Another day, another bank collapse. The global banking system evidently decided to participate in March Madness this year. To all of those who thought Silicon Valley Bank, First Republic Bank, and Credit Suisse would make it past the first round, time to tear up your bracket. Sometimes you just have to trust interest rate risk in that matchup...
In today's edition:
Trump to be arrested?
Credit Suisse gets gobbled up
Iraq War: 20 years after
🔑 Key Stories
Trump To Be Arrested?
Donald Trump said he will be arrested on Tuesday and called on his supporters to protest
“THE… LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE [US], WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” he wrote on Truth Social
The statement referred to an investigation by NYC prosecutors into a $130,000 payment sent to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016. Daniels claims to have had an affair with Trump and been paid that amount by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, for her silence
No proof has yet confirmed that he will be arrested
The potential charges against Trump reportedly center around falsifying business records to reimburse Cohen, who says Trump told him to make the payment. Trump has acknowledged that he paid Cohen, but has denied having had an affair with Daniels or breaking the law. He says the charges are political
Marriage Linked to Living Longer?
A new study found that women who married young had lower mortality rates than those who didn’t
The study, conducted by 4 researchers at Stanford and Harvard, tracked 11,830 female American nurses for 25 years beginning in the late 1980s. All the women were initially single, with a mean age of 34
The study found that those who married – even if they divorced – had a 35% lower risk of death over the 25-year window than those who didn’t
Beyond mortality, the study found that those who married had lower risks of heart diseases and greater psychological well-being, including less depression
The authors said that the findings clearly show marriage improves well-being, although the mechanisms aren’t entirely clear “given how many factors influence health and well-being”
The Disappearance of Bao Fan
One of China’s most powerful bankers has been missing for 2 months
In 2004, Bao Fan founded China Renaissance Holdings, an investment bank that helped create some of China’s most successful companies
On February 16, though, Renaissance disclosed that it hadn’t been able to reach Bao, who is still its chief executive; 10 days later it said, “Mr. Bao is currently cooperating in an investigation being carried out by [Chinese] authorities.” He remains incommunicado
Sources claim he’s being held after failing to fully cooperate with a corruption investigation
The disappearance comes after a years-long crackdown by the Chinese government on tech companies, whom officials said had become too powerful. That crackdown has rocked China’s stock market and business environment
Riots in France
In France, protests devolved into riots over the weekend as people challenged the government’s plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64
Last week, France’s president – who says the reform is necessary to save the pension system – bypassed parliament and passed the change by executive order
Protests broke out immediately, with many people calling for Macron to be removed from power
Over the weekend, some of those turned violent: Videos showed people burning trash cans and throwing objects at police, who responded with water cannons, riot shields, and tear gas
In related news, the French government forced some Paris trash workers back to work. Trash workers had been protesting the retirement proposal, causing an estimated 10,000 tons of trash to pile up on the streets
$2000 Shopping Spree Giveaway!
Attention Roca riders! We teamed up with The Gist and several others in the newsletter community to provide one lucky winner with a $2000 gift card to a brand of your choice
The contest is open from March 13-29, and one winner is announced on March 30
All you need is an email and your name
When you sign up, expect to get welcome emails from several other newsletter operators (all friends of Roca!)
*See full contest official rules, terms & conditions on landing page of above link. No purchase necessary.
Up next on Desperate Banks of Switzerland: UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, agreed to buy Credit Suisse, its second largest, for $3.2B. It will be the first merger of 2 "systematically important" banks since the Great Recession
Crashing down to Earth: Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit could face insolvency. 2 months ago, the space company had a disastrous mid-air rocket failure
Deja vu all over again: The US housing market just posted its first year-over-year decline in home prices since 2012, per a new report
Cinderella has a 4.0: 15-seed Princeton advanced to the Sweet 16 with its win over Missouri. It is the 2nd Ivy League team to make the Sweet 16 in 43 years
Finnished with this: Finland was named the happiest country in the world for the 6th straight year, per the World Happiness Report. The US clocked in at 15
Happy as a pig in Kent: Iron-Age pigs and ponies will join wild bison in the United Kingdom's project to recreate a prehistoric landscape in Kent
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🌯 Roca Wrap
At 10:16 PM on March 19, 2003, President George W. Bush delivered a speech.
“My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.”
“Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory.”
On March 20, 2003 – 20 years ago today – the US invaded Iraq.
Saddam Hussein formally took power in Iraq in 1979. His government – often described as totalitarian – killed thousands of people it deemed its religious, political, and ethnic enemies. It espoused an anti-American “Baathist” ideology, which called for the unification of the Arab world into a single state.
In 1980 Iraq invaded Iran, sparking an 8-year war that would leave up to 1M dead. In 1990 it invaded the neighboring oil-rich country of Kuwait. The US intervened and went to war with Iraq in what became known as the Gulf War.
The US invaded Kuwait and its forces pushed Iraqi troops back into Iraq, however they stopped short of Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, and didn’t try to overthrow Hussein.
In the years that followed, the US maintained heavy sanctions on Iraq and conducted airstrikes on the country. American officials said they hoped Hussein’s opponents within the country would rise up and overthrow him.
Through the 1990s and early 2000s, the US accused Iraq of supporting terrorists and possessing weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq had admitted to producing biological weapons, and a senior Iraqi official who defected to the US in 1995 said the country had weaponized anthrax and other toxins so they could be placed on missiles and bombs.
Ahead of the invasion, the US and UK accused Iraq of failing to terminate its nuclear program. They said the country could potentially have a bomb within months and was intensifying its efforts to do so. Many of these allegations would subsequently be proven wrong or misleading.
On March 17, 2003, President Bush gave Saddam Hussein and his sons 48 hours to leave the country or face war. Saddam didn’t follow the ultimatum.
The war began with airstrikes on March 19 and the invasion the following day.
The war’s stated goals were to overthrow Saddam and eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs, which could include nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons
160,000 troops took part in the initial invasion, which lasted until May 1, 2003. 73% of them were American, 25% were British, 1% were Australian, and .1% were Polish. 150 coalition troops died in those first 6 weeks of fighting.
The war started on March 19 with air attacks on Iraqi military facilities, followed by the invasion on the following day. The troops advanced quickly, capturing Baghdad on April 9. 3 weeks later, on May 1, 2003, President Bush stood under a “mission accomplished” banner on a US aircraft carrier and delivered a speech:
"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”
In reality, the war was just getting started.
We'll run part 2 as tomorrow's Wrap!
If you have thoughts, let us know at [email protected]!
🌊 Roca Clubhouse
Are you wearing green today?
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Just 20 Qs!
🧠 Final Thoughts
We hope everyone had wonderful weekends. For all the Purdue fans out there: We – Notre Dame and UVA alum – sympathize with the pain of a massively hyped team wildly underperforming. If you need someone to talk to, you’ve got [email protected]
Have a great Monday!
—Max and Max