The Valley of The Shadow

This week's news and The Lorem Ipsum helps to rescue the banking industry.

The Valley of The Shadow

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Hey Friends,

I'm Daniel, a writer and fake comedian who doesn't have a podcast. Besides writing these love notes to you each week, I also create moving brand stories to help businesses reach the masses, but with better brand messaging. To continue to sharpen my skills, I use the Hot Takes section of this newsletter to practice writing headlines.

That's right. Instead of going to the gym, I get my exercise by delivering you the news each week. Occasionally, you will notice a theme across the headlines, and this week is no exception.

So rather than talking about it, let's just get to The News.

Hot Takes

Week 11 of 2023

Yea Tho I Walk Thru the Valley of the Silicon Bank

Silicon Valley Bank went under last Friday, prompting panic, especially among the venture-funded startups that made up most of the bank's portfolio. Analysts paying close attention to their demise say the downfall occurred after a long team-building lunch, an afternoon of ping pong with the web developers, followed by a very important three-martini business meeting with VCs. Also, this came after years of holding largely uninsured cash and lending to some of the riskiest investments (but the best culture!).

Founders, according to conversations in a popular Slack channel, reportedly feared whether they would be able to pay payroll or cover the costs of office massage days, stoking the eventual bank run and the downfall of the bank.

After the shock, a tailspin in the market led to turmoil with other banks, including Signature Bank, which had risky bets on cryptocurrency, prompting a run on deposits and forcing them to close their doors on Sunday (my bank is never open on Sunday, by the way). Another crypto-friendly bank, Silvergate bank, faced turmoil due to the collapse of FTX, and announced on Wednesday that it would wind down operations after it faced a bank run this week. George Bailey and Mary Poppins were both contacted for comments about their experiences with bank runs, and also about their experiences with being "fake" similar to cryptocurrency.

Yesterday, 11 banks confirmed First Republic Bank would be rescued by $30 billion in deposits from the largest banks to prevent it from collapsing. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo are all depositing $5 billion each. In addition to these large banks, The Lorem Ipsum is depositing $5 minus credit card fees to contribute to the $30 billion total in hopes of staving off a collapse. (more)

War Crimes! What are They Good For?

Spoiler: Absolutely nothing. That's why this week, the International Criminal Court is issuing arrest warrants for crimes perpetrated by Russia in Ukraine. One additional notable detail is that the court proceedings may also be good for absolutely nothing other than symbolism since Russia is not a member of the ICC and is not expected to turn over, say, its President, plus many of its soldiers are already prisoners. (more)

In related news, the UN gave Russia the side-eye yesterday, except with a report rather than an actual facial expression.

Alaska, and you Shall Receive

The Willow oil drilling project in Alaska has been on the table for quite some time, and ConocoPhillips has asked the Federal Government "Willow you authorize our drilling project?" The oil giant has legitimate, long-standing land leases, but some people who like the earth say the drilling is a "carbon bomb" that will fuel climate change in addition to gasoline-fueled cars. Liberals are upset Biden broke a key campaign promise, and Republicans are upset they aren't getting the credit. Some analysts say if we're going to be using oil anyway, we may as well source it from the US rather than Russia, while others are still too busy laughing about the headline of this Hot Take. (more)

Nothing, Nowhere, at No Particular Time

The most controversial thing that happened at this year's Oscars was that nothing controversial happened. Janet Yang, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, did not issue an apology, and according to people familiar with the matter, no one was canceled or slapped on live television. In addition to reports of what didn't happen, we also learned that Entertainment company A24 swept the evening with numerous Oscars including best picture for 'Everything Everywhere All At Once.' Brendan Frasier received best actor for his role in The Whale, which we understand was his biggest role yet. (more)

Yippie Kai [Open] A.I. Yay, My Friend

OpenAI has launched a new chatbot that is a leap ahead of the prior release that took the world by storm through its ChatGPT app and less so through Bing, since people don't really like using Bing. The creators consider the new phase of AI a pivotal moment for technology but say it plans to be "slow and intentional" with its wider public rollout, as OpenAI still expects people to get dumber. (Here's more, but also, here's this)


  • President Emanuel Macron of France has introduced a bill to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 when citizens receive their state-funded pensions. Enormous riots have broken out in protest, to which Macron pulled a rare legislative move of threatening to make it 65 if they don't straighten up. (more)
  • Poland is now giving fighter jets to Ukraine. President Andrzej Duda said the planes are from the 90s, and they're basically done for, so they'll just give them to Ukraine. "Besides, we just got new ones," he said (paraphrased). (more)
  • And Biden told TikTok to Step Off.

That's it for the news. Now here's a very brief episode of The Gist.

Take The Cake

The Gist

I released an article earlier this week about Fox News, cake flavor selection, and, more specifically, selection bias. In addition to addressing the Fox scandal, this article asks which cake flavor is best and why it is carrot cake.

Make sure to give it a read.

The Cake You Didn’t Eat
Cable news is the three-layer cake of a healthy diet. So what does this say about its viewers? More importantly, which cake flavor is best, and why is it Carrot Cake?

That's it for this week. Remember to share far and wide.

Have a great weekend!

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