I suppose it’s now quite clear why I felt like I was driving through a snowblind yesterday. For someone who spent the year telling everyone to watch Margin Call you’d think I’d be pretty prepared for the inevitability of pricing affecting risk.
I am, of course, discussing the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. We’d discussed in our household scenario planning around what would happen if we saw banks forced to compete on better interest rates. Perhaps the same old story of mis-pricing your risk would play out. Discussions of contingency planning and multiple accounts and insurance policies both personal and professional. I really didn’t expect for any of the emergency use cases to manifest as to even contemplate it is simply too horrifying.
But horrible things happen every day and I am skeptical of my capacity to judge my own need for a comfort in a situation in which there is none to be found. I do however believe that in the wake of the Great Recession we’ve come to believe that money always gets bailed out. And why would Janet Yellen (of all people) hang out the singular shining star industry that keeps the lights on in the hollowed out shell of post-industrial American capitalism.
That said humans have been known to do spitefully stupid things that hurt themselves so long as it also hurts someone they dislike. Cut off your nose to spite your face. I don’t know if the drive for vengeance is strong enough for some populist reactionary spill over. I’d want to at least offer up a scapegoat and I’ll be curious to see who has this fate.
This seems like the crumbles to me. The logic of the Jankening is that we cannot always predict the downstream effects because this is a complex system. All I know is that to let a large chunk of the wider technology ecosystem fail would be catastrophic.
However, we have now effectively put in the minds of a new generation that banks do stupidly silly things occasionally (Lmao) and you have to be careful who you trust with risk. Everyone is running to the big banks and that will have its own consequences. I am curious to see what the downstream consequences will be.
Be careful who you trust, use some common sense and don’t be overly sure of the value of powerful people telling you want to think. They might not have your best interest at heart.