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‘Is An Idiot’: Watters, Tarlov Duke It Out Over Closing Of Silicon Valley Bank

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A Fox News segment went off the rails when several co-hosts debated the recent collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank.

During a fiery discussion on “The Five,” liberal co-host Jessica Tarlov caused a stir when she pushed back on arguments that the California-based bank failed in recent days because it had gone “woke” and embraced Democrat-aligned policies that led to financial ruin.

Tarlov argued that one of SVB’s top venture capitalists was Peter Thiel, a right-leaning figure who poured tens of millions of dollars into Trump-backed campaigns during the 2022 midterms. The co-hosts also reminded Tarlov that just because one financier of the bank was conservative does not mean the bank didn’t lean Left politically on issues it supported and donated to.

“And Dana said it happened so quickly. Banking, a bank run is a tale as old as time, right? But being able to do a bank run off your phone is what is new, that a few people can get on Twitter, start tweeting out, ‘get out, get out, get out,’ and suddenly $42 billion needs to leave your coffers within 24 hours,” Tarlov noted.

“I mean, that’s an impossibility and something that we have to deal with,” Tarlov added. “I want to say something about what the Post said, ‘You know, if it was at a MAGA bank?’ It basically was! Peter Thiel was one of the top five biggest VCs there. Huge backer of Donald Trump, 2016 2020. In 2022, he resigned from the Board of META. He was one of the original board members, so that he could back J.D. Vance, to join a Trump-aligned PAC for J.D. Vance and Blake Masters. This embarrassing thing, whatever Jesse was talking about, all the wokeness, if you look at who’s running that bank, it’s a bunch of white guys and three women. And the jobs that those three women have, by the way, are roles that traditionally women have H.R. the CMO, and then the chief risk officer, who obviously was not doing a great job there.”

“So you are saying we needed more white guys?” jested Jesse Watters.

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“No, I’m really not saying that at all. That’s what I hear in terms of ESG investing. So I was looking around for Republicans who believe in it, someone like Steve Schwarzman, who runs Blackstone. It’s a huge pillar of their business. I’ve never encountered someone who works in finance, who cares more about having Black faces or Trans people at the table more than they care about money,” Tarlov added.

“Well, whoever is ever running it is an idiot. They just got wiped out,” Watters shot back.

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Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has predicted an “economic meltdown” after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Ackman is urging President Joe Biden and his administration to intervene and safeguard all of the bank’s depositors, warning that failure to act could result in a ripple effect across other smaller banks in the industry.

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His concern is that customers may hastily withdraw cash from their accounts due to apprehension about instability in the banking system, which could potentially trigger a domino effect, the Daily Mail reported.

Ackman is calling on the government to take action and rectify “a-soon-to-be-irreversible mistake” by Monday morning to avert potential catastrophe, the report said. His somber forecast came after SVB Financial Group’s CEO, Greg Becker, released a video message to the bank’s staff.

Ackman released a lengthy statement on Twitter outlining his concerns that, until Biden acts, there will be a financial upheaval the likes of which haven’t been seen since the “Great Depression,” circa 2008, and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs:

The gov’t has about 48 hours to fix a-soon-to-be-irreversible mistake. By allowing @SVB_Financial to fail without protecting all depositors, the world has woken up to what an uninsured deposit is — an unsecured illiquid claim on a failed bank. Absent @jpmorgan @citi or @BankofAmerica acquiring SVB before the open on Monday, a prospect I believe to be unlikely, or the gov’t guaranteeing all of SVB’s deposits, the giant sucking sound you will hear will be the withdrawal of substantially all uninsured deposits from all but the ‘systemically important banks’ (SIBs).

These funds will be transferred to the SIBs, US Treasury (UST) money market funds and short-term UST. There is already pressure to transfer cash to short-term UST and UST money market accounts due to the substantially higher yields available on risk-free UST vs. bank deposits. These withdrawals will drain liquidity from community, regional and other banks and begin the destruction of these important institutions. The increased demand for short-term UST will drive short rates lower complicating the @federalreserve’s efforts to raise rates to slow the economy.

Ackman went on to note that allowing SVB to collapse without safeguarding all depositors sends a message that uninsured deposits are unsecured and illiquid claims on a failed bank. Currently, for FDIC-insured banks, only accounts with $250,000 or less are guaranteed by the government.

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