My dream would be to develop a thick skin, the kind Breitbart writer John Nolte is blessed with. Many claim not to care what people think or say about them but reading Nolte over the years I’m convinced he’s the real deal. Good thing, too, because the entrenched media is always smearing Breitbart with false accusations that it’s staffed by white supremacists, a criticism that I imagine Nolte’s Hispanic wife finds a tad amusing, as no doubt does the Black South African spouse of Nolte’s colleague, Joel Pollak.  

Nolte previously spent eight years as an indie film producer here in L.A., but on heading back to North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains he had this to say about Tinseltown:

There is very little, however, my wife and I will miss about the city itself. We learned pretty quickly that all the cliches are true about the crime, traffic, smog, tremors, and artificiality of it all. Simply put, this city is a dump with a 10% sales tax where light bulbs are contraband the seasons change from hot to scalding and throwing your garbage in the wrong bin ranks as something close to a capital crime. No offense, but I see Los Angeles as nothing more than a big, fascist, one-story ghetto and those of you who love it are welcome to it.

Nolte’s mostly covers Hollywood and media, so he’s an authority on hypocrisy, wokeness, and the mechanics of cancel culture. That explains why he so readily understood the big picture implications of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s s decision to bail out the depositors of Silicon Valley and Signature banks.

Here’s a portion of Nolte’s March 17 column about testimony Yellen gave Congress that I hadn’t seen anywhere else.

Treasure Secretary Janet Yellen admitted to the U.S. Senate Thursday that the government is choosing winners and losers in the rigged bank bailout lottery. And wouldn’t you know it, the losers sure look like the smaller community banks the big banks (and Democrats) would love to see eliminated.

Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford asked Yellen a very simple question:

Will the deposits in every community bank in Oklahoma, regardless of their size, be fully insured now? Are they fully covered, every bank, every community bank in Oklahoma, regardless of the size of the deposit? Will they get the same treatment that SVBP [Silicon Valley Bank] just got or Signature Bank just got?

Please look very closely at Yellen’s terrifying answer:

A bank only gets that treatment if a majority of the FDIC board, a super majority of the Fed board and I, in consultation with the president, determine that the failure to protect uninsured depositors, would create systemic risk and significant economic and financial consequences.

In other words, if the FDIC likes your bank, the depositors are insured. If not, the depositors are not insured over $250,000, which means what?

It means that people will withdraw their money from community banks and hand those deposits over to a handful of fascist giant banks that not only own almost all the banking but will refuse to do business with you if you hold certain political opinions they find offensive… Oh, and you can bet those political opinions they find offensive will always-always-always be conservative opinions.

Lankford understands what these corrupt crony capitalists are up to and follows up with this:

“So what is your plan to keep large depositors from moving their funds out of community banks into the big banks?” Lankford asked. “We have seen the mergers of banks over the past decade, and I’m concerned you’re about to accelerate that by encouraging anyone who has a large deposit in a community bank to say, ‘We’re not gonna make you whole, but if you go to one of our preferred banks, we will make you whole at that point.’

Now that Yellen had been exposed and busted, she chose to answer this important question by playing stupid…

“Look, I mean, that’s certainly not something that we’re encouraging,” she said.

Damn right, that’s what Yellen is encouraging.

Giving more power to the already way-to-powerful major U.S. banks is a potential threat to free speech and contrarian thinking in America. Here’s Chase’s positions on sustainability, the environment, and social policies. Bank of America sings from the same hymn book. Businesses seeking funding for activities that don’t comply with these stated positions or their executives publicly opposed them might find themselves turned down for loans on the grounds they don’t comply with the “values” of these banks.

One need only look to Canada to see the horrors of an all-too-powerful banking system and how it can be easily used as an arm of the government. Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, a tyrant with close ties to financier George Soros and a darling of the Davos crowd, was able to freeze the financial assets of truckers who legally protested the Trudeau government’s lockdown policies with nary a protest from any of the five banks that control most of that country’s financial assets.

Canadian columnist Rupa Subramanya two years ago warned that Freeland’s ties to the World Economic Forum (WEF) was “endangering Canadian Democracy.” It’s been disclosed that China actively meddled in Canada’s elections and financially supported the election of Justin Trudeau, but when reporters press the former drama teacher on the issue, he accuses them of “anti-Asian racism.”

As Chase bank becomes more powerful, I can envision a time when criticizing China in the U.S. could doom one’s business and finances. Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in 2021 famously apologized for saying his bank would outlast China’s Communist government.

“I regret my recent comment because it’s never right to joke about or denigrate any group of people, whether it’s a country, its leadership, or any part of a society and culture,” he said.  

At the height of the BLM protests, Chase staged a photograph of Dimon taking a knee in front of the bank’s suburban New York City branches. Dimon goes with the popular flow.

Jamie Dimon (center)

Canada’s big banks are notoriously risk adverse, which is why so many Canadian entrepreneurs are forced to move south of the border to get financing. Reuters reported last week that Silicon Valley Bank’s climate technology startups are concerned they may face higher finance costs given the likelihood of having to deal with “less start-up friendly banks,” which I assume means the big banks.

Chase incorporates the remains of some very well-run banks that once laced the Midwest, including the First National Bank of Chicago, National Bank of Detroit, and Columbus-based Bank One. Chicago, Detroit, and Columbus are now just regional outposts of Chase, which is based in New York City. I’m skeptical these cities benefited from the loss of their biggest banks.

Yellen’s moves were clearly intended to consolidate even more power with the big banks and euthanize community banks, doing the late Michigan pathologist Dr. Jack Kevorkian proud. I argue that a more prudent public policy should be aimed to downsize the big banks and protect and nourish community banks.  

Janet Yellen/Treasury

To that end, I’d remove FDIC deposit protection from the big banks. Jamie Dimon amassed a $1.5 billion fortune as a career banker; his 2022 compensation alone was $34.5 million. I’ve been reading for years that Dimon is brilliant, so Chase’s investors, not U.S. taxpayers, should be on the hook for any mistakes he makes. Given that public companies are supposedly run to enrich their shareholders, the shareholders should be held legally liable for their corporations’ behaviors.

That’s not the way the game is played in America, where the system is rigged to favor the rich. Equities over time are the best investments to increase wealth over time, but only 58% of Americans can afford to hold stocks.

In 2022, the percentages owning stock range from highs of 89% of adults in households earning $100,000 or more and 79% of those with postgraduate education to a low of 25% of those in households earning less than $40,000. America’s 1% hold 53% of stocks, worth some $16.76 trillion. The bottom 50% of American adults hold only 0.6% of stocks worth $19 billion.

The takeaway lesson from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is that mega wealthy venture capitalists were ultimately responsible for the bank’s collapse, but Janet Yellen and her Biden Administration cronies made them whole. What Breitbart writer Nolte omitted is that Republicans ultimately would have done the same thing, although likely with more finesse that would have made the end game less obvious.

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