The big news this week was the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history and the largest since the 2008 Subprime Mortgage Crisis.

On Wednesday, the bank, which held approximately $175 billion in customer deposits, announced that it needed $2 billion to shore up its balance sheet in the wake of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. The announcement prompted a bank run by venture capital and by Friday, federal regulators had shuttered the bank, seizing its deposits.

Predictably, in the wake of the collapse, venture capitalists and libertarians were scrambling, demanding the government intervene with a bailout.

“Where is Powell? Where is Yellen?” demanded Callin founder David Sacks, the vice chairman of Craft Ventures. “Stop this crisis NOW.”

The bleating drew ridicule from progressives who pointed out that many of the people demanding a bailout had publicly opposed the forgiveness of student loan debt. Sacks, for example, had characterized the Biden administration’s limited relief proposal as “a trillion-dollar giveaway with zero reform of the underlying system” in August.

But behind the gotchas, however, was a familiar pattern that has come to define the American system: deregulation fueling a crisis. As THE INTERCEPT’s Ken Klippenstein reported, SVB lobbyists had successfully won the rollback of banking regulations imposed in the wake of the 2008 crisis. Read the full story here:

Silicon Valley Bank Used Former McCarthy Staffers to Weaken Regulations, Lobby FDIC
Two senior aides to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy were among the top lobbyists for the bank at the center of a new financial crisis.
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SVB’s lobbying efforts managed to exempt banks like SVB “from more stringent regulations, including stress tests aimed at uncovering the type of weaknesses that led to the bank’s implosion Friday.” Klippenstein further reported that “Two of the bank’s top lobbyists previously served as senior staffers for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who himself pushed for the repeal of significant pieces of the landmark Wall Street reform legislation known as Dodd-Frank.”

For more on the collapse, check out THE AMERICAN PROSPECT’s examination of the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes and their impact on banks.

The Fed-Induced Bank Wobble
Today on TAP: Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse is a function of the Fed rate spike, and will surely trigger calls for its well-heeled tech and venture capital clients to get a bailout.
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With that, please enjoy this week’s selection of top stories from OptOut participating outlets.


This week, yours truly wrote a piece for IMPORTANT CONTEXT and SLUDGE about Pfizer’s lobbying last year to protect its intellectual property rights amid a global debate over how best to improve access to lifesaving COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines.

Pfizer Spends Big on IP Lobbying With Billions On the Line
The pharmaceutical giant spent big bucks amid key international negotiations last year to protect record earnings
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Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 1,862 American COVID deaths for the seven-day period ending March 8, pandemic relief is ending around the country. The lapse in assistance has dire implications for many medically needy Americans. STATES NEWSROOM had a story this week about it.

As COVID protections end, patients classified as ‘medically needy’ fear new barriers to care - Kansas Reflector
For millions of people, the end of the COVID-19 health emergency means they will not be able to access health care services.
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The TEXAS OBSERVER published a similar story about the millions of Texans who stand to lose their health insurance coverage thanks to the impending end of the COVID emergency declaration.

Millions of Texans Are About to Lose Their Health Insurance
An estimated 2.7 million Texans are at risk of losing their Medicaid insurance after the public health emergency expires on March 31.
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Arkansas Republicans took a big step this week toward attacking trans-affirming care. A bill opening the door to malpractice suits against doctors who provide such care to minors made its way to Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ desk. The ARKANSAS ADVOCATE had the story.

Bill allowing malpractice suits for transgender minors’ health care goes to Sanders’ desk - Arkansas Advocate
The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill Tuesday after hearing 15 people speak against it, including three parents of transgender minors.
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Meanwhile, in Iowa, a bill banning trans-affirming care for minors made its way to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ desk. IOWA CAPITAL DISPATCH covered the legislation.

Ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors heads to Reynolds’ desk - Iowa Capital Dispatch
Two other LGBTQ-related measures on what materials are available in school libraries and classrooms also passed the House.
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Ohio is working to ban trans girls from participating in team sports. THE BUCKEYE FLAME covered the start of public testimony this week for the legislation.

Ohio bill to ban transgender girls from team sports hears first public testimony
A bill that would ban trans girls and women from competing in team sports from kindergarten through college is moving forward in the Ohio House.
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At the national level, Republicans are also trying to ban transgender athletes from girls’ sports, STATES NEWSROOM reported this week.

National ban on transgender athletes in girls’ sports passed by U.S. House panel – Daily Montanan
National ban on transgender athletes in girls’ sports passed by U.S. House panel
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THE AMERICAN PROSPECT released a solid write-up this week about the humanitarian situation in Yemen, the de facto ceasefire, and why the U.S. must withdraw controversial support for Saudi Arabia’s brutal military efforts in the country.

Exit Yemen Now to Assist a Fragile Peace
It’s time for a war powers resolution to end U.S. support for Saudi’s war of aggression.
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THE MAJORITY REPORT did an important segment this week on the prevalence of child labor in the U.S.

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