Diversify your bonds
Political and business leaders assess the SVB meltdown
Welcome back to Field Research, a weekly dark humor and satire publication written and produced by me,.
In the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s epic collapse and seizure by federal regulators, I solicited comments from the world’s leading thinkers. I hope you find them informative and educational.
Below the main story there’s a short riff lamenting my one-year Twitter anniversary and an idea for a new recurring bit.
Finally, I’m taking next week off to recover from my knee surgery. We’ll catch up again on Friday, March 31.
“It’s not my fault! How was I supposed to know interest rates actually increased? How was I supposed to understand zany concepts like solvency? Or liquidity? Or diversification? Or risk management? I don’t have a doctorate in nuclear physics from MIT! I’m just the [former] CEO of the country’s [former] sixteenth largest bank!”
— Gregory Becker, [former] Chief Executive Officer and [former] President, Silicon Valley Bank
“I don’t know why everyone’s so jumpy. We have a financial crisis every seven years, and each time I get richer.”
— Jamie Dimon, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
“In its proxy statement, SVB notes that besides 91% of their board being independent and 45% women, they also have ‘1 Black,’ ‘1 LGBTQ+’ and ‘2 Veterans.’”
“In other words, how can a bank expect to manage risk with so many vaginas and sub-humans at the helm?”
— The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
“DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION DEREGULATION”
— GPT-4 as Ronald Reagan
“SVB should’ve diversified their bonds.”
— GZA, Chief Investment Officer, Wu Tang Financial
“Everyone knows you shouldn’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded building. That’s why I synthetically shorted SVB’s stock with a bunch of options, derivatives, and esoteric financial instruments, then withdrew all my money, then told everyone SVB was about to collapse, then watched the herd of donkeys stampede itself into financial oblivion. The Invisible Hand works in mysterious ways.”
— Peter Thiel, Partner, Founder’s Fund, President, Thiel Capital, Chairperson, Palantir Technologies, Hero, America
“Bro, if you don’t protect — BTW it’s totally not a bail out, Bro — anyway, Bro, if you don’t protect all these, like, super innovative app developers, which are, like, chock full of the smartest people in the world, even though they couldn’t be bothered to manage their own money — or whatever — then, Bro, the threat of, like, financial contagion could, like, jeopardize the future of Y Combinator, Bro. Oh, and — Oh right! — China will, like, win the innovation cold war, or something, Bro.”
— Garry Tan, Chief Executive Officer and President, Y Combinator
“What happens to bond prices when we raise interest rates again? I can never keep that straight.”
— Jerome Powell, Chairperson, Federal Reserve
“Had the U.S. never abolished slavery, we wouldn’t have gotten involved in World War One, wouldn’t have become an economic and military superpower, wouldn’t have gotten involved in World War Two, wouldn’t have won the Cold War, wouldn’t have become the globe’s nuclear-armed hegemon, and wouldn’t have grown soft and decadent.
“If the U.S. wasn’t soft and decadent today, then the left wouldn’t be whining about CRT and DEI, and Silicon Valley Bank wouldn’t have failed.”
— Vivek Ramaswamy, Fraudulent Biotech Entrepreneur, 2024 Presiden—🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
“But, but, but — MORAL HAZARD!!!”
— 50% of Dipshits on Twitter
“But, but, but — INNOVATION!!!”
— 50% of Dipshits on Twitter
— Gary Gensler, Chair, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Global Head of Corporate Finance, Deep State Holdings LLC
“Imagine the economy as a human body. That makes the banking system the heart, capital markets the arteries and veins, and money the blood. For this metaphorical body to properly function, the heart must pump blood to all its different sections — via the arteries and veins — so each organ or system can perform its necessary functions, and maintain a healthy, natural equilibrium.
“I want my heart to pump the right amount of blood, to the right parts of my body, and risk losing as little blood as possible, while always maintaining a proper reservoir of blood in case my body becomes ill, or gets cut, or has to go as hard as possible at the trampoline gym so I can tear my meniscus.
“I don’t want my heart creating new blood innovations, or new blood derivatives, or new blood instruments, or engaging in blood engineering, or needlessly trading blood with other hearts, in other bodies, in an effort to create more blood, which is then distributed to leeches and vampires in the form of blood gains and blood dividends and blood buybacks, because — when the blood betting and blood gambling and blood punting inevitably causes a blood panic — the blood casino will freeze up, my heart will shut down, somebody will have to call for help, and the blood authorities will have to pump emergency blood into my cold, lifeless body.”
— Amran Gowani, Unemployed, Middle-aged Dad
“The threat to capitalism is clear. We only made sixteen billion last year.”
— Kenneth Griffin, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Citadel, Former Chicagoan
“The crisis at Silicon Valley Bank reinforces the strength and dynamism of our superior economic system. There are no circumstances where I’d have to bail out our banking industry, because I own it.”
— Xi “Winnie the Pooh” Jinping, Wannabe Emperor
“Hold mein bier.”
— Ulrich Körner, Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse Group AG
“In 1999, when I signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act — which repealed much of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which had wisely and judiciously separated commercial and investment banking in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash — and once again made it possible for a bunch of Wharton failsons to gamble with the money in regular people’s checking and savings accounts, I did America a great service, and cemented my legacy as a centrist, neoliberalist cuck, with no animating philosophy or belief system beyond what would win me votes, fame, the affection of interns, and eventually tens of millions of dollars in speaking fees on the investment banking circuit.
“This upcoming financial crisis will only be the fourth since I left office. My record speaks for itself.”
— Bill Clinton, Lifelong Public Servant
“Words make gay.”
— Ron DeSantis, Florida Man
Support the madness
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Shoutout to great family friends K&T in New Zealand for becoming paid subscribers this week!
I am Jack’s wasted Twitter account
Tomorrow marks one year since I foolishly created a Twitter account. I planned to reflect on my experience in a full post, but realized I couldn’t possibly write anything more devastating or revelatory than this tweet from the Incel King himself.
I can’t decide if I should hold onto my account — so I can see what the world’s worst people are saying and embed their brain-melting tweets in my posts — or purge the poison from my body altogether.
As an exercise in platform-building and creating awareness for my writing, the Twitter experiment has been an unequivocal failure.
But, sometimes I nail game-winners:
Field Research Field Guides
One of the few things I’m actually good at is teaching. Three lifetimes ago, before I embraced then rejected then deep-sixed my academic and corporate careers, I wanted to become a university professor.
Nowadays I like to think I’m teaching through writing, which sparked a thought for a new recurring gimmick: Field Research Field Guides.
The idea would be to tackle a complex topic or concept (e.g., central banking, insurance pooling, valuing stocks, moral hazard, how Moderna squeezed those microchips into such small syringes) and “explain it” in my own voice.
Obviously I’d try to make these fun, with jokes aplenty. Perhaps, as a side effect, we’d manage to learn something together as well. Sound interesting?
Drop thoughts, comments, ideas, and suggested topics below. Or send an email to email@example.com.
Field Research is off next week. My knee surgery was a Six Sigma process and went swimmingly, but I want to grant myself ample recovery time. Plus, maybe I’ll make some dang progress on my noncompliant novel.
Next Friday, if you find yourself clamoring for some dark humor by that internet guy with the weird name, swing by the Field Research webpage and visit the archive. Over seventy-five deranged missives will be waiting.
See you again on Friday, March 31 at 9:30 a.m. CT!
I liked the blood bit ... that guy should regulate banks.
No quotes from the president!?! How will I know where I should... invest my butter... on the corn pop... with the thing...