Internationally famed Ersatz Doctor Xavier Becerra, Health and Human Services Secretary, is being called on by Senator Jim Risch (R, ID) to produce the evidence that supports “Dr.” Becerra’s and his HHS’ encouragement for actual doctors to perform “gender affirming care”—like hormone therapies and sex-change surgeries—on minors with gender dysphoria.

FISA Revamp

Congress may be moving to revamp the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which among other things, creates a secret Federal court that empirically allows the Federal government to spy on American citizens in the United States—one of whom was a representative of citizens of Illinois whom they had elected to Congress—without a warrant.

[Congressman Austin, R-GA] Scott said lawmakers on the committee want to address who in government can query the database, who can be targeted and who must sign off on such warrantless surveillance. He also suggested there is some support for adding lawyers to the secretive process to help defend the rights of Americans who are being surveilled without their knowledge.

Yellen and Law

The Wall Street Journal editors wrote Thursday about Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s…flip-flopping…on making whole, or not, nominally uninsured depositors in the wake of SVB’s failure and the government takeover of Signature Bank. Their subheadline accurately summarized the matter.

Are all deposits insured or not? Only [Yellen] seems to know.

The editors’ lede was this:

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday walked back her comments from the day before that walked back her remarks the day before about providing a de facto guarantee on all US bank deposits.

The editors then asked the question: Who’s on first?

Studying for the Test

Instead of studying the material. In a Monday Wall Street Journal op-ed, Michael Faulkender and Tyler Goodspeed, University of Maryland Finance Professor and Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, respectively, wrote about bank stress tests and their resulting uniformity of banks’ risk management techniques. Citing a Boston Federal Reserve study, they noted that

banks that performed poorly on the mandated Dodd-Frank stress tests subsequently adjusted their portfolios such that they more closely resembled the portfolios of banks that performed well. The average institution’s portfolio is more diversified, but the system is more uniform. By requiring all of the biggest financial institutions to adhere to the same measures, pass the same tests, and follow the same practices, America has lost diversification in the entire banking sector.


It seems the Federal Reserve knew of the risks stemming from SVB management moves as long ago as 2019 [emphasis added].

In January 2019, the Fed issued a warning to SVB over its risk-management systems, according to a presentation circulated last year to employees of SVB’s venture-capital arm….
The Fed issued what it calls a Matter Requiring Attention, a type of citation that is less severe than an enforcement action. Regulators are supposed to make sure the problem is addressed, but it couldn’t be learned if the Fed held SVB to that standard in 2019.

Following the 2019 warning, the Fed informed SVB in 2020 that its system to control risk didn’t meet the expectations for a large financial institution, or a bank holding company with more than $100 billion in assets, the presentation to employees at SVB’s venture-capital arm said.

Further to the Government Bailout of SVB Depositors

The Biden administration and his…regulators…are, indeed, bailing out all SVB depositors, including those with deposits larger than the FDIC’s insurance of deposits worth $250k or less. This is being done under the administration’s claimed “systemic risk exception” in order to bail out the bank’s uninsured deposits—which is to say the bank’s uninsured depositors.

That is a power that was used during the 2008 financial crisis. Measures such as this can be controversial, with some arguing that it creates what is known as a “moral hazard”—that by letting banks or their customers know the government will backstop them in a crisis, they will think less about risks.

“Banking System is Safe”

That’s what President Joe Biden (D) claims after the Silicon Valley Bank collapse.

Americans can rest assured that our banking system is safe. Your deposits are safe. Let me also assure you that we will not stop at this. We will do whatever is needed.

But that’s true only if regulators do their job and enforce the rules in place—as they chose not to do in the runup to SVB’s failure—and if risks are well-known and left to the responsibility of the risk-takers in a free market rather than laid off to us taxpayers to make those taking the risks whole.

Rules for Investing in the People’s Republic of China

The Biden administration is starting to pay lip service to setting rules for American businesses’ investing in the People’s Republic of China. It’s

preparing a new program that could prohibit US investment in certain sectors in China, a new step to guard US technology advantages during a growing competition between the world’s two largest economies.

And, of course, the effort will need new taxpayer money.

Treasury and Commerce departments said they expected to finalize their policy on the issue in the near future. Both agencies said they expected to seek additional resources for the investment program in the White House budget, which will be released next week.

Illinois and the 2nd Amendment

In a Just the News article concerning an Illinois district judge’s impending order declaring unconstitutional that State’s Progressive-Democratic Party-run government ban on a broad range of firearms and the requirement for citizens to register with that government those firearms they already possess, there’s this closing paragraph.

In federal court, four cases consolidated in the Southern District of Illinois have a hearing set for April 12. The state filed its response to a motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday arguing the ban addresses dangerous and unusual weapons the Founders of the US Constitution couldnt imagine in the 18th Century. Plaintiffs argue the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Gun Control and Racism

Jacob Gershwin opened his Wall Street Journal piece on gun control with this lede:

Historical, racist gun laws are taking on new relevance in legal battles over modern-day gun regulations, following a Supreme Court ruling that expanded the right to bear arms.

He followed up [emphasis added]:

In the 1700s and 1800s, states across the country passed laws to keep guns out of the hands of slaves, free Black people, Native Americans and Catholics. Such discriminatory gun restrictions would be unconstitutional today, but they have entered the gun-rights debate as judges look to apply the Supreme Court’s decision last June that said gun restrictions must be anchored in historical traditions.