Elon Musk rebuked the White House for announcing newly protected natural resources and touting efforts to fight climate change as the nation contends with a banking crisis.
President Joe Biden said on social media Wednesday that he would direct Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to consider designating 777,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean south of Hawaii as a national marine sanctuary. “That’s an area larger than Alaska and Colorado put together and three times the size of Texas,” the commander-in-chief commented.
Biden added that his administration has “made the largest investment to fight climate change” in the history of the nation. “Umm… the banks are melting,” Musk replied, earning more than nine times the number of likes and five times the number of retweets as the original post from Biden.
The remarks from Biden about conservation and environmental protection indeed come shortly after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, where the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was forced to guarantee the funds of account holders with balances surpassing the $250,000 threshold typically insured by the government-backed corporation. Financial authorities such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have since scrambled to reassure markets that the banking system remains sound and that the Biden administration would meaningfully prevent bank runs.
Silicon Valley Bank fulfilled withdrawal requests by selling a long-term bond portfolio that had declined substantially in value amid Federal Reserve actions to hike interest rates. Monetary policymakers have been forced to risk a recession with the rate hikes in order to combat the record inflation witnessed in the two years since Biden assumed office. Assets in the banking system are now $2 trillion lower than their book value as a result of the rollback in monetary stimulus, according to a study from analysts at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Musk, who serves as the chief executive of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter, has frequently criticized the Biden administration’s apparent lack of focus on optimal economic performance. He responded to news that the next vice chair of the Federal Reserve would be appointed with diversity factors in mind by warning that the nomination decision “affects the lives of everyone.” He added that “maximum skill with monetary policy is extremely important in this role.”
The Biden administration operates under a “whole-of-government approach to racial equity and support for underserved communities” and recently mandated that senior officials form “agency equity teams” to ensure federal workforces are sufficiently diverse. Musk and other critics of weighing racial and sexual minority status in hiring processes say the practice causes a decline in overall competence as efforts to merely hire the most qualified candidates are neglected.
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Diversity quotas are frequently adopted by companies that subscribe to the environmental, social, and corporate governance movement, also known as ESG, which contends that businesses have a mandate to pursue societal good apart from simply offering the goods and services which improve the lives of their customers. Musk, the world’s richest man, responded to a social media post detailing the use of ESG criteria among financial managers at the World Economic Forum by quipping that “the S in ESG stands for Satanic.”