Wall Street Journal Sparks Backlash For Suggesting Silicon Valley Bank Failed Due to Focus On Racial And LGBTQ+ Diversity

March 14th, 2023 - 1:40 PM EDT by Adam Downer

9 comments | Contact Newsroom

SVB Bank WSJ bank tweet.

In the wake of the Silicon Valley Bank failure, many pundits have hypothesized about what could have caused such a tremendous financial collapse — the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

While some have posited that the bank's purchase of Treasury bonds during the COVID-19 pandemic had set them up for failure when the value of those bonds decreased, many conservative pundits have unironically suggested a different reason: The bank was simply too woke.

So, how was the bank "woke" exactly? According to some critics like Tim Pool, Donald Trump Jr, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Ron DeSantis, the bank had made diversity a priority and aimed to hire people of multiple genders, sexuality and ethnicities, which somehow precipitated their failure.

While this argument may sound confusing to many, Wall Street Journal editorial columnist Andy Kessler attempted to explain it in an opinion column that went viral for its "just asking questions" tone.

"SVB notes that besides 91% of their board being independent and 45% women, they also have '1 Black, 1 LGBTQ+ and 2 Veterans," Kessler wrote. "I'm not saying 12 white men would have avoided this mess, but the company may have been distracted by diversity demands."

andy kessler wall street journal tweet

The take apparently gobsmacked many readers who saw no correlation between a board of directors' ethnic makeup and a bank willfully going into debt by buying bonds hoping that they would maintain low-interest rates, then getting smacked when interest rates soared.

It was criticized by multiple news outlets, including Vice, The Daily Beast and Vanity Fair, the lattermost of which suggested the WSJ had even gone "full white supremacist."

Online, the idea of a "woke bank" struck some as ludicrous, and fueled narratives that conservatives will use whatever means necessary to blame anything they dislike on "wokeness."

woke bank kevin kruse woke bank chris murphy emma vigeland woke bank take

Like woke Xbox consoles, woke syrup and woke candy before it, there's little to suggest that a "woke bank" is a real thing and is instead an ideological refrain being pushed in an effort to associate negative events with "wokeness."

Top Comments


"I'm not saying 12 white men would have avoided this mess, but the company may have been distracted by diversity demands."

"1 Black person, 1 LGBTQ person, 2 Veterans"

This guy has never interacted with people in a group setting before, has he?

Does he imagine that the board meetings needed special sessions to vent about Afghanistan or discrimination? is that the source of the "distraction?"


+ Add a Comment

Comments (9)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Hauu! You must login or signup first!