Day: March 16, 2023

Background Briefing: March 16, 2023


The Under-Reported Role of Crypto in the Silicon Valley Bank Crash

 We begin with the least reported aspect of the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank and that is how much crypto loans that bank had made converting fake money into real money with Circle, a crypto company being the biggest depositor with $3.3 billion in the bank which the government just made whole. Joining us is David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and bestselling author of The Making of Donald Trump.  A 13 year veteran of The New York Times, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for reporting that uncovered loopholes and inequities in the U.S. tax code and he has uncovered so many tax dodges that he has been called the “de facto tax enforcement officer of the United States”. He is the co-founder of and his latest book is The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family. We discuss his article at Salon and, “How Bitcoin and other magic internet money loans endanger your financial health: It’s the big bank failure story no one is talking about.”


Mass Hysteria Got Us Into the Iraq War 20 Years Ago and is on Display Today Over China

Then, with the 20th anniversary of America’s ill-fated war against Iraq coming up on Monday, we speak with Paul Pillar, who served for 30 years as an analyst at the CIA, in which his last position was National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia. Previously, he served as chief of analytic units at the CIA covering portions of the Near East, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. He has also headed the Assessments and Information Group of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and from 1997 to 1999, was deputy chief of the center. Paul Pillar is currently a professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University and a member of the Center for Peace and Security Studies, and we discuss Paul’s article at Responsible Statecraft, “The Selling of the Iraq War Involved Mass Gullibility Atop Mass Hysteria” and we examine similar hysteria about China coming from congress and the press today.


An Update From Taiwan, the Flashpoint For a Possible War With China

Then finally we go to Taiwan which could be a flashpoint for a new war with China and speak with Cleo Paskal, a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies focusing on the Indo-Pacific region and the strategic implications of the intersection of geopolitical, geoeconomic, and geophysical change. She has briefed government departments of the United States, United Kingdom, the European Union, India and many others and she is the author of Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map. We discuss her article at The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, “Micronesia’s President Writes Bombshell Letter on China’s ‘Political Warfare’”