March 17, 2023

Janet Yellen Fails to Instill Confidence

Joe Biden’s treasury secretary took to Capitol Hill yesterday, but her assurances weren’t very reassuring.

St. Patrick may have driven all the snakes out of Ireland, but we’d like to see him perform that miracle in our nation’s capital.

Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen took to Capitol Hill, there to soothe the fears of both lawmakers and the rest of us about the recent collapse of two banks: Silicon Valley Bank in the leftist enclave of California, and Signature Bank in the leftist enclave of New York.

If you have three hours to kill, knock yourselves out.

Otherwise, read on.

Yet Yellen’s reassurances that our banking system was sound and that the Biden administration’s “resolute commitment to ensure that depositors’ savings remains strong” didn’t seem to instill confidence in anyone. And why would they?

Remember: This is the same elegantly coiffed Janet Yellen who, back in 2021, told us that the bone-crushing phenomenon known as Bidenflation was “transitory.” It was a claim that turned out to be dead wrong — so much so that she had to concede as much last year.

“I can reassure the members of the [Senate Finance Committee] that our banking system remains sound,” Yellen said, “and that Americans can feel confident that their deposits will be there when they need them.”

Indeed, her performance was, well, downright serpentine. You will not surely die, she seemed to be telling us.

What Yellen failed to disclose about these too-blue-to-fail banks, SVB and Signature, is that they were neck-deep in wokeness initiatives and chock-full of Demo donors in Big Tech and Big Climate. If you understand that, you understand the big picture of what’s happening here. As our Nate Jackson rightly noted earlier this week: “American taxpayers will bear the financial burden of two big banks overextending themselves to Democrat allies. The Wall Street Journal editorial board calls it ‘an income transfer from average Americans to deep-pocketed investors.’ The overextension, in turn, goes back to Democrat regulation of the banking industry.”

So much for the party of the people, the party of everyday Americans. Folks, as Scranton Joey likes to say, there’s been a switcheroo. This ain’t your granddaddy’s Democrat Party.

As for the Democrats’ penchant for picking winners and losers, Oklahoma Republican Senator James Lankford pressed Yellen on that very issue — about whether the administration’s safety net will apply across the banking industry.

“Will the deposits in every community bank in Oklahoma, regardless of their size, be fully insured now?” asked Lankford. “Will they get the same treatment that SVB just got, or Signature Bank just got?”

Answer: Nope.

Uninsured deposits, she said, would only be covered in the event that a “failure to protect uninsured depositors would create systemic risk and significant economic and financial consequences.”

Missouri Republican Josh Hawley saw right through this Yellenspeak: “Let me translate that,” he told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham. “You only get protection if you’re a woke billionaire who gives a lot of money to Democrats.”

What might the future hold? Bad tidings, it seems. As the Washington Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti observes: “Now Biden and the Fed are caught in a stimulus trap: Higher interest rates increase the likelihood of financial instability, while keeping rates pat — or cutting them — will prolong the inflation. Doing nothing will perpetuate the current mix of declining standards of living amidst periodic chaos.”

So we’ve got that going for us.

Incidentally, if you were worried about whether these events will affect the savings of our, er, friends the Chinese, fear not. As The Washington Times reports, “Uninsured Chinese depositors in the failed Silicon Valley Bank likely will be made whole through the special assessment on U.S. banks that is funding the rescue crafted by the Biden administration, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers Thursday.”

Whew. That’s a relief. We wouldn’t want our nation’s foremost geopolitical foe getting stuck instead of everyday Americans.

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