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Your Quick Snort of News

First Republic – the country’s 14th largest bank until it ran out of deposits – paid its founder, James Herbert $17.8mm in 2021, the big guy’s son $3.5mm and his brother-in-law, James Healy, $2.3mm in consulting fees for advice on interest rate risk. This begs the question was First Republic a sign of contagion in the banking system, or just garden variety bad management. As for the brother-in-law, Healy is a former top executive at Credit Suisse, and look how that place turned out. His other clients include JPMorgan Chase, which isn’t necessarily a red flag, but we thought you should know. 


Silicon Valley Bank has found a purchaser in First Citizens, which likes to snatch up failed banks will buy the SBV from the FDIC and assume $56bn in deposits and $72bn in loans.


Over in Europe, Deutsche Bank is taking a beating – but that really might be because Credit Suisse has got investors stirred up. Although, when social media is involved, punters sometimes invent the blood they smell in the water. Deutsche Bank has had its problems, true – the Wall Street Journal called it the “sick man of Europe” – but the German lender is actually profiting from the higher interest rates, not the other way around. It made a profit of $6.1bn last year.


Over all, despite the savage groin punch the market got over the bank panic, stocks gained over the week. It wasn’t entirely a shrug-off, financial stocks didn’t fare so well, but solid, boring offerings like utilities and healthcare and other items you hate paying for but don’t really have a choice, have done well. Investors piled into Treasuries and gold. The bad news is that this is exactly what happens before a recession,  


Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok – ironically the least TikTok CEO of imaginable – tried to convince congress he doesn’t want to brain wash the apps 150 million US users. He just wants them to watch ads, evidently $7bn worth of them. Congress remains dubious and strangely bipartisan about it. The children will be outraged. 


US Forces in Syria, the ones Trump ordered out of the country and the pentagon politely ignored him until it was a big thing – are under resumed pressure from Iran-backed militia. The both US forces and militias are hurling rockets at each other and generally fouling yet another US attempt to get the hell out of there.

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