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Thanks to DJ Duct Tape for sending this in. You may remember him from our Arguing with Idiots Video Contest.
If you have something you would like to see as picture of the day, submit it here...
On Monday, Biden exercised his veto powers for the first time to strike down a bill that would ban states from taking ESG into consideration when investing state pension funds. In his veto message, Biden said:
Retirement plan fiduciaries should be able to consider any factor that maximizes financial returns for retirees across the country. That's not controversial — that's common sense.
At the risk of using the loaded word "gaslit," it continues to be the operative word in describing the policies coming out of the Biden White House. It is painfully obvious that ESG itself inhibits investors from "maximizing financial returns." That was never ESG's goal in the first place. Yet Biden said the opposite.
ESG aims to incentivize investors to make "socially conscious" (a.k.a woke) investments, even if they are at odds with the greatest return on investment. It has enabled state governments and investment firms to use their monopoly over the investment space to force companies to choose between adopting their woke ESG standards and losing critical investment. Isn't there a word for that? Extortion? Or modern-day politics?
That is the sole reason why Republicans brought the bill to his desk in the first place: As Glenn said, "ESG poses a clear and present danger to the American way of life, the soul of our nation and every sector of our economy. ESG was never about ROI. It was always about pushing a leftist agenda.
And Biden knows this.
Why would he want to give up something that enables his political party and corporate elites to control and manipulate the political affiliations of their people? Who would want to give up that power? Biden certainly doesn't.
And he didn't.
Instead, he boldly asserts the exact opposite: that ESG itself "maximizes financial returns," relying on the divided American people to debate the policy into oblivion, while he gets exactly what he wants: the retention of power over the American consumer. Dare I say again that "gaslit" is the operative word here?
If one thing is clear, it is that we cannot rely on the federal government to act in the best interests of the American people. However, in this critical moment, the state governments are stepping up to do what the federal government refuses to: protecting the rights of the American consumer.
In a joint resolution led by Florida Governor Ron Desantis, 19 states have pledged “to protect individuals from the ESG movement" at the state level. This is critical.
Florida leads Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming in signing the historic policy agreement among all 19 states, pledging to ban ESG practices within their jurisdictions.
The anti-ESG alliance calls ESG what it is:
A direct threat to the American economy, individual economic freedom, and our way of life, putting investment decisions in the hands of the woke mob to bypass the ballot box and inject political ideology into investment decisions, corporate governance, and the everyday economy.
This alliance takes aim at two specific practices used by left-leaning states to force companies to adopt ESG-approved practices.
First, the alliance promises to protect "taxpayers from ESG influences across state systems."
While other states are using YOUR taxpayer dollars to fund pro-ESG corporations, these states pledge to BAN this practice to ensure "that only financial factors are considered to maximize the return on investment."
The chief factor behind any investment should be determining whether that investment yields the maximum return on their investment. However, many states are using YOUR taxpayer-funded pension and retirement funds to invest in ESG-approved businesses. This not only forces businesses to consider adopting ESG standards in hopes of obtaining investment. Moreover, states are using YOUR taxpayer dollars to fund them! Would you want your government to invest your hard-earned money for partisan purposes?
The anti-ESG alliance is taking the politics out of investment and putting consumer power back in the hands of the American people. These state governments pledged to make investment decisions based solely on maximizing the return on investment, not in using your taxpayer dollars to fund their political agendas.
Second, the alliance promises to protect "citizens from ESG influences in the financial sector."
ESG standards force businesses to consider the political leanings of their customer base. For example, Discover announced they will begin tracking its customers' gun-related purchases. One of the leaders behind this push is Amalgamated Bank, which boasts on their website that their institution "supports sustainable organizations, progressive causes, and social justice." Amalgamated Bank CEO Priscilla Sims Brown said:
We all have to do our part to stop gun violence and it sometimes starts with illegal purchases of guns and ammunition The new code will allow us to fully comply with our duty to report suspicious activity and illegal gun sales to authorities without blocking or impeding legal gun sales.
This virtue signaling at the cost of your privacy is earning both Discover and Amalgamated ESG brownie points.
There are countless stories of Americans, like YOU, getting locked out of their bank accounts, dropped as clients, tracked and targeted, all because their personal political beliefs don't align with big corporations' ESG goals. Their individual privacy and dignity as a consumer aren't worth the risk of lowering the company's ESG score.
That's why the anti-ESG alliance is pledging to protect the residents in their states from this corrupt ESG exploitation. The alliance promised to ban "so-called social Credit Scores' in banking and lending practices aimed to prevent citizens from obtaining financial services like loans, lines of credit, and bank accounts."
They also promised to stop "financial institutions from discriminating against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs, such as owning a firearm, securing the border, or increasing our energy independence."
In short, they have targeted the political extortion hidden behind the virtuous ESG veil to protect citizens from being discriminated against based on political affiliation.
It's time to step up.
Biden may have struck down the effort to restore the freedom of the American consumer at the federal level. However, these states are taking it upon themselves to do what they ought: to ban practices that threaten the freedoms and privacy of their citizens.
If your state did not joining the anti-ESG alliance, it's time to demand that they step up and do their job to protect you and the rest of your fellow citizens from corrupt ESG practices. As Glenn said, "The conservative movement is best when it moves in unison." We must act and unison and push our states to protect our economic freedom and our way of life.
How prepared are YOU to weather a future crisis? We recently published a brand new quiz so you can find out exactly how prepared you are. Whether you're a "prepper" with a bunker fit for the apocolypse or just want to feel more secure for the future, there is always something more to learn. That's why Glenn wants to give his newsletter subscribers his "Ultimate Preparation Guide," filled with practical tips for building a solid foundation to weather future crises. And let's face it—in our crazy world right now, who couldn't use a bit more peace of mind?
Enter your email below to get "Glenn's Ultimate Preparation Guide" sent straight to your inbox!
Editor's Note: Arizona House Bill HB2770 has since been shut down! AZ Rep. Rachel Jones tweeted that the AZ Freedom Caucus shut down the bill before it could reach the board. It is encouraging to see states stepping to protect the American people from getting one step closer to a Central Bank Digital Currency. Hopefully, Arizona will be a precedent for the other states!
This gem was buried in a 113 page bill pushed by a lobbyist through one of my clueless colleagues. It passed out of the Commerce Committee, but then @AZFreedomCaucus blocked it from even going on the board. @glennbeck you'll be happy to know we killed it.
— AZ Representative Rachel Jones (@RJ4arizona) March 17, 2023
On today's radio broadcast, Glenn warned about dangerous Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) language being smuggled into routine legislation in REPUBLICAN-led states. This is unacceptable, and as Glenn said, we can't let this legislation pass as it now stands.
The legislation being used to smuggle in this CBDC language is the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), a routine piece of legislation passed on the state level that helps standardize commercial and business transactions. However, a new round of UCCs being deliberated RIGHT NOW amongst a swath of Republican-led states anticipate the use of "electronic money." In a public letter sent to the Republican states currently deliberating this legislation, the Pro-Family Legislative Network said this can only refer to the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) under consideration and testing by the Federal Reserve. Biden's Executive Order 14067 issued in March of 2022 started the push for CBDC, and now these states, knowingly or unknowingly, are laying the legislative groundwork for making CBDC a reality.
There is absolutely no reason why Republican-led states should aid in laying the foundation for CBDC, yet 12 of them are deliberating it RIGHT NOW, with one UCC bill already on one GOP governor's desk! We have to act NOW to stop these UCCs in their tracks and demand our lawmakers amend the bills without the "electronic money" language.
If your state is listed below, contact your representative NOW to put an end to CBDC language.
North Dakota House Bill HB1082 passed BOTH chambers and is now sitting on Governor Burgum's desk. Burgun has 3 DAYS to veto this bill once it's placed on his desk—if not, it will pass automatically. If you are a North Dakota resident, it is absolutely CRUCIAL that you contact Governor Burgum's office NOW and demand that he veto this bill and re-introduce it without the "electronic money" language.
Arizona House Bill HB2770 has been SHUT DOWN! See the above editor's note for more details.
Arizona House Bill HB2770 passed the House majority and minority caucuses. Arizona residents, contact your representative's office NOW so that they amend this bill without the "electronic money" language.
Arkansas House Bill HB1588 is in committee, and if passed, will head to the House floor. Though the bill is only in its beginning stages, it's important for Arkansas residents to stop this bill in its tracks and amend it without the "electronic money" language.
Missouri House Bill HB1165 is also in its beginning stages in committee. That means it's important to contact your representative as soon as possible to amend it without the "electronic money" language.
Oklahoma House Bill HB 2776 passed the House Committee and will go to a chamber vote soon. If passed, it will go to the Senate, then the governor's desk. If you are an Indiana resident, contact your representative's office NOW to amend the bill without the "electronic money" language.
Indiana Senate Bill SB0486 passed the Senate and is headed to the House. Republicans control Indiana's executive office and BOTH chambers of the legislature. There is no excuse for this bill to pass. If you are an Indiana resident, it's vital you contact your representative NOW and demand they amend this bill without the "electronic money" language.
Kentucky Senate Bill SB64 passed the Senate and is now being deliberated in the House. If you live in Kentucky, contact your representative's office to amend the bill without the "electronic money" language.
Montana Senate Bill SB370 passed the Senate and was sent to the House on March 3rd. If you are a Montana resident, contact your representative's office NOW so that the bill doesn't without changing the "electronic money" language.
Nebraska's Legislative Bill LB94 passed committee and the first floor vote. As Nebraska only has one legislative chamber, this bill is dangerously close to passing the legislature and being sent to the governor's desk. If you are a Nebraska resident, contact your representative's office NOW and demand they amend the bill without the "electronic money" language.
New Hampshire House Bill HB584 is currently in House committee deliberations and has not yet reached the House floor. If you are a New Hampshire resident, contact your representative's office NOW to amend the bill without the "electronic money" language.
Tennessee House Bill HB0640 didn't successfully pass the House. However, it was deferred to a Senate committee and has now taken the form of Senate Bill SB0479, which is now in committee. This bill is still alive, and it's important for you, Tennessee residents, to stop it before it reaches the floor! Contact your representative to amend the bill without the "electronic money" language.
Texas House Bill HB5011 was filed and is ready to be taken up by committee. Fellow Texans, let's not let this bill progress any further! Contact your representative and demand they amend the bill without the "electronic money" language.
Silicon Valley Bank's collapse is sparking traumatic memories of the 2008 financial crash. Should we be worried SVB is signaling a similar economic catastrophe, or is everyone overreacting to the media's hype? Glenn told his listeners to be "healthily terrified." This event is sure to have ripple effects throughout the economy, but the more you are informed about it, the more you can prepare. Here are 6 things you need to know about Silicon Valley Bank's crash—explained in simple words.
Remember the scene from It's a Wonderful Life when all of the residents make a run on George Bailey's bank demanding their money? Fortunately for them, their money was in the altruistic hands of George Bailey, who used his honeymoon savings to give the depositors the money they demanded.
Silicon Valley Bank's depositors weren't so lucky.
In short, the depositors made a run on Silicon Valley Bank, demanding the withdrawal of their money. But SVB simply didn't have the liquid money available to give their depositors, causing regulators to shut down the bank shortly afterward.
Why didn't SVB have enough money for its depositors? To explain this, we have to go back to the pandemic era.
The pandemic saw a rapid decrease in spending and a massive increase in bank deposits. Due to the uncertainty of the future and lockdowns limiting ways to spend money on recreational activities, like restaurants, bars, and other outlets, many Americans stocked up money in their accounts. In fact, SVB's deposits doubled in 2021 alone, bringing in more money than they could lend out to their clients.
To make a return on their available cash, SVB wanted to invest it, as many banks do. Since they had reached their lending limit, they decided to invest it in U.S. Treasury Securities, which are the government's means of funding itself without using taxation (in a nutshell). These are considered "ultra-safe" investments because they are backed by the "full faith and credit of the federal government."
Unlike other forms of investments, investing in Treasuries means the government will do everything within its legal power to pay back the money used to fund itself. In other words, it is typically very safe... so what happened?
Interest rates ruined the typically "ultra-safe" investment. Due to 40-year record-high inflation, the Fed lifted rates eight times by a total of 4.25 percentage points in 2022, raising interest rates from 0.25 percent to 4.375 percent. This means the value of U.S. Treasuries investments plummeted rapidly. SVB reported that it lost $1.8 billion due to the decreased value of its Treasuries investments after a year of rising interest rates.
This raises the following question: why didn't SVB just weather the storm and wait for interest rates to decrease? There are two issues with this. The first is that, with so many of their assets held up in Treasuries investments, SVB still wouldn't have enough liquid assets to give their depositors during the bank run.
The second issue is that Treasuries investments have a ten-year limit. In 2021 during the Trump administration, interest rates were at an all-time low of 0.125 percent.
The record-fast increase of interest rates in 2022 caused very little chance for rates to go back down to their historic 2021 lows within ten years for banks to make their money back on their investments.
To avoid this, SVB planned to sell their investments at a loss and re-purchase Treasuries investments at the decreased value, giving them an extra ten years to bet on decreased interest rates in the future.
But people caught on to SVB's plan and didn't want to ride with the risk.
As aforementioned, SVP lost $1.8 billion when it sold its depleted Treasuries investments. While they were betting on being able to re-purchase the devalued securities, hoping that they would go up in value in the future with lowered interest rates, investors were worried about the risk.
Once they made the announcement of their $1.8 billion loss, their stocks began to drop, and venture capitalists warned the companies they invest in to pull out of SVB. This had a snowball effect, leading to a "bank run" of depositors demanding to withdraw their money from their SVB accounts.
This led to the perfect storm: SVB's investment losses coupled with the influx of withdrawals were so immense that regulators had to step in and shut the bank down to protect depositors. The government currently "running" SVB, for all practical purposes, is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC closed SVB on Friday and reopened the bank on Monday, March 13th as the Deposit Insurance Bank of Santa Clara.
Banks insure accounts with $250,000 or less with FDIC insurance. That means, in cases of bank failure, exactly like this one, the FDIC covers all accounts less than $250,000. The FDIC said SVB customers who had less than $250,000 in their accounts will have access to all of their money when the bank reopens. Since it reopened this week, they should have access to their funds.
However, many of SVB's depositors had more than $250,000 in their accounts—it is Silicon Valley after all. Therefore, their accounts were not covered by FDIC insurance. Will they get their money back? There is a chance that they will not.
It is unclear how much SVB currently has to cover uninsured deposits. It is likely not enough. The FDIC has issued a "Receiver's Certificate" to the uninsured account holders with the amount in their account that is not covered by FDIC insurance.
The FDIC said it will pay some of the uninsured deposits by next week by liquidating any additional assets held by SVB. However, if the liquidated assets are not enough, many of SVB's uninsured account holders could lose their money for good.
SVB's collapse was the largest bank failure since 2008, when Washington Mutual failed with $307 billion in assets. Its failure, along with the collapse of the Lehman Brother's investment bank, triggered the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Are we in danger of repeating 2008?
Some argue that we are not in danger of another economic catastrophe, simply because SVB holds less than 1 percent of the nation's assets. However, as Glenn warns, there is a danger of banks repeating the same mistakes as SVP.
SVP wasn't the only bank to use its surplus deposits to invest in U.S. Treasuries, which means that other banks are wrestling with the depleted value of their securities investments due to rising interest rates.
Bank of America, for example, lost $109 billion in their securities investments due to rising interest rates, the most among its peers—and Bank of America is no small fish in the ocean of assets.
Other major banks recorded other massive losses in their securities investments due to rising interest rates. JP Morgan Chase lost $36 billion, Wells Fargo lost $41 billion, Citigroup lost $25 billion, and Goldman Sachs lost $1 billion. If the little banks collapse, will they get the same effort and attention from the federal government as the "big guys?"
The critic may argue that these are still small values given the incredibly large amount of assets held in banks nationwide. However, this is missing the point. Major banks have majorly invested in securities since the pandemic-era skyrocketing rate of deposits. Now those investments are depleted in value.
They can either sell those investments at a loss, or they can wait and hope that they will recover over time. However, if those investments are no longer liquid, what happens when their depositors come knocking? Will they have enough liquid assets to cover a massive bank run? These are the lingering questions that our banks need to address.
As Glenn says, this will impact you—it is only a matter of time. What will you do to prepare?