It would seem that the problems of a bank from Silicon Valley have nothing to do with the uproar and rioting going on in France over Macron’s proposal to raise the age of retirement. The streets are ablaze in France as a result of the government’s decision to bypass parliament and raise the retirement age without a vote. Have Brexit and the Trump insurgency taught the elites nothing?
It looks as if the Western world is totally incapable of learning from its own mistakes. The great optimism of the late 20th century fueled a belief that man would not commit the blunders and atrocities of the first half of that century.
The 21st century has dispelled us of such hopes, but hope springs eternal, and we often believe “this time it will be different.” The financial crash of 2008 had some hoping once again that lessons would be learned and the financial system made more secure.
Fifteen years later, the collapse of SVB has led to the same questions being asked again about whether we are on the edge of the precipice.
Even if the causes are a little different — more vanity than greed this time around — the question the crisis poses is still the same. The issue is the accountability of those who have great power and wealth and feel they can change the world regardless of the costs.
So, while the SVB collapse has on the surface little or nothing to do with the revolt taking place in France against the proposed rise in retirement age, the trends behind them are one and the same. The decision to railroad the reform through by bypassing parliament is reminiscent of the way the governing elites behaved over the EU treaties back in the nineties and the way Brexit was handled by both the then British government as well as the EU.
The problem is that the functioning of both the free market and democracy has become so corroded that there is no accountability for decisions made by both businesses and politicians. If there is any hope for the revival of the West, the reconstruction of accountability mechanisms such as restoring the market and democracy must be achieved — and fast.