Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Biden Bloviates While Bungling Banking Bozos Blow Billions

Following two of the biggest bank failures in the U.S. (Silicon Valley Bank and Signature) President Joe Biden went on national TV last Monday and mumbled that the banking system was safe.

He concluded by pivoting at the lectern, searching for the door, scratching around for a knob, then shuffling out of the room while ignoring reporters shouting questions at him.

He failed to mention that the primary concern of the bozos who ran the now defunct Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was not banking. Their primary concern was social activism—LGBTQIA+; diversity, equity, and inclusion; environmental, social, and governance; and climate change. Because these alleged bankers were not doing their jobs was the fundamental problem in the SVB crash.

However, bankers learned a valuable lesson from this fiasco: If you invest money irresponsibly and ignore customer wishes, the government i.e. taxpayers will bail you out. SVB had $175 billion in deposits that disappeared in less than two days.

Biden said taxpayers won’t pay for this financial fiasco because the money is coming from bank fees. But wait. Won’t the banks like any other business, pass those increased fees on to their customers? Anyone with a checking or savings account will pay.

According to the Heritage Foundation SVB’s documents indicate that its corporate leadership was more interested in things like environmental sustainability, climate change, and diversity initiatives than risk management.

In addition, the alleged bankers at SVB are reported to have donated more than $70 million to Marxist organizations like Black Lives Matter and were major contributors to Democrat party presidential and congressional candidates.

Last Sunday, Biden said: “Today, thanks to the quick action of my administration over the past few days, Americans can have confidence that the banking system is safe.”

Are you kidding me?

Thanks to his inept administration the SVB bank collapsed followed by Signature Bank.  More will do the same. This moron and his parade of freaks and clowns running the government are the cause of economic chaos in this country. They then blame the consequences of their bungling on “the former administration.”

Look up the word incompetent in the dictionary and there’s photo of this administration. It’s a Mel Brooks movie begging to be made.

***

Banking Baloney! Heritage Foundation’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth explains that Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) had no chief risk officer between April 2022 and January 2023. “Its Risk Committee had no members experienced in risk management. This is no way to run a bank—especially one that invests in high-risk tech startups,” she says.

However, during the nine months when SVB didn’t have a chief risk officer it had a chief risk officer for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; but the woman entrusted with that role, Jay Ersapah, was apparently more interested in left-wing activism than in risk assessment.

The Daily Mail reported that Ersapah—who identifies as a “queer person of color”—“organized a host of LGBTQ initiatives including a month-long Pride campaign and implemented ‘safe space’ catch-ups for staff. In a corporate video published just nine months ago, she said she ‘could not be prouder’ to work for SVB serving ‘underrepresented minorities.’”

Something called Professional Network Outstanding listed Ersapah as a top 100 LGTBQ Future Leader.

The failure of SVB, the nation’s 16th-largest lender, was the nation’s biggest bank failure since Washington Mutual in 2008.

Canadian-born entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” co-host Kevin O’Leary made known his opinion on SVB saying: “This bank was run by idiots with an incompetent board.”

While neglecting its critical risk management responsibility, the bank’s 2023 proxy statement records 40 mentions of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG),  a Woke movement currently in vogue today at too many corporations and financial institutions. Not one member of the bank’s board of directors had any banking experience and all were mega-doners to Democrat presidential and congressional candidates.

In a “key change,” the board expanded the Governance and Corporate Responsibility Committee’s oversight role in ESG, says Ms. Furchtgott-Roth.

According to the proxy statement the committee’s oversight includes “environmental sustainability, climate change, company’s external diversity, equity, and inclusion (‘DEI’) initiatives, Board diversity, as well as our philanthropic strategy and advocacy activities.”

ESG investing is morally wrong and foolish particularly when clients who don’t want any part of it are forced to financially suffer through its consequences.

Banks with this kind of claptrap in their proxy statements are banks to avoid as they don’t have your financial interests at heart. Let Greta Thunberg, Al Gore, John Kerry, Hollywood airheads, CNN and MSNBC anchors, etc. deposit their money in these hapless financial sinkholes.

***

No Surprise Here: President Biden’s new budget was no surprise. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) noted that “It mentions equity 63 times, climate 148 times, environmental justice 25 times, inflation only 10 times, border security, 8 times and gas prices 3 times.

***

Mike Greenwell

Baseball Facts You Need To Know: I didn’t know this until I read it the other day, but Mike Greenwell, my Ft. Myers, FL nephew by marriage, is one of only five players to hit two home runs off both Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. The other four are Jose Canseco, Bo Jackson, Cal Ripken, and Cecil Fielder.

Mike played left field for the Boston Red Sox his entire 12-year MLB career (1985-1996). He was a leading contender for the American League MVP award in 1988 but lost to Canseco who had the first 40 home run, 40 stolen base season in baseball history. That year Mike hit .325 with 22 home runs and 119 RBIs, setting career highs in all three categories. Conseco eventually admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during his major-league playing career and in 2005 wrote a book, telling all about it. So where’s the asterisk in the record book?

Mike retired with a .303 lifetime average. He also holds the record for the most game winning RBIs ever hit with 23 in 1988 and drove in all nine runs on September 2, 1996, as the Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 9–8 in 10 innings, a record for most runs driven in by one player. Now you know.

Mike was one of only four regular leftfielders for the Red Sox from 1940-1996, playing the position steadily after Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Jim Rice. I witnessed each of those three players but never once saw Mike on the field, only on TV. I spent most of Mike’s MLB playing days working for multinational corporations in Europe or living in National League cities prior to interleague play.

***

Observer Mourns Martin: The handwringing, weeping, and wailing at the Fernandina Observer, Fernandina Beach’s PR agency, over the dismissal of City Manager Dale Martin is passionate, intense, and irrational.

The termination of their beloved Martin has the online sight-impaired Observer staff consumed with grief. Its sad scribblers are in inconsolable states of teeth-gnashing, mourning, and babbling incoherency. The only thing missing in its March 15 posting was a black border surrounding the articles and a headline stating: “Local Obituary.”

Observer reporters in mourning.

As expected Suanne Thamm, the Observer’s lead account executive for the city, led the mourners in homage to the departed Martin. In her eulogy headlined “What a Mess We’re in Fernandina!” she poured out her sorrow beginning her tribute with: “Confused.  Frustrated.  Unhappy.  Angry.  Suspicious.”

She prattled on adding: “These are just a few of the adjectives describing reactions in the Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach community to the sudden termination of City Manager Dale Martin’s contract on a 3-2 vote. To date, the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) has offered no plausible reason for its precipitate action, other than to state that the city needs to move in a new direction.”

Her tribute to Martin went on for several more paragraphs making it obvious that the dismissal left the grieving Ms. Thamm in a weakened, traumatized, and muddled state of mind.

A hitherto unknown Observer staffer with the appropriate name of April Bogle, added her homage in an eulogy headlined “Friend of Sturges Pressured Antun to Terminate Martin.” According to her it was a hit job. Her hogswallop was spiced with ludicrous finger-wagging accusations of Sunshine Law violations and unnamed culprits she suspects were behind Martin’s termination despite not citing a single shred of evidence.

The comments following the two articles were the usual suspects, many who offered weak defenses in support of Martin at Commission sessions and who can always be counted on to make frequent commission appearances while screeching their routine absurdities.

The babble produced by the Bogle-Thamm duo is mind-boggling! (See what I did there?) But I’ll give them some slack as they are bereaved by the loss of their key city supporter and benefactor.

***

Which One’s Your Advocate? The professions of members of the “Citizens Committee” that will assist in the selection of the new Fernandina Beach city manager consist of  the following along with the names of the Commissioner who appointed that person.

Mayor Bradley Bean— Dentist

Vice Mayor David Sturges— Realtor

Darron Ayscue— Union Leader (Rayonier)

James Antun—Former Commissioner

Chip Ross— Democrat Activist

Do these five reflect the actual make-up of city residents? I’m not sure. Since there is not one retired senior (30% of Fernandina’s population), the group doesn’t appear to fully mirror city demographics. Other than the retired Commissioner and restaurateur Tim Poynter, the others (Jackie Miller, Margaret Davis, Wayne Petersen, and Geoff Grant) are unknowns to me. There was no mention of their respective business and managerial experience or people skills, or anything else that would benefit search results. Or am I going wrong here?

The pompous gasbag Commissioner Dr. Roland “Chip” Ross expressed his feelings toward the citizens of Fernandina Beach when he objected to asking them to help select the new city manager saying: “It would be ‘amateur hour’ if residents were charged with recommending a candidate.”  In others words, this guy, who swore a Hippocratic oath to “First do no harm” is telling local citizens: “Shut up you morons, I’ll decide who runs this town.”  If you were writing a TV sitcom, parody piece or slapstick film, you couldn’t make this character up.

***

City To Cough Up Taxpayer Cash: City consigliore Tammi Bach announced at last week’s Commission meeting that the more than $500,000 law suit Compass Group filed against the city is in mediation and she’s asked the commissioners to meet with her behind closed doors April 4 to discuss a settlement.

The suit is over excessive building and permitting fees Compass says the city charged it while constructing the Marriott Hotel on Atlantic near Main Beach.

During last week’s session she told the commission that the city has no insurance to cover the suit and she, as usual, has hired outside counsel to handle it. It would have saved taxpayers a lot of cash if she, ex-city manager Dale Martin, Commissioners Chip Ross, Len Kreger, and Mike Lednovich had reigned in the out-of-control city bandits that were extorting local builders and businesses. Even the traditionally timid Chamber of Commerce protested the excesses, but nothing was ever done. Now we’re paying the price.

***

Democrats Caught With Pants Down: Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson has indisputably shown that the Democrat led Congressional hearings about January 6 were solely a political event, a total sham, involving questionable charges that had nothing to do with the enforcement of law.

The tapes reveal it was an inquisition, the workings of a corrupt political faction that had been using their powers to dishonestly create evidence in order to either damage or dispose of their enemies.

The fact that the Democrats and a couple of Republican schmucks censored so much and didn’t allow the public to see the entire pool of evidence—including the exculpatory evidence—reveals the fact that those involved care nothing for our laws. These are frightening and dangerous people.

If Chuck Schumer thought his urgent calls for Fox News to pull Carlson off the air would cause the host to genuflect or cower, he was sorely mistaken.

“Are they gonna fire me?” Tucker asked while being interviewed by the host of “Redacted,” Clayton Morris . “Okay. Fine. Go ahead. I’m still not lying. Are you going to arrest me? Go ahead. I’m not lying. Period.”

According to Carlson, Schumer’s opinion — and those of politicians like him — are “meaningless.”

“Being attacked by people I don’t respect, like Mitt Romney or Mitch McConnell or some other, you know, buffoon — Schumer! — I mean, it’s like it doesn’t even rate,” he told Morris. “It doesn’t even mean anything to me. It’s a foreign language.”

One of the released videos shows the “Shaman” Jacob Chansley (the goofy guy with the bison horns), telling everybody to leave the capitol building peacefully. The Democrats hid that. Why?

Many people, including Elon Musk, are calling for his release from prison, despite his pleading guilty to the charges directed at him. Keep in mind that the purpose of an inquisition is to make people plead guilty when they are not.

“Think about this,” said West Coast pundit Steven Maikoski, ”Their job, as members of the House of Representatives, is to create law. Instead of that, they were creating crimes out of thin air. It has been evident that the protests never met the claims of it being an insurrection, as the fascist-democrats continually have claimed. The only ‘arms’ evident that day were the flag poles that some people carried to display the American flag.”

***

Drinking, Dining & Dancing: Today, March 17,  is St. Patrick’s Day and if you’d like to get an early start then head over to PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden, 12 South 2nd Street, where beginning at 11 am you can get one of the best corned beef and cabbage dinners hereabouts for just $15. It’ll be available until PJD runs out and includes corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and soda bread prepared by our pal Gary Novalis, who makes one of the best such meals I’ve ever eaten. Guinness will be available for $4 and there are rumors that bagpipers might show up sometime during the day.

  • Comment (24)
  • So much misinformation, inaccuracies, and blatant lies in this week’s blog concerning SVB’s collapse that one is left only to conclude that Dave is either afflicted with the same mental illness suffered by QAnon followers or he’s desperately seeking attention after watching his readership wilt. On one side you have financial and banking experts, along with the Federal Reserve, weighing in on the causes of SVB’s demise using actual unfiltered data. On the other side you have Tucker Carlson and other right-wing pundits feeding from a trough of poor or non-existent research to arrive at conclusions that are easily debunked by anyone operating with at least half a brain.

    • Nothing “moderate” about your comments. Just more Rep vs. Dem rhetoric, when they are a uniparty, except for a few principled people. What specifically do you disagree with Dave on? Tucker may not be perfect, but he stands head and shoulders above most of the media world in courage, research and accuracy of facts and conclusions. He does see the world from a “right” (no pun intended) perspective.

      • Specifically:

        1. Dave calls Tucker Carlson a FOX News anchor. Wrong. In lawsuits against FOX and Carlson, FOX attorneys and executives have gone to great lengths to define Carlson as a political analyst and not a news reporter. In other words, Carlson doesn’t report on the news, he comments on the news – often making himself the news story. Dave calls him a news anchor in a feeble attempt to give Carlson, and in turn, himself, credibility.

        2. Dave spreads the lie that SVB donated more than $70 million to Marxist organizations like BLM. In truth, NOT ONE DIME was donated to any organization with Marxist ties. Rather, SVB donated millions to causes that directly or indirectly benefitted black and brown communities. It bears repeating. NOT ONE DIME was donated to any organization with ties to the BLM organization. Perhaps Dave needs to revisit his thoughts on last week’s blog where he whines about any attention given to systemic racism issues in this country. He is a prime example that it does indeed exist.

        3. Dave writes that the bankers at SVB were “major contributors to Democrat party presidential and congressional candidates.” Sure, if you call less than $50K over a 10-year period major contributions. It also obfuscates the fact that SVB donated thousands to Republicans while Trump was in office and in return, benefitted from a weakened Dodd-Frank regulation package. Digging a little deeper, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, received at least $58,700 from SVB. Also worth noting, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., received at least $32,910. Above all else, to get an accurate picture one needs to discern the difference between SVB PACs and individual executives’ donations to political candidates.

        As I wrote earlier, anyone operating with at least half a brain….

      • Dave I looked up in the Tax
        Records and found no listing
        for Moderate Majority in any
        residential addresses in FB.
        It plainly asks for your FULL
        NAME prior to posting your
        reply.Nice try Langshaw.

      • Yellen is on record admitting she was wrong. Carlson only admits he is wrong when the courts subpoena his phone records and he is forced to testify under oath. Dave, to the best of my knowledge, has never admitted he was wrong even when presented with indisputable evidence.

        • She had to, it was quite evident she was WRONG, along with the rest of the biden admin. Not the first time either as I recall she was slow to see the 2007 banking system problems. But she did admit she was slow to see them, albeit it was her job, so there is that in her favor.

          Since as you say the Fed Reserve knows what caused the debacle, already having been given the blue print from a private investor Ackerman, what was their role? Were they not responsible for monitoring member banks?? Or is it the Controller of the Currency, Or is it the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Who was it?? Saying they knew the causes is like betting after the race was run. The point being, this whole admin is a ball lost in the weeds. It has nothing to do with whatever Carlson admits or does not, he is not a government official nor is Scott.

  • “Let Greta Thunberg, Al Gore, John Kerry, et al deposit their money in these hapless financial sinkholes.”

    Dave, surely you jest because as recent events show they will just get bailed out! Banks like Silicon are being run like the California pension system, ESG is number one. Forget protecting returns for their account holders. Worse, Biden is forcing that concept upon all pension plans through ridicules department of labor regs. IOW, concepts that would never be enacted through law are being forced upon the nation by edict. The only distinction between Democrats like Biden and Stalin is in the spelling.

  • Great Blog this week. It is a shame that the San Francisco Fed board wasn’t doing their oversight job. As far as the Jan 6 kangaroo court performance, the District of Columbia (an area that is 7×7 miles in size) has more camera coverage than any place on this planet. Yet only now are we starting to get a chance to view that video coverage. Why???

  • Dave, a MAJOR CORRECTON may be in order. Commissioner Ross chose Margaret Davis, a registered, active Republican with a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University. She served as legislative aide and chief economist for U.S. Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX). She helped him champion fiscally conservative and free market policies. She spent more than a decade working for multi-national corporations in the energy and banking sectors before earning a law degree. As an attorney for the country’s 12th largest law firm, she practiced corporate and finance law, but also served on the firm’s recruiting committee. As a retired senior citizen, she moved back to Florida in 2017 to be near her family. As an engaged resident, she served on the City’s recent Charter Review Committee.

    • The Ross’s time in the sun has set in this town (as it has in others in the past.) We had enough Faith. Take your carpet bags elsewhere because though Chip is sitting on the commission…he isn’t worth his weight in salt. I find it hilarious as he spins in circles while being dominated by a twenty-something on this commission.. About time someone set the Ross Duo out to pasture. Great way to spend your last year of relevancy lol

    • Ooops Dave, your faux journalism is showing again, better pull up your pants, and put on your reading glasses, or just try to do some homework for once. Thanks Faith for your major correction. Otherwise, facts be damned.

  • Regarding the Compass Group lawsuit. It’s potentially worse than you stated. In addition to the $500,000 in impact fees, they are also suing to recover $450,000 in “administrative fees” that they paid to the city. If you add in potential interest, legal fees and other costs, the total amount could exceed $1,000,000. It will be interesting to see how strong their case is.

  • Good luck to Compass Group in their action against Shakedown City for their latest violations of state impact and building fee laws. Yet another reason for the state to intervene to determine the full extent of Shakedown City’s violations of state law to generate unlawful supplemental tax revenue. Expect the City Consigliere to require a gag provision in any settlement agreement with Compass Group. More likely, the city will do what it usually does and that’s to endlessly litigate using citizen-funded private attorneys to financially exhaust the plaintiff.

    Dave, any idea what Mr. Martin’s severance deal was?

  • No alliterative alibi for Carlson’s lies about Jan. 6 and none for the lack of Fox News denials.

    • And what, specifically, did he lie about? Did you watch the video he showed, or are you parroting left wing talking points?

  • The City charging illegal impact and building fees, who’d have guessed. One commissioner said he’s been on the commission for five years and seen nothing to indicate illegal activity. Are we to think he has never read the lawsuit or just playing the village crier yelling, “nothing to see here folks”. Or he just can’t read what’s in front of him. Now it’s time for the city attorney to obfuscate avoid and point to the rented attorney. Not me folks, not me. We have seen the play before. Time for the State to show up and clean up the administration and enforcement of impact and building fees. It’s not in the wording of the ordinances, it’s the administration of them. File this under the category of a “Clue”.

  • Mr. Stettler, as you are aware, you and Mr. Scott and Mr. Keogh were all copied, in late February when a packet of all your multiple allegations about “illegal activities” were e-mailed to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the States Attorney Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The e-mail and associated documents made those agencies aware your allegations of an alleged “criminal enterprise”. All of the agencies acknowledged receipt of the information. Further investigation is the agencies discretion.

    • Maybe your “offenders” should return the favor of forwarding your comments and their findings to the same agencies? I would add the State’s Auditing Department and Governor’s office as well.

•••

Recent Posts

•••

Recent Comments

"There are none so blind as those who will not see"
Paraphrasing Gandhi, be the change you wish to see in Democrats Dave. Hypocrisy is never…
To quote the famous Dan Aykroyd, Peg,Peg, Peg, you ignorant ——-. The venom and hate…
Considering the fact that Nassau county had an over 72% majority Republican vote in 2016…
Dave, It's too bad you can't also report on the other side of the coin…
•••

subscribe to my blog