Why SVB and Signature Bank Failed so Fast – and Why the U.S. Banking Crisis Isn’t Over Yet

With over $1 trillion of bank deposits currently uninsured, the banking crisis is far from over.

Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank failed with enormous speed – so quickly that they could be textbook cases of classic bank runs, in which too many depositors withdraw their funds from a bank at the same time. The failures at SVB and Signature were two of the three biggest in U.S. banking history, following the collapse of Washington Mutual in 2008.

How could this happen when the banking industry has been sitting on record levels of excess reserves – or the amount of cash held beyond what regulators require?

While the most common type of risk faced by a commercial bank is a jump in loan defaults – known as credit risk – that’s not what is happening here. As an economist who has expertise in banking, I believe it boils down to two other big risks every lender faces: interest rate risk and liquidity risk.

Interest rate risk

A bank faces interest rate risk when the rates increase rapidly within a shorter period.

That’s exactly what has happened in the U.S. since March 2022. The Federal Reserve has been aggressively raising rates – 4.5 percentage points so far – in a bid to tame soaring inflation. As a result, the yield on debt has jumped at a commensurate rate.

The yield on one-year U.S. government Treasury notes hit a 17-year high of 5.25% in March 2023, up from less than 0.5% at the beginning of 2022. Yields on 30-year Treasurys have climbed almost 2 percentage points.

As yields on a security go up, its price goes down. And so such a rapid rise in rates in so short a time caused the market value of previously issued debt – whether corporate bonds or government Treasury bills – to plunge, especially for longer-dated debt.

For example, a 2 percentage point gain in a 30-year bond’s yield can cause its market value to plunge by around 32%.

SVB, as Silicon Valley Bank is known, had a massive share of its assets – 55% – invested in fixed-income securities, such as U.S. government bonds.

Of course, interest rate risk leading to a drop in market value of a security is not a huge problem as long as the owner can hold onto it until maturity, at which point it can collect its original face value without realizing any loss. The unrealized loss stays hidden on the bank’s balance sheet and disappears over time.

But if the owner has to sell the security before its maturity at a time when the market value is lower than face value, the unrealized loss becomes an actual loss.

That’s exactly what SVB had to do earlier this year as its customers, dealing with their own cash shortfalls, began withdrawing their deposits – while even higher interest rates were expected.

This bring us to liquidity risk.

Liquidity risk

Liquidity risk is the risk that a bank won’t be able to meet its obligations when they come due without incurring losses.

For example, if you spend US$150,000 of your savings to buy a house and down the road you need some or all of that money to deal with another emergency, you’re experiencing a consequence of liquidity risk. A large chunk of your money is now tied up in the house, which is not easily exchangeable for cash.

Customers of SVB were withdrawing their deposits beyond what it could pay using its cash reserves, and so to help meet its obligations the bank decided to sell $21 billion of its securities portfolio at a loss of $1.8 billion. The drain on equity capital led the lender to try to raise over $2 billion in new capital.

The call to raise equity sent shockwaves to SVB’s customers, who were losing confidence in the bank and rushed to withdraw cash. A bank run like this can cause even a healthy bank to go bankrupt in a matter days, especially now in the digital age.

In part this is because many of SVB’s customers had deposits well above the $250,000 insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. – and so they knew their money might not be safe if the bank were to fail. Roughly 88% of deposits at SVB were uninsured.

Signature faced a similar problem, as SVB’s collapse prompted many of its customers to withdraw their deposits out of a similar concern over liquidity risk. About 90% of its deposits were uninsured.

Systemic risk?

All banks face interest rate risk today on some of their holdings because of the Fed’s rate-hiking campaign.

This has resulted in $620 billion in unrealized losses on bank balance sheets as of December 2022.

But most banks are unlikely to have significant liquidity risk.

While SVB and Signature were complying with regulatory requirements, the composition of their assets was not in line with industry averages.

Signature had just over 5% of its assets in cash and SVB had 7%, compared with the industry average of 13%. In addition, SVB’s 55% of assets in fixed-income securities compares with the industry average of 24%.

The U.S. government’s decision to backstop all deposits of SVB and Signature regardless of their size should make it less likely that banks with less cash and more securities on their books will face a liquidity shortfall because of massive withdrawals driven by sudden panic.

However, with over $1 trillion of bank deposits currently uninsured, I believe that the banking crisis is far from over.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Vidhura Tennekoon

Vidhura S Tennekoon is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Vidhura earned his BSc degree in Engineering from the University of Peradeniya and an… More by Vidhura Tennekoon.

RELATED ARTICLE: Silicon Valley Bank collapse: go woke, crash the economy

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Woke Universities Sacrificing Science on the Altar of Ideology and Profit

Three case studies from Canada and Australia about suppression of heterodox opinions in universities.

Two thousand five hundred years ago the Greek playwright Aeschylus is reputed to have said “the first victim of war is truth.” Recent events in the academic world have demonstrated that truth is also a casualty when ideology and commercial interests are at stake.

The most recent case occurred last month at Laval University in Canada, when professor and RNA expert Patrick Provost was suspended without pay for anti-mRNA vaccine comments. Patrick Provost has run an RNA lab for 20 years and has published nearly 100 peer-reviewed studies. In 2003, Provost’s work on the role of microRNA in gene expression was named one of the 10 discoveries of the year by the Quebec Science Magazine.

Based on the government’s own hospitalization and mortality statistics for children, which are both very low, Provost said he believed the risks of Covid-19 vaccination in children could outweigh the benefits because of the potential side-effects from mRNA vaccines, which have only gone through two of the usual four stages of testing required before vaccines are approved for general use.

“I was just doing what I was hired to do,” he said in an interview. “I had some concerns about something, I searched the literature and I prepared a talk and I delivered it to the public. Being censored for doing what I’ve been trained to do — and hired to do — well, it’s hard to believe.”

“As soon as you raise some concerns about vaccines, or side-effects, or complications related to vaccines, then it’s worse than the N-word,” he continued. “You’re condemned by the media, by the government and you’re chased and put down …. We should be able to discuss any ideas — any opinions — and because I expressed opinions that went against the government narrative, I was suspended.”

Regarding the University’s reaction, one might well wonder about the fact that the top 20 pharmaceutical companies spent C$139 billion on Research & Development in 2022, a portion of which went to university researchers. Faculties of medicine are particularly favoured beneficiaries of such funding. And Patrick Provost is a professor at the Faculty of Medicine.

In an entirely different field, geophysicist Peter Ridd was sacked in 2018 by James Cook University, in Australia, for criticizing the work of a colleague studying the Great Barrier Reef. In an email to a journalist, he said the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority “is grossly misusing some scientific ‘data’ to make the case that the Great Barrier Reef is greatly damaged.” Ridd maintained that scientific organisations were “quite happy to spin a story for their own purposes, in this case to demonstrate that there is massive damage to the Great Barrier Reef.”

In a report published last year based, like Provost’s talk, on publicly available data, from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, aka the AIMS, Ridd notes that “the average coral cover as of 2022 is (…) the highest level on record. Figure 2 makes it clear that AIMS has effectively hidden the very good news about the reef between 2016 and 2022 by not publishing the Great Barrier Reef average data since 2017.”

Since 2014, the Australian government has committed A$4 billion to saving the Reef. The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, based at James Cook University, has been a major recipient of this funding. It should be no surprise that Ridd’s colleagues did not take kindly to someone undermining the claims on which their research, and the government funding that subsidizes it, is based.

Back in Canada, Frances Widdowson, a professor of economics, policy, and justice at Mount Royal University in Alberta was fired last year after colleagues and activists called for her termination because she dared to challenge groupthink on indigenous issues. Widdowson had made the self-evident claim that residential schools provided access to education that otherwise might not have been available, which was not an endorsement of the residential school system, but a mere statement of fact. A large percentage of Indian parents willingly opted for residential schools as they were the only way for their children to get an education. Despite the factuality of the claim, she was vilified and called a “denialist.”

Widdowson observes that no one dare question indigenous leaders in Canada these days, which makes it difficult to check their claims about buried remains of children. Widdowson has remarked that while lurid talk of buried indigenous children has circulated for more than 25 years and is “now firmly ensconced within the Canadian consciousness,” there is still no hard evidence to support it. Not a single body has been found at the Kamloops Indian Residential School where 215 bodies were allegedly detected by ground-penetrating radar.

Widdowson’s words in her last hearing at the disciplinary committee just before being fired are worth quoting as a moral to these stories:

“My final thought is that I don’t think it’s understood, not just at Mount Royal but in universities generally, that there is a fundamental conflict between academic universities, academic values and these ideological types of intrusions which are put forward under a number of different names, whether it be diversity, inclusion or equity policies. (…). I’m being pushed out because I can’t accept things that I believe to be untrue. I can’t say that I think something is true when I don’t think it’s true and I think it would be a violation of my academic position to do that. And unfortunately there are people who are either opportunistic or just afraid who won’t stand behind the academic foundation of the university.”

The university is now a house without foundations. We all know what eventually happens to such houses.


Patrick Duffley

Patrick Duffley is Professor of English Linguistics at Université Laval, in Canada. More by Patrick Duffley.

RELATED ARTICLE: Mr. President, Fire Your Woke Minions And Appoint Some Competent People

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

February Border Encounters Show Illegal Immigration Isn’t Abating, It’s Just Being Rerouted

Washington, D.C. — The Biden administration’s new “border enforcement measures” have not succeeded in curbing record levels of illegal immigration, they’ve just rerouted much of the flow through legal ports of entry, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, released Thursday, reveals that the total number of border encounters in February, 212,266, remained at historic high levels. But due to the Biden administration’s flagrant abuse of parole authority, 83,389 illegal migrants were encountered at legal ports of entry by the Office of Field Operations (OFO), instead of attempting to enter between ports of entry.

“The Biden administration is blatantly attempting to deceive the American public into believing they have illegal immigration under control,” said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “While boasting that ‘only’ 128,877 migrants were encountered by Border Patrol entering between ports of entry in February, OFO encountered 83,389 illegal aliens, and allowed many to enter the country under the administration’s expansive and illegal use of parole authority. The net effect is the same; it just doesn’t look as bad.”

The release of the February data comes one day after Raul Ortiz, Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, testified before the House Homeland Security Committee that the federal government does not have “operational control” of the southern border – a statutorily defined requirement that his agency is obligated to meet. Moreover, Chief Ortiz asserted that operational control is not even a goal of this administration and, instead, the agency’s “new strategy is geared toward mission advantage” – an entirely made-up standard that has no legal definition.

“Even CBP’s efforts to mask the scope of illegal migration by moving 83,389 illegal entries off-the-books, does not tell the full story of the Biden administration’s disastrous border policies,” Stein continued. “The number of people who elude apprehension remains high, while lethal narcotics, including fentanyl, continues to pour across the southern border, where criminal cartels maintain clear ‘mission advantage.’

“No matter how CBP tries to spin it, the February numbers make it clear that the Biden administration is not turning the tide on illegal immigration. And, as the Biden administration is set to end the use of Title 42 in May, the last remaining mechanism in place to turn back migrants at the border, the crisis is likely to get a whole lot worse,” Stein concluded.


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EDITORS NOTE: This FAIR press release is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Saint Patrick from Irish Slave to Irish Saint

“The list of Irish saints is past counting; but in it all no other figure is so human, friendly, and lovable as St. Patrick – who was an Irishman only by adoption.” — Stephen Gwynn

On Saint Patrick’s Day 2023 it is only fitting and proper to understand the true story of Saint Patrick of Ireland who has become one of the world’s most popular saints.

We do this to tell the truth about the life of Saint Patrick and how he came to embrace God and His Son Jesus. This Saint Patrick’s Day is not about leprechauns and eating corned beef and cabbage. Rather, it’s about the man who went from being an Irish slave to an Irish saint.

Catholic.org says in an article titled “St. Patrick” says this,

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world’s most popular saints. He was born in Roman Britain and when he was fourteen or so, he was captured by Irish pirates during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. At the time, Ireland was a land of Druids and pagans but Patrick turned to God and wrote his memoir, The Confession. In The Confession, he wrote:

“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”

Patrick’s captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain and was reunited with his family.

A few years after returning home, Patrick saw a vision he described in his memoir:

“I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: ‘The Voice of the Irish.’ As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea-and they cried out, as with one voice: ‘We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.'”

The vision prompted his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years, and was later ordained a bishop and sent to take the Gospel to Ireland.

Patrick arrived in Slane, Ireland on March 25, 433. There are several legends about what happened next, with the most prominent claiming he met the chieftan of one of the druid tribes, who tried to kill him. After an intervention from God, Patrick was able to convert the chieftain and preach the Gospel throughout Ireland. There, he converted many people -eventually thousands – and he began building churches across the country.

He often used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity and entire kingdoms were eventually converted to Christianity after hearing Patrick’s message.

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

He died at Saul, where he had built the first Irish church. He is believed to be buried in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick. His grave was marked in 1990 with a granite stone.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.


Confessio: The Confession of St. Patrick

Epistola ad Coroticum: Letter To Coroticus

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This video titled “Trump Won” by Natasha Owens was posted by Eeyore.

EDITORS NOTE: This Vlad Tepes Blog post is republished with permission. ©All rights reserve.

Here’s Information on the Florida Legislative Process, Terminology & Bills in the 2023 Session

To help Floridians with your continuous Bill Tracking and activism with applicable Florida Legislators, please see the tweet and information below.

The first is a FLOW CHART showing the entire Bill Process which you may find very useful. For example it shows you what 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings are all about and how you can cross reference the meaning on the terminology list as well.

The second is a list of TERMINOLOGY that you may see used when checking on the status of a Bill.

The source for this information is Information Center: Online Sunshine (state.fl.us)

So far I do not see where any of the dozen or so bad 2nd Amendment related bills we have tracked have moved anywhere. Several key 2nd Amendment bills appear on their way to being passed and signed into law e.g. HB 221 and SB 214 prohibiting Credit Cards and Banks from discriminating against those in firearms industry and HB 543/SB 150 permit less carry (but not true Constitutional Carry because doesn’t allow open carry or campus carry).

In the Education/School Board area some good bills that have progressed include HB 1 (School Choice which has grown from 50 to 115 pages due to Amendments some of which may not be that good); SJR 94 (Partisan Election of Members of District School Boards); HB 303 (FL Bright Futures Scholarship); HB 467 (Anti-drug instruction in public schools); HB 477 (Term Limits for District School Boards) and others have been tracking and reporting on.

Some other good bills progressing not related to 2A or Education/SB are HJR 131 (Recall of County Officers/Commissioners); HB 305/SB 222 (Protection of Medical Freedom); and HB 477 (Term Limits for District School Board Members).

Terminology in the Florida Bills

Information Center : Online Sunshine (state.fl.us)

ADOPTED Resolutions, memorials, motions, and amendments are “adopted”; bills are “passed.” Adopt means to consent to or accept; pass means to enact by the requisite number of votes. In the Florida Legislature, resolutions (except joint resolutions) and amendments are usually adopted by a voice vote. Bills, as required by the Constitution, are passed by the recorded votes of a majority of the members present. Joint resolutions are passed by a three-fifths vote of the membership.

AMENDMENT Changes in any bill or other proposed legislation may be offered by a committee or an individual legislator in the form of an amendment to a specific portion of the pending bill. All amendments receive a six-digit identifying bar code when filed. As with bills, House amendments are odd-numbered and Senate amendments are even-numbered. An amendment may be offered in four forms: (1) an amendment to the pending bill; (2) an amendment to the amendment; (3) a substitute amendment; and (4) an amendment to the substitute. For example, after the amendatory process in the House has been completed and 2 the bill is passed and sent to the Senate, the Senate may begin the amendatory process again. Upon return of the bill, the House may concur in the Senate amendment(s), refuse to concur and ask the Senate to recede, or amend the Senate amendment.

COMPANION BILL When bills substantially worded the same and identical as to specific intent and purpose are filed in the House and Senate. The purpose is to expedite progress by having simultaneous movement in both houses on the proposal. When a house passes its bill, the sponsor in the other house must be careful to substitute this companion there. Otherwise, each house may pass its own bill, and neither becomes law. While both houses may have acted on identical text, each will have passed a separate bill. See CROSS CONCURRENCE When one house agrees to an amendment adopted by the other house. After concurring in the amendment, a vote is taken again on the passage of the bill as amended.

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION A formal expression of the opinion of both legislative houses. A concurrent resolution may, for example, offer the Legislature’s recognition of an honor or achievement of an individual or group. It also may be used to mourn the passing of a distinguished citizen. Usually, a concurrent resolution applies to non-lawmaking matters, but an exception is the use of a concurrent resolution to express Florida’s ratification or rejection of an amendment to the United States Constitution. Concurrent resolutions are also used to extend sessions and can be used to call the Legislature into joint session.

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE A conference committee is actually two committees, one from each house, meeting together to work out compromise language acceptable to the Senate and House on some measure when agreement could not be reached through amendments. 8 A majority of the members of the committee from each house must agree before the conference committee report may be submitted to the Senate and House. Neither house is obligated to accept the report, but they usually do since the alternative could be the failure of the legislation for that session. Vote on Entirety A conference report differs in importance from the vote in the House and Senate on the original bill because the vote on the conference report is binding. A conference report must be accepted or rejected. It cannot be amended. If rejected, a conference report usually will be recommitted to the conference committee for another try at adjusting the differences.

CONFIRMATION The action of the Senate in agreeing to appointments by the Governor. See EXECUTIVE SESSION; SUSPENSION CONFORMING BILLS Bills that are included in the conference committee negotiations and are considered necessary to “conform” the Florida Statutes to provide for the fiscal changes implemented by the passage of the General Appropriations Act.

CONSENT CALENDAR The Consent Calendar contains bills of a noncontroversial nature and is usually considered under expedited procedures which the House approves in advance of considering the bills. The consent calendar is voted on with one vote for all bills thereon.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, STATE Proposals to amend Florida’s Constitution primarily come from two sources. One is an initiative petition of the citizens; the other is a joint resolution passed by a three-fifths vote of the members elected to each legislative body. The proposal must then be ratified by 60 percent of the voters in a general election. Unless otherwise provided by law, amendments go to the electorate at the next regular general election, so long as this election is held more than 90 days after an amendment has been proposed by the Legislature. The Legislature, by a law enacted by three-fourths of the members elected to each house, may provide for a special general election to be held at least 90 days after the Legislature has proposed the amendment. Amendments to the Florida Constitution, when ratified by the electorate, become effective on the first Monday in January following the election, unless some other date is specified in the amendment.

COSPONSOR The House member introducing a bill is known as the firstnamed sponsor, and his or her name appears first on the sponsor list and in the Journal. All others who “s

DECORUM The reasonable quiet or calm that a Speaker or President seeks to impose upon the body so that business may be conducted in an orderly manner with an appropriateness of appearance, behavior, and conduct. This decorum provides for the ability to be both seen and heard.

DELEGATION Legislators from the same locality, typically a county. Legislators occasionally will designate themselves as being members of the county’s delegation.

ENGROSSED BILL When a bill has been amended, it is written to include the change in language. This version is known as the engrossed bill. This version is done in the house of origin: a Senate amendment to a House bill will be attached and if accepted by the House, the bill will then be engrossed under the supervision of the Clerk of the House. Similarly, a House amendment to a Senate bill, if accepted by the Senate, will be engrossed by the Senate Secretary. A bill may be engrossed more than once. See

ENROLLED BILL After both houses have agreed upon a bill, and it becomes an act, the bill is reformatted and this enrolled version is signed by the Constitutional officers of the House and Senate, sent to the Governor for consideration, and subsequently transmitted to the Secretary of State (unless vetoed during a legislative session). Memorials, Joint Resolutions, and Concurrent Resolutions are filed directly with the Secretary of State. See ENGROSSED BILL EXECUTIVE SESSION A session the Senate enters for the purpose

FIRST READING This constitutional requirement is met when a bill is officially introduced into one of the houses of the Legislature and its title is published in the Journal. This constitutes the “first reading” in the Journal and also shows the committee to which the presiding officer has referred the bill.

INTRODUCTION The process of bringing a proposed bill before the Legislature. Members approve their bill drafts prepared by the bill drafting services and a bill number is assigned to each bill. The bill title is printed in the Journal of the House and Senate, which constitutes first reading and introduction.

LAY ON THE TABLE Laying a bill on the table enables the body to move on to the next order of business without completing action on the bill under discussion while leaving it in a position which could allow its reintroduction. A bill, motion, or amendment laid upon the table is usually dead.

ORDER OF BUSINESS The order in which business is taken up in the Legislature each day of the regular session. The daily order of business in the House is:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Prayer
  3. Roll Call
  4. Pledge of Allegiance
  5. Correction of the Journal
  6. Communications
  7. Messages from the Senate
  8. Reports of Committees
  9. Motions Relating to Committee and Subcommittee References
  10. Matters on Reconsideration
  11. Bills and Joint Resolutions on Third Reading 19
  12. Special Orders
  13. House Resolutions
  14. Unfinished Business
  15. Introduction and Reference

The Senate order of business is slightly different:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Prayer
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Reports of Committees
  5. Motions Relating to Committee Reference
  6. Messages from the Governor and Other Executive Communications
  7. Messages from the House of Representatives
  8. Matters on Reconsideration
  9. Consideration of Bills on Third Reading
  10. Special Order Calendars
  11. Consideration of Bills on Second Reading
  12. Correction and Approval of Journal
  13. Unfinished Business

PASSED To be approved by the body. Bills and joint resolutions are passed. Memorials, other resolutions, amendments, and motions are adopted

PRIME COSPONSOR The second-named sponsor of a bill in the House. Listed after the member who filed the bill, the prime cosponsor will occasionally 21 stand with the first-named sponsor while the bill is being heard in committee or on the floor. The prime cosponsor asks and is approved by the first-named sponsor and their name will appear on the title of the bill.

PRIME SPONSOR The House member submitting a bill for introduction is known as the “prime sponsor” (by rule, the “first-named” sponsor). The prime sponsor’s name appears first, not only on the original bill, but in the printing of the bill, reference to the bill in Leagis, and all other references.

READINGS Each bill or proposed constitutional amendment must receive three readings on three separate days, unless waived by a two-thirds vote of the members voting in each legislative house before passage. The reading of the title only typically suffices. This reading of the title is usually brief, often just a few words, but enough to describe the subject of the bill. A “reading” may be regarded as a stage in the progress of legislation. Certain things happen on these different stages in the movement of a bill through each house. On “first reading,” a bill is introduced. “First reading” now is almost exclusively done by publication in the Journal. Amendments generally are considered on “second reading.” Debate and final passage occur on “third reading.”

SELECT COMMITTEE A select committee is created by the presiding officer for the purpose of dealing with a specific issue. Unlike standing committees, which remain in existence for the duration of the session, a select committee usually goes out of existence when the purpose for which it was selected has been accomplished

SESSIONS, LENGTH OF In accordance with the Florida Constitution, a regular session of the Legislature shall not exceed 60 consecutive days and a special session shall not exceed 20 consecutive days, unless extended beyond such limit by a three-fifths vote of the members voting of each house. During such extension, no new business may be taken up in either house without the consent of two-thirds of its membership

STANDING COMMITTEE A standing committee is created by rule with 28 continuing authority to consider matters within its subject field, including bills filed by members of the houses. The name of the committee usually indicates its policy jurisdiction

STATUTES Acts that amend or create law are compiled, edited, and published annually in the Florida Statutes. The Law Revision Division of the Legislature edits and publishes the Florida Statutes following each regular session. Sets of the Florida Statutes may be purchased from Law Book Services at www. flalegistore.com and viewed online at www.leg.state.fl.us

TITLE The Florida Constitution requires each bill to be prefaced by a concise statement of its contents. This statement is known as the “title.” The Florida Supreme Court, in 1983, defined three types of title: the caption title (i.e., “SB 83”); the short title, (i.e., “An act relating to the possession of controlled substances”); and a full title which may be lengthy. The court held that each of these met the requirements of the Constitution for readings

TRAIN A bill relating to a single subject, but combining many aspects. The legislative train often combines the good and the bad for individual legislators as well as the Governor

©Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.

Why We Should Let Bad Banks Fail

Bad banks need consequences. Let them fail.

By now, you’ve likely heard about regulators closing down Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and now Signature Bank as well.

While I’m not going to go into all the details, the basic story is described well in this article on Seeking Alpha. Essentially, SVB received a large influx of deposits as the Federal Reserve flooded the market with dollars during COVID.

From there, SVB went out and bought government bonds to store that money. But then, the Federal Reserve started enacting policies which moved interest rates up. The problem? As interest rates rose, the bonds SVB purchased in the past declined in value.

Bond prices and the interest rate have an inverse relationship. If interest rates increase, you can earn a higher return on financial assets purchased today. When that happens, bonds issued at a previously lower rate must sell at a discount to compete.

So when rates rose, SVB’s assets (composed largely of old lower-rate government bonds) plummeted in value.

The key question now is, what are we going to do about it?

I have a modest proposal—let them fail.

Allowing banks to fail may sound extreme, but it’s really the most reasonable solution. It’s true there will be some costs if the banks fail. Any time a business fails, other investors tied financially to the company lose.

But here’s the rub—people who invest in bad businesses should lose. SVB’s failure is a reflection of the fact that it was a wealth shredder. It took depositors’ perfectly good cash, and converted it into now severely devalued bonds.

Banks that destroy wealth shouldn’t be allowed to continue to do so indefinitely. And when depositors make a “run” on bad banks, they’re performing a public service.

At this point, a bank bailout not only would mean the taxpayers will be left holding the bag for bankers’ mistakes—it would mean screwing up incentives in the banking industry even more.

To see the incentive problem, consider an example. Imagine a world where, no matter the circumstances, the government will pay to fix cars after every accident. What do you think this would do to the number of car accidents per year? It would sky-rocket.

If you never need fear paying a price for crashing your car, why drive carefully? There is still some incentive to avoid serious accidents due to injury, but the point is this system lowers the cost of risky behavior, and therefore lowers an individual’s incentive to be careful. Economists call this a moral hazard problem.

And this is the primary issue with bank bailouts. If the government sets a precedent that all bank failures will be ameliorated by using taxpayer money, banks will engage in risky behavior which they otherwise would not. Why be cautious with depositors’ money if you get a bailout no matter what?

You cannot have a healthy free market when you privatize the profits and socialize the losses. The taxpayer’s wallet, if treated like common property, will be subject to the tragedy of the commons.

And I don’t just mean that I’m against a formal bailout to save investors. I’m opposed to taxpayer dollars being reallocated to save the bottom line of anyone involved. Some may worry about small depositors, but the FDIC already insures up to $250,000 (regardless of what I or anyone else thinks about that policy), meaning every depositor who has less than that in their account is getting their money back already.

And for the larger depositors? Business deals have risks. We cannot pay people to ignore that fact. If you want to house more than a quarter of a million dollars in any one institution you should be very careful in picking.

If some individual wants to come along and buy SVB or these other failing banks and try to resuscitate them, I invite them to try. Maybe there is a profit opportunity there. But if the choice is between a bailout and letting them fail, the answer is clear to me.

If they can have the profits, they should have the losses as well.


Peter Jacobsen

Peter Jacobsen teaches economics and holds the position of Gwartney Professor of Economics. He received his graduate education at George Mason University.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

ILLINOIS: Another Win For NetZero Reality Coalition as Town Nixes Solar Desert

The new NetZero Reality Coalition scored another big win when the town of Pontiac, Illinois said NO to transforming land from natural habitat to a silicone solar desert.

Illinois town nixes solar desert

In a stunning setback for solar, the City of Pontiac, Illinois has scuttled plans to construct a solar energy project that would transform a vacant lot in town into a shiny solar desert.

At an emotional Feb. 13 hearing before the City of Pontiac Planning and Zoning Board, city official denied the application of Bundleflower Solar LLC to rezone the property so that as many as 5,568 photovoltaic solar panels could be installed there. A few days later, Bundleflower Solar withdrew its application altogether, putting an end to a project that had garnered fierce opposition from the city’s residents.

To add insult to injury, the owner of the 49-acre property, where the thousands of solar panels were to be installed, changed his mind and came out in opposition to the project.

The dramatic turnaround shows what can happen when citizens are well informed about how harmful solar (and wind) projects are, and then mobilize to stop deep-pocketed renewable-energy developers from ruining their communities.

CFACT Informs the Citizenry

CFACT was glad to be of assistance in this David v. Goliath confrontation. Two weeks before the decisive hearing, we posted an article about the project, outlining how Pontiacs residents would in no way benefit from have the solar project in their town. The article also appeared in Real Clear Energy, giving it greater coverage. Concerned residents emailed the article to their allies, and passed out hard copies to one and all. CFACT also advised the project’s opponents to pack the hearing, where – armed with the information contained in the article – they made compelling arguments to the zoning board against the project.

Zoning board hearings are usually won by people who show up, and the solar project’s few local supporters were steamrolled by Bundleflower Solar’s well-informed opponents.

Based on information supplied by CFACT, residents pointed out that solar power is intermittent and cannot supply electricity 24/7. They knew that the thousands of solar panels would produce zero power at night, zero power on cloudy and rainy days, and zero power when covered with snow during northern Illinois’s long, cold winters. As a sign of how unserious the project was, the developer didn’t even plan to install backup batteries to provide electricity when the sun was absent. Those batteries, of course, have their own environmental problems and are another reason communities should avoid solar and wind projects that include them.

Pontiac’s residents could also note that the developer was primarily interested in pocketing generous federal and state subsidies and, absent those taxpayer subsidies, the developer would never have considered putting the project in their town.

Pontiac Provides a Template

In the end, Pontiac – a city of 11,000 people, located about 60 miles southwest of Chicago – dodged a bullet. It will not be hosting a white elephant whose sole purpose is to serve narrow corporate interests as part of the ever-expanding Climate Industrial Complex.

The resistance the people of Pontiac showed should serves as a template for other communities across the nation that shows how these wasteful projects can be stopped dead in their tracts.


Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., is a senior policy analyst with CFACT, where he focuses on natural resources, energy, property rights, and geopolitical developments. Articles by Dr. Cohen have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor’s Busines Daily, The New York Post, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Times, The Hill, The Epoch Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Miami Herald, and dozens of other newspapers around the country. He has been interviewed on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, NBC News, NPR, BBC, BBC Worldwide Television, N24 (German-language news network), and scores of radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. Dr. Cohen has addressed conferences in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Bangladesh. He has a B.A. from the University of Georgia and a Ph. D. – summa cum laude – from the University of Munich.

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Enough Is Enough

Francis X. Maier: The media revel in trashing the Catholic Church for its patterns of clergy sexual abuse but are in denial that the overwhelming majority of abusers are gay.

A number of lessons can be drawn from a recent Washington Post story.  On March 9, the Post published a nearly 4,000-word story on the work of Catholic Laity and Clergy for Renewal (CLCR), a nonprofit based in Colorado.  CLCR meticulously – and legally – collected publicly available data on clergy usage of Grindr and other hetero and same-sex hookup dating apps.  It then provided the information to bishops for corrective action.  Similar data reported on by The Pillar forced the resignation of former USCCB general secretary, Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill.

In the Latin rite, diocesan priests make a promise of celibacy.  Religious community priests take a vow of chastity.  The intended result is the same:  The priest commits himself to refrain from sexual relations.  It’s a sacrifice that, properly lived, frees him to devote his life to the service of Jesus Christ, the Church, and her people.  It’s not an easy path.  But having worked in diocesan service for twenty-seven years, twenty-three of them as senior aide to a bishop, I saw again and again the admirable integrity of most priests – the great majority of priests – in living out their commitment faithfully.

And yet the priesthood, just like the laity, is peopled by humans; and humans are creatures with flaws.

The theme of the Post story is familiar: A “secret effort” by “a newly empowered American Catholic right-wing” and “anti-LGBTQ vigilantes” is resulting in “the character assassination” of private individuals.  So a few observations are in order.

First, in a marriage, the man or woman who commits adultery betrays the covenant he or she freely made, and in doing so, lies.  In like manner, the priest who betrays his promise of celibacy violates the trust of the community to which he publicly committed himself.  He lives an ongoing falsehood.  The betrayed party or parties have every right to know they’re being betrayed.

Second, sexual integrity involves more than refraining from illicit genital relations.  It demands a clean spirit and worthy conduct.  Married men who hang out in strip bars, surf porn sites, and use adultery apps behave indefensibly.  Claiming a “right to privacy” in such cases belongs in a Comedy Club act.  Priests who use apps like Grindr do so in a manner not typically related to preaching the Gospel.  They have no excuse for the consequences.

Third, while we’re on the subject of privacy: It no longer exists.  We already live in a surveillance state.  Unlike China, we’ve created it voluntarily.  We still have laws that mitigate the worst online abuses and prevent, so far, the emergence of a tech-enforced social credit system.  But federal authorities and many corporations already have, or can easily get, everything they need to know about my – and your – private life, beliefs, preferences, appetites, and behavior patterns.  I gave it all away, freely (if unthinkingly) with the everyday applications I use on the internet for work, shopping, news, and similar activities.

Four years ago I noted here that:

For all the elevated talk about our American “right to privacy,” the world we actually live in has a bottomless appetite for commerce. And that appetite includes our intimacies and seeks to relentlessly monetize every element of life.  Almost anything we do on a computer or cell phone, no matter how embarrassing or sensitive, leaves an exploitable record that is difficult to expunge. . .

Privacy (despite corporate assurances) can never really be guaranteed. Grindr users enter a localized and identifiable market for commoditized same-sex interactions. The app company watches those interactions and learns. Foreign states aren’t the only entities with an appetite for these data. Nor are they the only ones with the skill and intent to collect and capitalize on them.

If government officials with “secret” lives can be blackmailed, humiliated, destroyed, or simply exposed, why not Hollywood celebrities, star athletes, university presidents, corporate board chairs, and clergy and religious leaders – like denizens of the Vatican and its diplomats? Let that sink in. None of this involves excessive imagination or anxiety. It can happen right here, right now. Sooner or later, it likely will. Little in the digital age is truly hidden.

Fourth, on the matter of “anti-LGBTQ vigilantes” and “character assassination”:  People on Grindr and similar apps assassinate their own characters.  No one else is responsible.  And the last time I checked, Catholic teaching (not to mention Scripture) regards same-sex genital relations and related behavior as gravely wrong and disordered.  As Augustine said, we have the obligation to love the sinner, but also to hate the sin.  There’s nothing at all “vigilante” about lay Catholics – men and women who seek to live their faith honestly – insisting that their priests live by the same religious convictions they preach to the people in their care.

Fifth, for the last ten years we’ve been lectured by supporters of the current pontificate about the destructive legalism and fine-point nitpicking of  “doctors of the law” in the Church.  So it’s just a bit weird for the Post to invoke canon lawyers in suggesting that “simply having Grindr on a phone, as a priest, is not against the Sixth Commandment.”  Technically?  Maybe.  Morally?  No.

Sixth and finally, the overwhelming majority of abusers in the clergy abuse scandal were homosexual men.  Thus the hypocrisy of the Post in its March 9 report – a news organization that reveled in trashing the Catholic Church for its patterns of clergy sexual abuse – is thick enough to rival the Antarctic ice pack.  Illicit homosexual behavior in the priesthood has no claim to “privacy”. . .or moral integrity.

The priesthood deserves our gratitude and respect, but not our blindness.  CLCR’s goal was to work cooperatively and confidentially with bishops to address a real issue in many current dioceses.  The need for the data collected by CLCR is humiliating and regrettable.  But the findings are too important to ignore, and dismissing them on specious “privacy” grounds only compounds the problem.  At this point, enough is enough.

You may also enjoy:

David Carlin’s An Encyclical on Homosexuality?

Brad Miner’s Nothing to Do with Homosexuality?


Francis X. Maier

Francis X. Maier is a senior fellow in Catholic studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Mr. President, Fire Your Woke Minions And Appoint Some Competent People

The failure of three banks in the last two weeks, including Silicon Valley Bank on Friday and Signature Bank on Sunday, is a saga of utter government incompetence. Call these bank collapses Biden’s Banking Busts. The Biden administration has been obsessing on woke causes while banks teeter toward insolvency.

Three days before Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen cautioned that climate change puts the banking industry at risk. Yellen was in la-la land, speculating that future storms and tornadoes could diminish the value of banks’ assets.

Weather is a risk, but she was oblivious to the much more immediate problem facing banks — the plummeting value of the bonds they own. She was heedless to the impending downfall of SVB and possibly several other small banks that had purchased long-term bonds when interest rates were near zero.

In 2022, after doing nothing to tame inflation the previous year, the Federal Reserve hiked rates repeatedly to make up for their previous inaction. Those rapid rate hikes, the most drastic in decades, made the banks’ bonds lose value.

A week before Yellen’s climate change harangue, Moody’s Investors Service already had delivered bad news to SVB that it was about to be downgraded several notches because its inventory of bonds was not worth enough to repay depositors. A day before Yellen’s loony speech, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Martin Gruenberg also cautioned that the diminishing value of the bonds held by banks meant a $620 billion problem ahead.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a part of Yellen’s Treasury, is responsible for examining the financial condition of banks. It failed to avert the SVB collapse.

Yellen has been an outspoken activist for climate change, women’s rights and diversity, including appointing the Treasury’s first ever racial equity officer. Apparently, the hordes of bureaucrats working under her are also too busy with diversity, equity and inclusion seminars to prevent banks from failing.

As the SVB crisis unfolded, Yellen was MIA. Now she says she’s monitoring several banks “struggling with the whiplash in prices” of their bonds.

Financial experts warn smaller banks are in for a rough ride, though the big banks like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and others are not apt to be in trouble.

Admittedly, SVB’s managers made mistakes. Banking’s first rule is that assets should match deposits. If depositors can demand their money back anytime, then using their money to buy long-term bonds is risky. SVB had to sell $21 billion worth of bonds at a fire sale, taking a $1.8 billion loss.

Trading was suspended Friday in the stocks of several small banks whose share prices plunged on fears they were in the same situation. On Sunday, New York bank regulators shut Signature Bank.

President Joe Biden created the perfect storm for what may become a string of banking busts. In 2021, he lied about inflation, saying it was temporary and “no serious economist” considered it a threat. Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, whose first term was about to expire, went along with Biden and did nothing to bring down prices. It was the single biggest monetary policy mistake in half a century.

Then in March 2022, newly reappointed Powell launched aggressive rate hiking to cure what the Wall Street Journal called “a mess largely of the Fed’s own making.” As rates rose fast, startup companies could no longer afford to borrow, and instead started withdrawing their bank deposits. Without regulatory intervention, the downfall of SVB was almost a foregone conclusion.

On March 7, Powell predicted that the Fed will likely “increase the pace of rate hikes” to continue bringing down inflation. A task made more difficult by our spendaholic president’s budget proposal, which is an inflation accelerator.

As rates rise, more banks could be in trouble. Continued government incompetence is not an option.

Mr. President, get rid of your woke minions and appoint competent people. Our money and jobs are at stake.

On Sunday night, Biden said he’s “firmly committed to holding those responsible for this mess fully accountable.” Look in the mirror, Mr. President.

Instead, he’s looking at the list of Democratic campaign donors and scurrying to bail them out. Ninety-eight percent of all political contributions from people who worked at internet companies went to Democrats in 2020. Silicon Valley residents coughed up nearly $200 million for Democrats. No surprise that the Treasury and the Fed are offering bailouts, whether they use that word or not.

Biden’s reckless spending and incompetent monetary policy are causing this string of banking busts. And John Q. Public will end up paying one way or another.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.



Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com. McCaughey is the author of “Beating Obamacare.”



EJ ANTONI And PETER ST ONGE: Biden Bails Out The Rich And The Reckless

Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters Return Political Donations Linked To Silicon Valley Bank

DENNIS PRAGER: Banks Go Bust When Activism Comes Before Business

Silicon Valley Bank Committed Over $73 Million To BLM And Social Justice Causes Before It Collapsed

Shocker: One Of America’s Most Politically Connected Banks Is Due For A Huge Profit Off Other Bank’s Failure

FLASHBACK: Barney Frank Tells Daily Caller’s Kay Smythe He’s On The Board Of Signature Bank

Gavin Newsom’s Wineries Get Rescued By Biden Bailout He Praised

‘We’ve Got Some Cleanup To Do’: Former FDIC Chair Says There Will ‘Probably’ Be More Bank Failures

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

How the Democrats Bake Systemic Fraud Into Our Elections

Last week, I told you about individual wrongdoers – mostly Democrats – who were arrested and sent to jail for voter fraud.  But criminal wrongdoing in our elections is also perpetrated – again, mostly by Democrats – by election officials, Democrat and left-wing advocacy groups, and other systemic players engaged in wholesale fraud.

Starting with election officials, a Republican county elections commissioner in New York was charged with 12 felony counts of using other people’s identifications to request, complete, and submit absentee ballots.  A Democrat township clerk in Michigan who was also a candidate was convicted of felony ballot tampering for opening a sealed ballot canister, invalidating the votes inside.  The Democrat New Mexico Secretary of State is accused of unlawfully receiving county election totals before counties certify results and using an uncertified software program to add up the totals.  Elections officials in Oakland, California are accused of ignoring a court order, unsealing ballot boxes without public observation, and making it impossible for citizen observers to monitor and understand the vote tallying process.

Lawless election officials are not the only source of systemic wrongdoing in our elections.  Left-wing and Democrat advocacy groups are major sources, as well.  The Virginia Democratic Party ballot harvesting manual instructs party activists to include dead people and bad addresses when compiling voter contact lists.  This information goes into a party database which is used to target likely Democrat voters.  The Democrat Party did not respond when asked about this.

Left-leaning nonprofits like the Center for Voter Information and the Voter Participation Center are abusing their 501(c)(3) tax status by registering likely Democrat voters.  Targeting particular demographic groups likely to vote Democrat skirts IRS rules preventing tax-exempt organizations from engaging in partisan activity.

In Wisconsin, a leftist group paid voters $250 if they succeeded in persuading their friends to vote for the Leftist candidate in the state Supreme Court race.  Under state law, it is felony bribery to give anything of value to any person for inducing others to vote or not vote for or against particular candidates.

The Federal Election Commission received but has ignored information about campaign ‘money mules’ operating in Missouri, Georgia, and elsewhere.  Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia was the top beneficiary identified in the scheme.  To give you some idea of how the scheme works, ‘Steven in Missouri’ was somehow able to make over 14,000 campaign donations totaling $180,000 in two years despite being unemployed.  Something’s not right with this picture.

Yet more systemic election fraud is found in a Florida county where felons vote illegally, dead voters are sent mail-in ballots, voter addresses are changed without request, and individuals are putting multiple ballots into drop boxes despite being limited under state law to two.  This information came from a whistleblower inside an elections office who was upset these problems were not being addressed.  The office is run by a Democrat and would not respond to questions.

Here is one more way systemic fraud can occur:  County officials can change the zip code of tens of thousands of voters all at once.  Mail ballots go out, but the ones with the wrong zip code are undeliverable.  Someone scoops them up, then the elections office changes the zip codes back.  Voters go to the polls, only to be told they already voted, their ballot has already been cast by somebody else.  A new data company uncovered this kind of fraud in Wisconsin and Florida, including one county where more than 31,000 zip codes were changed this way.  The company bought daily voter rolls and tracked zip code changes, discovering how the game is played.

We are supposed to have representative government in this country.  But we cannot be assured of true representation unless systemic fraud, perpetrated mostly by Democrats, is rooted out from the elections process.

©Christopher Wright. All rights reserved.

Visit The Daily Skirmish and Watch Eagle Headline News – 7:30am ET Weekdays


VIDEO: Trump is Right to Suspect Voter Fraud

Yes Oxymorons, there is Voter Fraud

VIDEO: Election Theft—Voter Fraud—Judicial Injustice

BIDEN BANK CRISIS: Dow Plunges 700 Points, ‘First Domino To Drop’

Stock indexes are on pace for one of their worst days this year.
Woke and broke. And still Biden and the Democrats are pushing, legislating and imposing these fatal polices.

This is the poison fruit of the diversity, equity and inclusion hiring practices that elevates whining whiners and demonizes talent, intelligence and skill.

Life was golden under Trump.

Dow Plunges 700 Points As BlackRock Chief Warns SVB Collapse Merely ‘First Domino To Drop’

By: Derek Saul

U.S. stocks plunged in Wednesday trading as concerns about the health of the global banking industry continued to weigh on the market, with one high-profile Wall Street bigwig cautioning the contagion of Silicon Valley Bank’s failure could spread further than previously anticipated.

Key Facts

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 717 points, or 2.2%, by 1 p.m. ET; the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq similarly slid 2% and 1.4%, respectively.

The domestic losses come amid broad declines in stocks abroad, with the Zurich-based bank Credit Suisse’s 24% slide to a record low in share prices amid capital concerns headlining the losses.

Also stoking concerns about the fallout of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and Silvergate Capital’s recent closures was a bleak letter from Blackrock CEO Larry Fink warning the failures could simply be the first “domino[es] to drop” before a potential “cascade throughout the U.S. regional banking sector with more seizures and shutdowns coming.”

Regional bank stocks captained Wednesday’s sinking ship, with share prices of PacWest sinking 20% and First Republic dropping 23%.

Keep reading.


RELATED VIDEO: Economist warns U.S. is ‘on brink of a 2008 style financial crisis’


Tucker Carlson: SVB Bank Failure Could Be An Isolated Incident But Our Leaders Seem To Want To Accelerate It

WOKE AND BROKE: While Silicon Valley Bank Collapsed, Top Exec Pushed ‘Woke’ Programs

‘Rapid Deterioration’: Moody’s Rating Service Downgrades U.S. Banking System

Credit Suisse Stock Plunges To Record Low As Bank Concerns Grow (Forbes)

Another Bank Shutdown, Signature Bank Closed, Barney Frank of Infamous Barney Frank Legislation on Board

Economic Meltdown Looming

Investor Carl Icahn Issues Grim Warning on US Economy

BIDEN’S ECONOMY: Silicon Valley Bank COLLAPSES Following Run on Bank, 2nd Biggest Bank Failure In United States History

Our Cultural Whitewashing

Not too long ago Mr. Potato Head was in trouble. In a day when even a sitting Supreme Court justice claims not to know how to define a woman, the hubris of calling any toy “Mr.” is just too much for our present culture.

Even Piers Morgan was upset about this tempest-in-a-teapot because the “Mr.” part of Mr. Potato Head was “unsetting a few wokies.”

Giving in to wokeness is one thing. Sensitivity to others is another. LEGO announced some new additions to their lineup of toys.

Dailymail.com wrote recently, “LEGO, which recently unveiled a range of new characters, with a range of skin tones and nationalities, several of whom have disabilities, has revealed…the details of each of these characters. The new generation of Lego friends are a diverse bunch, representing a multitude of backgrounds and lived experiences.”

One can understand being sensitive to others, as in the LEGO example. But often the woke revolution goes too far.

Even children’s literature today is unsafe. Dr. Seuss has been banned by some, and even the late, beloved children’s writer, Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, recently came under fire. He almost had hundreds of changes posthumously made to his books.

Thankfully, after the uproar against the attempted bowdlerizing Dahl’s works, Random House decided to continue to make available the books as Roald Dahl wrote them—while still offering the new, edited, sanitized versions.

About 25 years ago, I paid good money to the estate of Roald Dahl to use portions of his classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in a book of short stories I compiled.

My book, The Moral of the Story, published by Broadman & Holman (1996, now out of print), included selections from various stories that helped illustrate the nefarious nature of the Seven Deadly Sins. They are Pride, Greed, Envy, Anger, Lust, Gluttony, and Sloth. The Bible condemns each of these sins. But would today’s culture perhaps make each of them a virtue?

Portions of Dahl’s Willy Wonka story were perfect for the section of my book dealing with gluttony. Dahl cleverly exposed the pitfalls of eating “beyond one’s seams,” including one boy named Augustus Gloop, that “nincompoop.” Dahl called him “fat.” The modern censors tried to change that and other offensive details.

In the famous scene I was able to reproduce, some fortunate children win a special visit to Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory. While on the tour, Augustus Gloop is unable to resist the temptation to get down on the banks of a magic chocolate river and lap as much of it as he can, like a dog.

Wonka and Gloop’s parents warn Augustus against doing this. “But Augustus was deaf to everything except the call of his enormous stomach,” writes Dahl. And then Augustus Gloop experiences humiliating punishment for his gluttony.

Part of the impulse to “clean up” Dahl’s writings is to make sure that people wouldn’t be offended.

But who knows how many children might have been warned into avoiding a life of excessive overeating and the consequent deleterious effects on health that flow from it? God warns against gluttony and other sins because they are harmful for us.

With our cultural revolution, which can’t tell men from women, if you say that some behavior someone engages in is wrong, you might hurt their feelings. Well, there is a Constitutional freedom of speech. But there’s not a Constitutional right to not be offended. Besides, hurt feelings might actually lead to needed changes.

The Bible is frank about man being sinful. The founders of America acknowledged that reality and created the most durable governing document in history, the U.S. Constitution, because it conforms to the empirical reality that we are sinful.

John Adams, a key founding father, commented on man’s sinful nature by observing that those in power tend to become like “ravenous beasts of prey.” Thus, the founders separated power so that no one group could lord it over the others.

The Scriptures say that we have all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. They also explain how God forgives sin for those who repent and call on Jesus who died for sinners and rose again from the dead.

However, in our post-Christian society, there is a major push to make everything woke—even by whitewashing classic children’s literature. Where does it all stop? When can children be children again?

When can sin be viewed as sin again? Isn’t it better to admit wrongdoing than to try to redefine what is wrong in the first place? There are moral standards that come from beyond ourselves. As Cecil B. De Mille once noted, “We cannot break the Ten Commandments. We can only break ourselves against them.” Thus, endeth my Lenten meditation.

©Dr. Jerry Newcombe. All rights reserved.

BLM Movement Received Nearly $83 Billion from Corporations

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) domestic terror and black supremacist movement has received a jaw-dropping $82.9 billion from corporations, according to a new funding database from the Claremont Institute.

The Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life asserted in an article in Newsweek that the 2020 BLM movement was about more than just “rioting and destruction.”

The Center explained that “The BLM pressure campaigns, harassment, and moral blackmail also amounted to possibly the most lucrative shakedown of corporate America in its history.”

“As a point of reference, $82.9 billion is more than the GDP of 46 African countries. In 2022, the Ford Motor Company’s profits were $23 billion,” they noted. The sum of $82.9 million includes “more than $123 million to the BLM parent organizations directly,” as well as much more to other organizations supporting BLM’s agenda.

The list reveals that several popular corporations from a wide range of different industries supplied the movement with large sums of cash. Walmart, for example, which is based in Arkansas, gave a whopping $100 million in support of BLM and related causes focusing on “racial equity.” Amazon gave even more, supplying the movement with an astonishing $169.5 million. Silicon Valley Bank gave the movement $73.45 million.

Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical company Abbvie gave the movement over $62 million in funding. Allstate gave $7.7 million to the cause and American Express gave $50 million. Apple gave $100 million while AT&T gave $21.5 million. The movement and its causes received another $90 million from Nike.

United Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines all gave money to BLM and related causes as well.

Bank of America, meanwhile, provided $18.25 million to BLM and related causes while Wells Fargo diverted $210 million towards BLM and related causes. Deloitte gave $85 million to BLM and related causes.

Asset management giant BlackRock put a shocking $810 million towards BLM and related causes, while other powerful financial institutions also bankrolled the movement, with Capital One Financial giving $10 million, Morgan Stanley giving $30 million, US Bank giving $160 million, and Goldman Sachs giving $10.1 million.

Meanwhile, Prudential Financial supplied the movement and its related causes with a sum of $450 million but was outdone by Mastercard, which gave $500 million.

The database found that Boeing gave $15.6 million, while Northrop Grumman gave $2 million and Raytheon gave $25 million.

The Walt Disney Company gave $8.8 million to BLM and related causes while the Pokémon Company gave $200,000.

The Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life also explained how the funds have been used, remarking that

The Global Network is investing tens of millions of dollars to support future operations, purchasing luxury real estateengaging in nepotism, disbursing grants to dozens of BLM chapters and revolutionary organizations, and operating a PAC to “elect progressive community leaders, activists, and working-class candidates fighting for Black liberation.”

Meanwhile, “Local BLM chapters are spending millions on activism and initiatives to defund police departments” and “BLM At School is indoctrinating children around the country in critical race theory and queer theory, teaching them to hate themselves, their peers, and their country.”

“Left-wing nonprofits are effecting wholescale societal change too radical for normal legislative avenues, constituting a form of shadow governance,” they went on to note.

The agenda has also seeped into the financial industry’s loan operations, the Center explains, pointing out that “banks are issuing billions of dollars in subprime loans ‘to help end systemic racism,’” all while “corporations are funding leftist bail funds that release violent rioters and criminals onto our streets and collaborating to create racialized, anti-meritocratic hiring schemes.”

The shakedown “may be viewed as a form of reparations made to self-declared enemies of the American nation and way of life,” they added.

Black Lives Matter (BLM)

177 Known Connections

BLM Activist Says Looting Is a Form of Reparations

In August 2020, BLM activists in Chicago held a rally to express their solidarity with the 100+ individuals who had recently been arrested after a night of mass looting and criminal activity. One BLM organizer who spoke at the rally, Ariel Atkins, said: “I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats. That makes sure that person has clothes.” “That is reparations,” she continued. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.” In a similar spirit, In a similar spirit, a social media post for the rally encouraged people to come out and “support the people arrested last night for protesting another police shooting & taking reparations from corporations.”

To learn more about Black Lives Matter, click here.


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Jesus Revolution Producer: ‘I’ve Never Seen Such a Profound Response to a Movie’

Jon Erwin happened to be doing research for another movie when he stumbled on the iconic cover of Time Magazine from June 21, 1971. A copy in good condition goes for about $2,000 on eBay today, but Jon managed to snatch one up in 2015 — years before his movie made the psychedelic Jesus a collectors’ item. Back then, making a film about the 1970s revival known as The Jesus Revolution was a distant dream. Today, it’s a blockbuster reality — one that continues to exceed everyone’s expectations, in the box office and real life.

The news that “Jesus Revolution” crossed the $39 million mark this past weekend may have been a shock to Hollywood, but to Erwin — the movie’s writer, producer, and director — it was further proof that he’d happened upon something special eight years ago. He’d been working on another true story, “Woodlawn,” when he was “awestruck” by the parallels between the hippie movement’s desperation and the desperation of today.

“I’m a filmmaker. I’m curious by nature,” he told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch.” “And so I read this article. At the time, you couldn’t find it online. It was this 10-page spread about what God was doing at an incredibly similar time of hopelessness and despair. … And the more I read, the more I felt: Can this happen in my generation? Can this happen in my life?” At 40, Jon said, “nothing like this has ever happened to us.” “And the more I studied it the more I wanted to make a movie.”

Erwin was set to make “I Can Only Imagine” next, based on MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard, with other true stories like “I Still Believe” (Jeremy Camp) and “American Underdog” (Kurt Warner) on the horizon. Carving out time for another project was tricky. By the time “Jesus Revolution” was released, it was the longest he’d ever worked on a movie.

But in the end, Jon pointed out, it was a testament to “God’s perfect timing.” “That the movie came out as revivals are happening around the nation is so cool. And I love all the movies that we’ve gotten to make, but I’ve never seen such an incredibly profound response to a movie and, and lives changed as people watch it. So it’s a privilege to get to bring this movie to the screen.”

A stellar cast, led by Kelsey Grammar (“Fraser”) and Jonathan Roumie (“The Chosen”), team up to reach a 70s generation that’s trying to find meaning in sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Despite his initial reluctance, Pastor Chuck Smith’s (Grammar) stodgy church is overtaken by barefoot hippies who follow evangelist Lonnie Frisbee’s (Roumie) invitation to stop searching and give their lives to Jesus.

The movement explodes, packing out Southern California’s Calvary Chapel and eventually moving to a big white tent where thousands come to know Christ, including Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney), who wrote the book the movie is based on. Laurie’s incredible story, from a tragic childhood to a spiritual awakening that led him to found Harvest Christian Fellowship, has resonated with audiences and critics (who gave the film an A+ CinemaScore rating).

For Erwin, one day in particular stood out. “[It was] by far the favorite moment I’ve had on set — and I think you feel it in the movie. You know,” he told Perkins, “it takes several miracles to make a movie. But I’ve never felt a day like the day we shot the baptisms in this movie. We thought it was very important to go back to the real Pirate’s Cove [where Smith and Frisbee baptized so many people]. And we did. And for a film, that is a very difficult place to go. It’s like a crater, very jagged rocks. You have to go up and over to get onto that location. … [But] I’ve never felt anything like it. We all felt it that day. There was a level of spiritual power there that I’ve never experienced in my filmmaking career before.”

At one point, they were filming with about 400 extras, and Roumie “came up out of the water and said, ‘This is real for people. … People are coming up to me and saying, I want to be baptized for real. I’ve just made a decision for Christ.’”

While they were shooting the part with actor Joel Courtney in the water, Jon said he was stunned to find out that “the real Greg Laurie was baptizing a member of the cast that he had struck up a conversation with a couple hundred feet away and none of us even knew [about it]. … I think you feel it when you watch the movie. But the power that is in the movie we felt on that day.”

Grammer, arguably the most well-known cast member, hasn’t been shy since the film’s release about the role faith plays in his life. “I’ve had some tragic times,” he admitted in an interview with USA Today. “I’ve wrestled with those and worked my way through them — sometimes rejecting faith, sometimes rejecting God even… But I have come to terms with it and found great peace in my faith and in Jesus.” If Hollywood doesn’t like it, Grammar shrugs. “It’s not cavalier — Jesus made a difference in my life. That’s not anything I’ll apologize for.”

In the meantime, Erwin still marvels at the impact the film is having. He’s seen videos of people praying outside the movie, or getting baptized in fountains outside the theaters — or in lakes the next day. “Not many people know this,” he told Perkins, “but 1972, which was the culminating year of the Jesus Movement was the most baptisms ever recorded in a single year, at least by the Southern Baptists. So wouldn’t it be cool if that happened again and we beat that record?”


Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.


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Experts Say There’s Growing ‘Anti-Christian Bias’ in Hollywood and Elsewhere

Experts Say There’s Growing ‘Anti-Christian Bias’ in Hollywood and Elsewhere

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.