Background Briefing: March 13, 2023

China Brings Diplomacy to the Middle East Where the US Has Wasted Trillions on Endless Wars

We begin with the deal brokered by China between bitter enemies Saudi Arabia and Iran to restore diplomatic relations which casts China as the peacemaker in a region where the US has fought in three disastrous and destructive wars with little to show for the estimated $8 trillion invested. Joining us is Graham Fuller, the former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA who lived and worked in the Muslim world for nearly two decades and finished his career at a 4 year post in Hong Kong. Currently a professor of history at Simon Fraser University in Canada, he is fluent in Russian, Mandarin and Arabic and is the author of numerous books about the Middle East, including The Future of Political Islam and Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East. We discuss his article at Responsible Statecraft, “In great power diplomacy, is China beating the US at its own game?”


Trump and the Fed Chair’s Role in the Collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank

Then we examine the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank from which almost half of all tech startups got their venture capital in the second largest bank failure in US history and the biggest since the 2008 crash. Joining us is Robert Hockett, who has first-hand experience working at the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and continues to consult for a number of US federal, state and local legislators and regulators. He drafted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” resolution for the House of Representatives and officially advises her on economic policy. He is the Edward Cornell Professor of Law and a Professor of Public Policy at Cornell University and his latest books are Money from Nothing Or, Why We Should Stop Worrying About Debt and Learn to Love the Federal Reserve, Financing the Green New Deal: A Plan of Action and Renewal, and The Citizens’ Ledger: Digitizing Our Money, Democratizing Our Finance. We discuss his latest article at Forbes, “No, It Isn’t A ‘Bailout’ – And It’s Time To Afford Risk-Priced Insurance To All Bank Deposits in Full.


Are There More Shoes to Drop Following the SVB Failure?

Then we get another perspective on the SVB bank failure and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s assurance that the public will not bail out banks as it did in 2008. Joining us is James Henry, an economist, lawyer and investigative journalist who has written extensively about global banking, debt crises, tax havens and economic development. The former chief economist at McKinsey & Co., he is the co-founder with David Cay Johnston of the new investigative reporting news service and is the author of Blood Bankers. We discuss his latest article at, “So Silicon Valley Wants a Bailout?”