Putting ‘diversity’ and ‘equity’ at the forefront nearly crashed the economy

Several years ago, I asked what it would take to end America’s obsession with diversity, inclusion, and equity.

What should be done to return to excellence and competence as the only hiring criteria?

Maybe the bridges should start collapsing.

Although I suspect that if they did, some people would claim they only fell because of “structural racism”.

Yet this week we got a good reminder of our over-tolerance of this senseless, anti-excellence agenda.

Because while the bridges haven’t started collapsing yet, the banks have.

And one of the reasons is that the banks in question have prioritized fairness over excellence.

The DIE agenda is an absolute obsession with the accurate representation (or preferably overrepresentation) of women in leadership positions, including executive positions in corporate America.

This obsession with female representation is of course only a problem with high profile jobs.

Board Seats, Hollywood Star Salaries, and More

Jay Ersapa
Jay Ersapah was SVB’s Chief Risk Officer and ran programs on pronouns, gender, and a blog focusing on mental health awareness for LGBTQ+ youth.
Bank of Silicon Valley

To my knowledge, there is no movement pushing for equal female representation among roadlayers in America. This is funny.

But for at least 15 years, diversity has been everything.

After the last financial crisis, in 2008, the head of the International Monetary Fund at the time offered a cutesy line.

If Lehmann Brothers had been Lehmann Sisters, argued Christine Lagarde, then perhaps the global financial crisis would not have happened.

Well that’s a lot of bullets, as the New York Post showed this week with the Jay Ersapah story.

Jay is a woman and has served as Head of Risk Management at SVB.

But if Jay spent time trying to manage the risks, I don’t know how she did because her full-time job seemed to be promoting woke nonsense within SVB.

For example, as revealed by The Post, Ersapah led initiatives such as a month-long Pride campaign, a blog focusing on mental health awareness for LGBTQ+ youth, and was co-chair of the SVB. European LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group.

At such feasts, Ersapah would talk about what it was like to be “a queer person of color and a first-generation, working-class immigrant.”

A notice hangs on the door of the Silicon Valley Bank branch.
SVB was lending long term and borrowing short term which led to its collapse.

By today’s standards, Ersapah is an absolute winner.

A winner of intersectional grievance studies researches the most oppressed person.

Ethics these days dictate that such a person is not only entitled to any position, but that his very presence will bring untold (and unspecified) benefits to the company.

Well, what a pity that the one thing Ersapah can’t identify as “competent”.

If she was competent, she might have been better at what should have been her main role – which was to manage risk.

Something for which she and the bank as a whole were clearly incompetent.

Not least because SVP was lending long and borrowing short – an incredibly basic mistake that banks have been carefully avoiding since the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s.

But look at the things that both SVB’s top brass obsessed over and you can see their eyes were on other balls.

Of the failed bank’s board of directors, only one board member had a career in investment banking.

Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank (ECB)
If Lehmann Brothers had been Lehmann Sisters, argued Christine Lagarde, then perhaps the global financial crisis would not have happened.
AFP via Getty Images

Other board members were mega-donors to the Clintons and other top Democrats.

One was even an improviser.

By modern standards, the board did everything right. They had the right Democratic politics – clearly hating half the country. They even donated $73 million to Black Lives Matter groups.

And it wasn’t just an expensive token thing.

The bank’s promotional material stated that “SVB is committed to creating a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible environment within SVB, within the innovation ecosystem and in our communities.

At the heart of this commitment is our effort to foster a more inclusive culture and increase racial, ethnic and gender representation.

The bank has boasted of wanting to use its resources to “break down systemic barriers”.

All very enjoyable, and clearly all quite disastrous.

The last time the global economy nearly collapsed was partly because banks were lending to people based on, among other things, their race.

But a responsible bank should not grant a loan solely because of a person’s race, gender or sexuality.

They should simply and only consider whether the person can repay the loan or not, whether it is a mortgage or a business.

Make everything else a priority, and you’re not “managing risk.”

You are creating it.

This is what SVP and other banks have done by emphasizing fashionable and woke investment policies.

So yes, for the moment the bridges still hold.

Banks, however, are not.

And we should ask ourselves how we can quickly get this country out of a fixation that could bring all of that down.

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