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It’s Not Just a Silicon Valley Bank – Americans Haven’t Trusted Banks for Years



Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly survey roundup.

When the Silicon Valley bank collapsed last week, it caused the stock market will start a five-day fall. V shares for regional banks, in particulardeclined significantly, even as federal regulators worked on mitigation. Investors were clearly spooked by the failure of SVB and Signature Bank, a New York-based institution that also collapsed over the weekend. But Americans didn’t have much confidence in banks and other financial institutions for a while, and most believe more regulation is needed.

Gallup asked Americans about their confidence in various institutions, including banks, even before the 1980s. While most Americans once said they had “very” or “fairly” trust in banks, that has changed dramatically since the 2008 financial crisis. In 2007, 41 percent of Americans expressed significant confidence in banks; by 2009, only 22 percent. Although this level rose again to 38 percent in 2020, it has since fallen again and has never reached the consistently high levels of the mid-90s and early 2000s.

Similar trends have been recorded in other surveys: a 2012 article published in Public opinion quarterly found that declines in banking confidence were more related to major banking scandals than to economic events and indicators such as recessions or inflation. According to Pew poll last yearfew Americans across the political spectrum believe that banks and other financial institutions “have a positive impact on the way things are going in the country these days.”

And a slightly different but complementary question from Gallup shows that not only do Americans distrust banks, they tend to have an unfavorable attitude towards them: 2022 survey, just 36 percent of Americans said they were very or somewhat positive about the banking industry, up from 40 percent a year earlier. Compare that to the 60 percent of Americans who are positive about the restaurant industry, or the 57 percent who are positive about the farming industry.

Perhaps that’s why it’s not surprising that many US banks feel they should be more regulated. A survey from Lake Research Partners/Chesapeake Beach Consulting Last October, he asked Americans about banking regulation and specific policies, garnering widespread support across the political spectrum. Sixty-six percent of Americans, including 77 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans, said they need to increase regulation of “financial companies such as Wall Street banks, mortgage lenders, payday lenders, collectors and credit card companies.” More than half of Americans said that the influence of big banks in Washington is too great. And most Americans supported a range of policy proposals made by Congress and regulators, including limiting the size and frequency of bank overdrafts and credit card fees, lowering interest rates on high-cost loans, and closing loopholes for fintech companies.

But despite the distrust of financial institutions and the desire for more regulation, Americans were not too shocked by the closure of the SVB, although the reaction from them was mixed. IN poll “Morning consultation” this week, 60 percent of voters said they supported the Biden administration’s creation of an emergency fund to cover deposits in closed banks, while 62 percent said they viewed the action as a bailout. More Reuters/Ipsos poll over the same period found that 84 percent of Americans say taxpayers shouldn’t pay to fix problems caused by irresponsible bank management, which — in that Morning Consult survey — voter bias (38 percent) cited as a major reason for SVB’s failure. Meanwhile, a YouGov poll this week showed only 6 percent of Americans consider the money they currently invest in US banks to be “very unreliable”, while 70 percent said it was very or somewhat safe. Besides, 64 percent of Americans said they backed the Silicon Valley bank bailout to protect customer deposits.

However, the majority of Americans – 54 percent – said it is very or somewhat likely that the collapse of the SVB would trigger a broader financial crisis in the US, perhaps another indication of how little American confidence in banks has been since 2008.

Other Polling Bits

  • While President Biden’s approval rating continues to fall, voters are mostly supportive policies in his budget proposalin accordance with a recent survey from Morning Consult. A majority of registered voters approved almost all of the policies in Biden’s proposal, such as capping insulin at $35 a month and imposing a minimum tax of 25 percent on the richest 0.01 percent of Americans. Even a majority of Republicans approved of many of the measures: 73% of Republican voters supported a cap of insulin, and 53% supported $15 billion in free school meals.
  • As the war in Ukraine continues, American attitudes towards Russia have fallen to a 34-year low. according to a Gallup poll. Only 9 percent of Americans view Russia positively, up from 15 percent a year ago and a high of 66 percent in 1991 and 2002. fell sharply around the time Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and has continued to fall since Russia invaded Ukraine last year.
  • More than 30 states are considering or have already enacted a ban on the popular TikTok video app, but Americans are ambivalent about whether a national ban is a good idea. new survey from Quinnipiac University. When asked if they would support a national ban on “foreign technology like TikTok,” a proportion of Americans (49 percent) said they would, while 42 percent said they would oppose it. Republicans were more likely than independents or Democrats to support a ban, while Americans aged 18 to 34 were the least likely to support a ban, with 63% saying they would oppose it.
  • March madness is in full swing, and despite poll by the Center for Public Opinion at the University of Massachusetts Lowell With the discovery that only 16 percent of Americans identify themselves as college basketball fans, interest in the tournament is growing. recent survey by Morning Consult. 35% of Americans said they plan to watch the men’s tournament this year, up from 29% last year. A higher proportion of Americans also plan to fill the bracket this year (23 percent) than last year (15 percent).
  • In honor of the start of Taylor Swift’s last tour, both YouGov another morning consultation Recently asked fans to rate their albums. In a YouGov poll, Swift’s “Lover” came in first place, with 14% of fans citing it as their top pick, and “1989” topped a Morning Consult fan poll. results were fans seeing the color red, but they had to shake it off because, frankly, it’s very difficult to choose which album will suit you from this mastermind’s hit-filled discography, as any fan knows all too well.

Biden endorsement

According to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker, 43.7% of Americans approve of Biden’s performance as president, while 51.5% disapprove (-7.8 net approval rating). At the same time last week, 43.6% approved and 51.4% disapproved (net approval rating of -7.8 points). A month ago, Biden had a 43.1% approval rating and a 51.8% disapproval rating, for a net approval rating of -8.8.


Trump-DeSantis Cold War Turns Hot Over Possible Blame



WASHINGTON. Over the weekend, the political world was waiting for Ron DeSantis to give his opinion on the possible indictment of Donald Trump. And then he waited. And waited some more.

Meanwhile, global influencers and Trump aides on social media raked DeSantis over virtual embers, pointing to his silence as complicity—or at least indifference—to the prosecution of New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg Trump, the top leader of the Republican Party.

Behind the scenes, Trump aides fanned the fire, targeted the Florida governor on newscasts, and cheered when Trump’s global influencers criticized him on Twitter and Truth Social.

When DeSantis finally spoke at a press conference in Tallahassee, Florida on Monday, he shot Bragg — and Trump.

Circus and Soros, DeSantis said of the grand jury investigation and George Soros, the billionaire liberal donor. “Silence money” and “porn star,” he added, repeating the accusation against Trump.

“I don’t know what will happen, but I do know one thing: the Manhattan district attorney is a Soros-funded prosecutor,” he said, accusing Bragg of using his office as a weapon to prosecute Trump while ignoring other crimes. (Soros, via Color Change PACsupported Bragg’s re-election campaign.)

But DeSantis added, “I don’t know why paying a porn star to keep silent about some alleged affair. I just can’t talk about it.”

That’s when all hell broke loose in the fight for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, signaling the start of the political arms race that Trump has been trying to stoke since DeSantis became his archrival last year.

Trump turned to Truth Social to say that it would be unfair if DeSantis were attacked for courting young girls or for being gay. Trump’s post left little to the imagination: it showed a man, believed to be a young DeSantis, standing with a group of young women, one of whom is holding a bottle.

“Ron DeSanktimonius will probably find out about FALSE ACCUSATIONS AND FAKE STORIES sometime in the future, when he is older, wiser and more famous, when he is unfairly and illegally attacked by a woman, even “underage” classmates (or possibly a man) . !),” Trump wrote. “I’m sure he’ll want to fight these losers just as much as I do!”

The photo is from a 2021 blog post on a site called The Hill Reporter that allegedly showed a photo of DeSantis with several young women during his short time as a high school teacher over 20 years ago. NBC News has not confirmed the authenticity of the image.

The outbreak of open political warfare between the two men will have far-reaching consequences for Trump, who leads most national polls, and DeSantis, who distinguished himself from the rest of the Republican Party by not announcing his bid. But both sides disagree on exactly how the race was derailed.

Trump’s allies believe DeSantis’ early silence — and his decision to attack Trump directly over allegations of an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels — show he’s not ready for prime time.

“He just doesn’t have it right now, and this weekend showed it,” said Steve Bannon, host of the Bannon War Room podcast and a former top Trump adviser. The remark about Daniels, who Trump denies sleeping with him, was “a cheap shot from cheap places,” he said.

DeSantis’ press conference was “a disaster” and 10% of Trump’s MAGA voters would never vote for DeSantis now, Bannon said.

“You can’t win without 100% MAGA – ask [Virginia Gov. Glenn] Youngkin,” he added.

Rep. Eliza Stefanik of New York, a House Republican in third place, predicted that DeSantis would see “slippage” in her poll results following the remarks.

“He’s already noticed a downturn in the last couple of weeks,” said Stefanik, one of Trump’s early supporters. “And I think you’ll see President Trump continue to solidify his position” in the Republican contest.

But DeSantis supporters saw the value of moving back and forth in a different light.

“It’s already a two-horse race,” said Dan Eberhart, DeSantis’ longtime donor who backs him in the primaries. “Apart from the substance of the attacks, the fact that Trump is after DeSantis – and no one else – betrays who he cares about the most.”

While Eberhart said other Republicans waiting on the sidelines may have “missed their window” to become contenders for the nomination, he also said the lesson of 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s swallowing attacks by President Barack Obama that summer shouldn’t be lost to DeSantis. , who largely avoided direct confrontation with Trump until Monday.

“DeSantis shouldn’t ignore him for too long,” Eberhart said.

Some DeSantis supporters fear he could be weighed down by Trump’s attacks before he announces he’s running, which he’s not expected to do for at least another couple of months.

Former Rep. Keith Rothfuss, a Pennsylvania Republican who has encouraged DeSantis to run for president, said the legal implications that Trump is facing not only in New York, but also in Georgia and other ongoing investigations, ” are still unknown.” He didn’t see a problem with the way DeSantis talked about it on Monday.

“You can simultaneously criticize what this political persecution is doing and how it undermines the rule of law, how we are pushing double standards of justice… and still looking for new leadership that can do what we need to do. really drain the swamp and really get this government back on the side of the American people,” he said. “It’s not on either/or.”

“We need to move forward and move into the future,” he added.

On Monday, representatives for Trump and DeSantis did not return calls seeking comment.

Trump, who first referred to DeSantis as “Ron DeSanktimonius” days before the midterm elections, has repeatedly attacked him in recent months in an effort to stir up a fight. Last month, Trump drew attention to a photograph showing DeSantis with young women. This month, the main Trump-supporting supercomputer PAC filed a complaint with the Florida Ethics Commission accusing DeSantis of violating the law through his “shadow presidential campaign.”

On both occasions, DeSantis responded with more restraint. After Trump shared the photo, DeSantis told reporters he doesn’t waste time “trying to vilify other Republicans.” In response to the complaint, Taryn Fenske, its director of communications, called it an “unfounded and politically motivated” attack.

Many elected Republican leaders have rallied to Trump’s defense since he announced on Saturday, with no evidence that he expects to be indicted on Tuesday. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who has clashed with Trump over the Jan. 6 uprising and is considering a presidential nomination, joined the group over the weekend.

A fight between the twin titans could open up a lane for an alternate option – at least that’s what the rest of the pack is counting on.

But a fight that gets so ugly so early can drag others down the drain.

“For 11 months no one has voted,” said an adviser to another potential challenger. “If they’re going to ramp up the rhetoric to this point now, GOP voters won’t like how it ends up in February 2024.”

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Need a consultant? This Book Claims Employment Can Hurt Your Institution: Planet Money: NPR



lionel bonaventura/AFP via Getty Images

lionel bonaventura/AFP via Getty Images

Caution, say the authors of the new book. Suited jetsetters armed with prestigious degrees and PowerPoint slides have infiltrated governments and corporations around the world. They claim to offer valuable experience and fresh ideas. But don’t be fooled! The authors argue that the consulting industry sells snake oil that poisons governments and distorts economies.

The book was written by economists Mariana Mazzucato and Rosie Collington, and it has one of those titles that really supports the authors’ argument. It is called The Big Scam: How the consulting industry is weakening our businesses, infantilizing our governments, and warping our economies. He offers several provocative arguments against what you might call a Big Consultant.

Big Consultant Gets Bigger

The consulting industry, dominated by firms such as McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Deloitte, has seen astounding growth in recent decades. Mazzucato and Collington cite estimates that the global consulting market is currently valued at a trillion dollars a year.

[Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money‘s newsletter. You can sign up here.]

Although the modern consulting industry has more than a century of history, Mazzucato and Collington write that the use of consultants increased dramatically after the 1980s. It was then that free market advocates like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher began to dismantle government bureaucracy and rules. More left-wing Third Way leaders such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair continued to follow in their footsteps. “Public sectors were reshaped in line with the credo of the New Public Administration, a political program that sought to make governments more like businesses and diminished faith in the ability of civil servants,” write Mazzucato and Collington.

As governments lost faith and the ability to do things on their own, they increasingly turned to consultants to help them get things done. Governments have begun using consultants for seemingly everything from development of new tax rules To army consultancy To supervision of the privatization of state-owned enterprises for IT administration developing strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

At the same time, private corporations have also increasingly turned to consultants to help them become more profitable. And here Mazzucato and Collington portray consulting companies as opportunistically sliding wave after wave of destructive capitalism. McKinsey & Company, for example, was involved in scandal with Enron another benefited from the opioid crisishelping Purdue Pharma increase sales of its OxyContin pain reliever.

“The big scam is certainly not responsible for all the ills of modern capitalism, but it thrives on its flaws, from speculative finance to the short-term business sector and the risk-averse public sector,” write Mazzucato and Collington.

Problems with over-reliance on consultants

Mazzucato and Collington argue that beyond their occasional scandals and disreputable reputations, consultants—and over-reliance on them—create systemic problems for business and government alike.

One big issue is whether consulting services actually provide real value for the large amounts they charge. The authors suggest that in many cases, consultants lack the knowledge and experience that organizations turn to them for. Instead, they write, consultants often simply create an “impression of value” strong enough to secure lucrative contracts, but in the end, their work is not reduced to anything more. Mazzucato and Collington argue that, without sufficient hard data to back it up, these “contracts enable the consulting industry to earn revenues that far exceed the real value it generates.” The authors suggest that the work that consultants do can often be done cheaper and more efficiently at home.

But, the authors write, leaders often turn to consultants not because they need special knowledge or exciting new ideas that they can’t get at home. Instead, the authors argue, leaders often turn to consultants to simply approve controversial decisions they wanted to make anyway. The authors argue, for example, that consultants are quick to green-light such practices as laying off workers and cutting R&D budgets. These decisions may improve short-term profits, but they can also be unpopular and detrimental to the health of the organization in the long run. And these decisions can be given additional legitimacy when they are supported by reputable consultants.

Another major problem associated with the consulting industry is conflicts of interest. In some cases, the same consulting firm advises both the regulators and the regulated. “For example, in climate consulting, large consulting firms work simultaneously for governments whose populations would like to see lower emissions and the fossil fuel companies that contribute most to the climate crisis,” write Mazzucato and Collington. Lack of transparency contributes to these conflicts of interest.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Mazzucato and Collington argue that the practice of outsourcing responsibilities to consultants weakens the ability of staff members to improve their performance. “The more governments and businesses outsource, the less they know how to do it, leaving organizations empty, stuck in time, and unable to evolve,” the authors write. The authors argue that governments and businesses are often better off doing tasks on their own, and sometimes even fail. This allows their institutions to learn by doing.

The authors suggest that institutional capacity is a cumulative process of trial and error that helps an organization get smarter and better. However, when organizations outsource critical work to others, they shorten the process. Worse, Mazzucato and Collington argue, what is learned from consultants doing real work is often not communicated to the organization properly, meaning that the organization does not actually receive valuable information that it can use in the future. Instead, he remains dependent on consultants.

“The cumulative use of large consulting firms that work with extractive business models stifles innovation, capacity development and learning, undermines democratic accountability, and obscures the impact of political and corporate actions,” write Mazzucato and Collington. “At the end of the day, we are all paying the price of a lack of domestic investment and training: public funds and other resources are wasted, decisions in government and business are made with impunity and lack of transparency, and our democratic societies are deprived of their dynamism. The big scam threatens all of us.”

Mazzucato and Collington come up with various ideas to ensure the Big Scam doesn’t threaten us all. These include greater faith in government employees, the recognition that important technological breakthroughs such as the Internet and GPS were the result of the government’s work at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). They argue that government employees can be just as capable as private consultants. The authors recommend limiting the use of consultants and empowering staff.

If you are absolutely sure that you absolutely must use a consultant

Where governments or businesses are forced to use consultants, Mazzucato and Collington recommend that organizations enter into contracts with clauses to ensure that any knowledge gained from a task is properly transferred to full-time employees.

Finally, Mazzucato and Collington recommend reforms to ensure greater transparency and accountability in consulting contracts, a necessary step to combat conflicts of interest. “In democratic societies, it is important for both business and government organizations — and their employees — to be aware of the conflicting interests of another organization when it enters into a contract with them,” the authors write.

A big scam appears on the cover of another recent book, When McKinsey comes to town, which sheds light on the numerous scandals associated with the consulting company McKinsey & Company. At the end of February, McKinsey announced an approximate reduction in staff. 2000 workers one of the largest cuts in history. With such a deluge of bad publicity, it seems like consultants might need their own consultations these days.

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Capitol ink | Rental return



Mail Capitol Ink | The rent return came first on the roll call.

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