Pence blames Biden for Silicon Valley Bank collapse after fierce blowback against Trump administration

Mr Pence blames the bank’s ‘woke’ goals and the Biden administration’s spending for the SVB collapse

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 14 March 2023 15:34 GMT
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Related video: Biden says Silicon Valley Bank managers will be fired

Former Vice President Mike Pence has joined the choir of conservative voices trying to pin the Silicon Valley Bank collapse on Democrats while Democrats try to do the same to them.

In an editorial for The Daily Mail, Mr Pence takes aim at Joe Biden and the Democrats, claiming that “just like 2008,” the party has “increased spending by over $10 trillion” that “fueled record inflation, inevitably requiring the FED to raise interest rates.”

He laid some of the blame on the bank, which collapsed on Friday, and laced his criticisms with conservative media buzzwords.

“But SVB is not solely responsible for misallocating its resources on left-wing priorities; the Biden administration actively encouraged them to do so,” he wrote.

Mr Pence accused the bank of committing to “woke” projects like combatting the climate crisis, and sneered at its stated commitment to “live its values,” by pursuing “left-wing environmental, social and governance goals.”

Environmental, social, and governance goals for businesses are called ESG. That acronym has become the latest for conservatives to rail against.

The word Mr Pence leaves out of his criticisms is “regulations.” Democrats have been slamming both the Republican Party and Donald Trump, claiming the repeal of Dodd-Frank banking regulations in 2018 laid the groundwork for SVB’s collapse.

While the majority of senators who helped push the bill through were Republicans — 50 voted in favour of easing banking regulations — 17 Democrats also signed off on the deregulatory legislation.

Mr Pence does mention “regulators” in his piece, but only as a way to criticise Mr Biden’s desire to “push an environmental agenda” through banking policies.

The former vice president went on to say he opposed any kind of bailout, and did so in 2008 during the financial crisis.

"Instead of encouraging dangerous behavior in the private sector, government should allow bad actors to bear the brunt of their bad decisions. We have bankruptcy laws for a reason," he wrote. "Bankruptcy is an orderly process that allows a failed business to restructure or be bought out by a solvent competitor – ensuring that the strong survive and the weak fall to the wayside, which is critical for maintaining a functioning free market."

Mr Pence said a bailout will lead to "what we have today: banks make foolish decisions enabled by imprudent government policies and the American people pay the price."

The former vice president noted that Mr Biden has assured Americans that the bailout will not be paid for by taxpayers, but called his promise "disingenuous," adding that "every American with a bank account will pay higher fees to replenish the billions spent by the FDIC to backstop failing banks."

He also claimed Americans will be paying to back deposits made by "many Chinese companies" that used SVB. Mr Pence said a good first reform would be to refuse to insure the deposits of companies that "do business in China or Russia."

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