CSotD: Tell me you don’t get it, without …

In case you’ve somehow missed it, today’s headline echoes a popular online comment, “Tell me you don’t understand XXX without telling me you don’t understand XXX.” It’s used as a snarky commentary when someone posts something totally off base. It is not a compliment.

However, I’m featuring Pedro X. Molina (Counterpoint)‘s cartoon because he does appear to understand the recent spate of bank failures, though, as is standard in political cartooning, he simplifies things.

The fact that banking regulations were relaxed didn’t compel SVB or the others to immediately start doing foolish things any more than a lack of speed limits would require you to drive 120 mph.

More critically, it needs to be pointed out that Uncle Sam is only rescuing the passenger, not the driver. The bailout, such as it was, only protected depositors, while the banks’ executives and investors were SOL. I’m giving Molina partial credit for not having specified who was crying for rescue.

Can’t offer Steve Breen (Creators) the same leeway, and it’s his own fault for adding “risks” and “mismanagement” to the cartoon.

I’d accept “risks,” because depositors who had more than the FDIC’s limit of $250,000 in a bank and failed to exercise due diligence were indeed taking a foolish risk.

But “mismanagement” is front-office stuff, and that’s who lost their jobs and their holdings, as well they should, though perhaps it doesn’t happen as often as some of us might like to see it happen.

Which is to say, unless you lock them up for criminal malfeasance, they’ll be back at it in a few months. There’s no rule against someone else hiring them.

This, in turn, makes me more inclined to look favorably on bailing out depositors who took risks they probably shouldn’t have. That and the fact that a lot of innocent employees of those depositors have their cheeks caught in cracks that were not of their own devise.

Lisa Benson (Counterpoint), however, is clearly in the realm of “Tell me you don’t understand banking without telling me you don’t understand banking.”

She’s illustrating an empty talking point that’s being paraded around by a number of rightwing groups.

This fiscally-illiterate theory is exemplified by the Wall Street Journal’s Andy Kessler, who decried SVB’s hiring of women, homosexuals and one Negro, explaining “I’m not saying 12 white men would have avoided this mess, but the company may have been distracted by diversity demands.”

And, while I invite you to add as many Samuel L. Jackson epithets as you like, the plain fact is, it isn’t true.

I’m not just saying that because I like Negroes and lesbians and chicks of all kinds and colors, but because NYU’s Stern Center for Sustainable Business and Rockefeller Asset Management did an actual study on the performance of investments in which social benefits were weighed in the decisions, and they found out that not only does it not hurt to factor in positive matters, but those ESG-conscious investments perform better:

And here’s Figure 1

You go ahead and set up a slot machine that returns those odds while I go get myself a cup full of quarters.

Do you come from a diverse place down under?

I once had a fancy — which is a dream for which I’d done no planning at all — to spend six months in Hobart, Tasmania, on a job switch with a reporter there. Reading how the trans rights people stood up against an intolerant know-it-all makes me wish I’d not only done it but then decided to stay.

I had to go to Google News to figure out if it was an anti-trans rally that went sideways or a pro-trans rally that drew terf activists. Turns out it was supposed to be a speech by anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, who had previously offended mainland Australia by speaking in the presence of sieg-heiling Nazis but who apparently left her brownshirt buddies home this time.

Both Downes and Dog indicate that it wasn’t much of a speech anyway because she was both drowned out and pissed off. As the Australian Associated Press reports, “Ms Keen-Minshull told the crowd of a few dozen supporters it was the worst place she had ever been to.”

I knew I would have liked Hobart.

What I particularly like is that both the Australian federal government and the Tasmanian local government have stated that they don’t like Nazis. In a decent world, that wouldn’t exactly swell your breast with pride, but I guess it depends on what you’ve come to expect of your own leadership.

Seems awfully forthcoming from here.

After all, when Gary Varvel (Creators) explains that enforcing the law makes you a follower of the Protocols of the Elders of Soros, it seems like having someone step up and denounce a few Nazis would come as a relief.

At least Steve Kelley (Creators) didn’t manage to drag that element in, simply explaining that only sleazy prostitutes enforce the law, while scrupulous officials give corrupt politicians a wave and a wink.

With the result that, when Dear Ex-Leader calls upon us to “take our nation back,” it makes me wonder who we’re supposed to be taking it back from.

And it makes me hope we’re not too late.

Clay Jones offers a hint. It’s ludicrous-but-not-funny that the same people who wanted to lock up Hillary for having classified documents in her basement at Mar A Lago … wait, let me start over …

I’m trying to figure this out. If you have oral sex with an intern, you get impeached, and when John Edwards and Gary Hart had affairs, they were required to drop out of their campaigns, but you can bag a porn star AND a Playmate with no repercussions, which is the best BOGO I’ve heard of.

If you’re waiting for all this to make sense, or sitting around coming up with logical arguments, you are wasting time that would be better spent the way the folks in Hobart do it: Laughing and singing and drowning out the bigots and their Nazi supporters.

It’s not only more effective, but it looks like a lot more fun.

11 thoughts on “CSotD: Tell me you don’t get it, without …

  1. Trying to figure out who the singer is in the Spike Jones video (e.g. at 30s). I can’t find pictures of many of Jones’ troupe, but I think this might be James Griffith.

  2. Thanks Paul. Comparing the guy in the video to a picture of Carl Grayson, I’m pretty sure that’s who it is. And that’s confirmed at secondhandsongs.com/artist/33569+170822 .

    I wasn’t aware of DAHR — thanks also for that.

    Love your weekly retrospective on the 100 year old editorial cartoons as well.

  3. When we think of John Edwards, Gary Hart, and other political punching bags, we have to include Tom Eagleton. His only sin was being honest about his treatment for depression. Damned shame.

  4. I’m of mixed feelings about what appears to have happened in Hobart. Freedom of Speech means freedom to voice odious opinions to be judged by the court of public opionion. Unfortunatley, that means allowing theose odious voices to be heard. Shouting down those voices are just as fascist as their targets are proported to be.

    1. But it sounds like those voices in Hobart are already being judged by the court of public opinion—public opinion opinion just happens to have judged that they’re full of cr*p.

  5. Gotta agree that the ESG stuff is being overblown.

    Pedro Molina may have missed an important part of the SVB meltdown. That bank when under because those particular tech bros were engaging in high-risk investments known as…ahem…US Treasuries. When excessive government spending resulted in significantly higher inflation rates, SVB clients started pulling cash to meet the needs of their businesses. To raise cash to fund those withdrawals, SVB had to sell US Treasuries at a significant loss.

    Also, I imagine it hasn’t occurred to Clay Jones how much easier it would be to respond appropriately to Trump’s legal improprieties if so many Democrats hadn’t been let off the hook – Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, respectively, being prime examples.

    I was guilty of judging capitalism by its operations and socialism by its hopes and aspirations; capitalism by its works and socialism by its literature. – Sidney Hook (1987). “Out of step: an unquiet life in the 20th century”

  6. Gosh, silly me ! I would have thought a WALL ST. JOURNAL REPORTER of all people, would understand how financial stuff works. But since the WSJ has neither comics nor crosswords, I never read it anyway.

    1. It actually has both – their crossword is quite good. Only one comic – Pepper and Salt

      1. I used to read the WSJ every day. I kinda thought the editorial section WAS the funnies page.

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