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In a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “Who Killed Silicon Valley Bank?” Andy Kessler writes:
Was there regulatory failure? Perhaps. SVB was regulated like a bank but looked more like a money-market fund. Then there’s this: In its proxy statement, SVB notes that besides 91% of their board being independent and 45% women, they also have “1 Black,” “1 LGBTQ+” and “2 Veterans.” I’m not saying 12 white men would have avoided this mess, but the company may have been distracted by diversity demands.
Management screwed up interest rates, underestimated customer withdrawals, hired the wrong people, and failed to sell equity. You’re really only allowed one mistake; more proved fatal. Was management hubristic, delusional or incompetent? Sometimes there’s no difference.
Just gonna pull this one line out again, for emphasis:
I’m not saying 12 white men would have avoided this mess, but the company may have been distracted by diversity demands.ANDY KESSLER, WALL STREET JOURNAL
Leading up to this wild conclusion, Kessler does detail the three mistakes that he believes Silicon Valley Bank had made prior to their collapse. In that context, the implication is that SVB could have avoided any or all of those errors, had they not been sidetracked by the multi-pronged evils of DEI (“the company may have been distracted by diversity demands”). But that’s not literally what Kessler is saying. Kessler does not cite any actual diversity demands as evidence — rather, he cites the demographic makeup of the bank’s board (not, curiously, its very inequitable leadership board). There is no information about when those individuals joined the board, what their experience may have been, et cetera. There is no evidence presented to suggest that any of these individuals “benefitted” from any such diversity initiatives. They simply existed, as non-straight, non-white, non-men, or non-civilian (WTF?) — which is to say that, according to Kessler, straight white cis men are intrinsically, biologically superior at financial objectivity.
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