The hierarchy of excuses

by John Q on March 20, 2023

I’ve lived through quite a few financial crises, some local to Australia, and others global. Invariably, the first failures are those of obvious shonks (Australianism?) who would probably have failed anyway. Then there are seemingly reputable institutions that turn out to have been shonky. Then there are institutions that played by the rules, but it turns out the rules weren’t good enough. After that, no one is safe and the government steps in to bail the bankers out.Of course, ordinary people pay the bill.

So, I thought I’d get a headstart on listing the hierarchy of excuses, explaining why this isn’t just an inherently corrupt system, doing its inherently corrupt thing. Here we go:

*Silvergate: jumped up crypto bank, not really a bank at all
*Silicon Valley: mismatched assets and liabilities, classic mistake, also woke
* Signature: more crypto, more mismatch, also Trump
* First Republic: all these midsized banks misused the 2017 deregulation
* Credit Suisse: turns out all those capital adequacy requirements could be gamed. And just to prove this, we’ll wipe out the bondholders who helped make the books look good, while bailing out the equity holders