Tuesday, March 21, 2023




Some Democrats are suggesting that talk about possible bank failures should be censored, lest there be a run on the banks. Jonathan Turley reports:

While some rushed to get their money after the collapses, at least one leading Democrat is pushing for censorship of those who do not have faith in the banking industry.
Subjects from climate change to gender identity to COVID to elections have been gradually added to the list of prohibited thoughts.

Now Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) has put bank solvency on the list.
In a Zoom call this week with a couple hundred participants, Kelly asked representatives from the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation about censoring social media to remove those raising doubts over bank solvency in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank crises.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) confirmed Kelly suggested “that government should work with social media companies to censor information that could lead to a run on banks.”

Kelly offered up a familiar bogeyman:

As in past censorship calls, Kelly reportedly cited the danger of “foreign actors” using social media — to undermine banks. It’s those pesky Russians again.

Compared with other recent instances of censorship, there is a relatively coherent rationale for not allowing talk about bank solvency to spread. Few if any banks would be able to repay all of their depositors’ funds in the event of a bank run. There is a reason why they call it a panic: loss of confidence in banks can be self-fulfilling.

Nevertheless, censorship of talk about our banking system is a ridiculous idea. The solvency of banks is obviously an issue of great and legitimate public interest. Securities analysts, among many others, assess bank stability and advise their clients accordingly. Should all such analyses be banned, except the ones that are optimistic?

One of the problems with censorship is that it encourages–practically demands–the wildest sort of rumors. If government clamps down on any expression of worry about the stability of our financial system, the inevitable result will be that millions will assume that the truth must be dire indeed. And rumors as to specific banks will spread like wildfire. In a censored environment, one rumor is as good as another–there is no rational give and take to sift truth from falsehood. And so censorship, if imposed, likely would give rise to a massive and more or less universal panic.

But the Democratic Party is addicted to censorship, and it would not be surprising if, a year or two from now, it emerges that federal agencies tried (likely successfully) to collaborate with tech platforms to suppress certain kinds of information and opinion about banks. Twitter, happily, will not be subject to such pressure.

One more thing: when is Mark Kelly up for re-election? He is a disgrace who should be evicted from the Senate at the first opportunity.


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