage adoption, the humane society reduced fees. If you want one, then apply here.
Animal Control Makes Largest Seizure Ever. 246 rabbits found during a search warrant for an animal cruelty case.— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) February 17, 2023
PCSD Blotterhttps://t.co/MgK4h7442b pic.twitter.com/eX75QuH4Lp
Everything Everywhere All at Once (EEAO) cleans up at the Oscars: The Academy saw fit to award Best Picture to EEAO; Best Actor to Brendan Fraser for The Whale (read Lindy West on that film's "harmful fantasy of fat squalor"); Best Actress to Michelle Yeoh, who became the first Asian to win that award; Best Actor in a Supporting Role to Ke Huy Quan, and Best Supporting Actress to Jamie Lee Curtis, who had never been nominated for an Oscar before despite her amazing performances in True Lies, Halloween, and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys.
Curtis offers an elegant counter to a stupid Christian question: I strongly dislike when religious people try to normalize their strange coping mechanisms in moments of tragedy or triumph, as when some entertainment reporter asked Curtis if she felt as if her parents were "proudly looking down on her" after her Oscar win. Rather than say "no, because I don't believe in fairy tales," she said a much nicer thing that bears repeating:
I don’t believe in a world where people are looking down on us. I think we are them in our actions, in our deeds and in our ideas. We build our own. We give them to our children, and that’s how the world goes on. I am a product of them. I am a proud product of them. I know they would be incredibly proud of me.
Another proud parent moment: In his acceptance speech, Ke Huy Quan, who started out his career playing the kid in Indiana Jones and The Goonies, thanked his elderly mother, who was watching the show at home:
"Mom, I just won an Oscar" —Ke Huy Quan #oscars pic.twitter.com/xvHPuK8Ccl— Vulture (@vulture) March 13, 2023
Me at the Oscars:
hugh grant wants no part of this dumb shit pic.twitter.com/uBQ70QcZGf— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 12, 2023
Pence continues humiliating himself: The former Vice President and probable 2024 GOP presidential candidate delivered his harshest critique ever to Donald Trump... two years after such a critique would matter. From Politico: “History will hold Donald Trump accountable for Jan. 6. Make no mistake about it: What happened that day was a disgrace, and it mocks decency to portray it in any other way. President Trump was wrong," Pence said. The line kinda killed the mood at the Gridiron dinner, a traditionally jocular affair with a bunch of journalists.
Biden says drill baby drill: Today the president approved a "huge Alaska oil project" known as Willow while also promising to issue "new rules to block oil and gas leases on more than 13 million of the 23 million acres that form the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska," reports the New York Times. This is climate arson. We need to keep this shit in the ground.
US death machine sales way up: Between 2017 and 2022, US arms exports rose by 7%, according to Reuters. Our arms sales now account for 40% of the global market. Russia is the world's second-largest weapons exporter, but their market share fell from 22% to 16% during that same period.
Vaccine for bees: The BBC reports on a biotech firm that developed a vaccine to prevent the foulbrood disease in bees, which could save colonies from dying out. Scientists simply give the queen the vaccine, and she passes along the protection to the young ones.
China's big day: Today marks the last day of the National People's Congress, a yearly legislative meeting. According to Al Jazeera, the body appointed several functionaries "loyal" to President Xi Jinping, which will give him more power to do what he wants. One of those dudes encouraged the US and China to work together, adding that "encirclement and suppression are not advantageous for anyone."
I spent the last five days staying up until 2 am and screaming at all the fiction/poetry/creative nonfiction writers at AWP, so I plan to spend the rest of the week drinking herbal tea and listening to this lullaby in my reading chair.