In This Episode
- Eleven of the largest U.S. lenders agreed to deposit $30 billion into First Republic Bank in an effort to rescue it. The move was also meant to stop the ongoing panic in the financial world, following the failure of three smaller banks this past week.
- Starting next Tuesday, tens of thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District service workers plan to walk off the job for three days. Members of the district’s teacher’s union are also joining the strike in solidarity, shutting down schools across the country’s second-largest school district.
- And in headlines: Poland will send four fighter jets to Ukraine, a new CDC report found that America’s maternal mortality rate spiked in 2021, and the Senate confirmed former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the next U.S. ambassador to India.
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
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Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Friday, March 17th. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Priyanka Aribindi: And I’m Priyanka Aribindi. And this is What A Day where we are pinching anybody who pinches someone else for not wearing green.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, who even came up with that rule in the first place.
Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t know. Green is not my color, so I mean, I can’t do that.
Tre’vell Anderson: Well every color is my color, but that’s not the point. [laughter] [music break] On today’s show, Poland is sending fighter jets to Ukraine. Plus, countless March Madness brackets are already busted.
Priyanka Aribindi: But first, a group of leading U.S. banks agreed yesterday to deposit $30 billion dollars into First Republic Bank in an effort to rescue it and stop the ongoing panic in the financial world. Less than a week after the failure of three smaller banks. So San Francisco based First Republic is the latest mid-sized regional bank that has been in the spotlight since the sudden collapse of both Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank last weekend. By Monday, First Republic shares had dropped by over 60%. It was caught right in the middle of all of these people worrying about a full fledged banking crisis. But now this group of 11 banks has stepped in and reached a deal to keep First Republic afloat.
Tre’vell Anderson: Tell us, what does this plan look like? Is this a bailout? We’ve been floating that word around the last week or so.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right. We have. So this rescue money isn’t coming from the federal government. This is all coming from other banks, many of which actually had a big influx of deposits over the past week that came from mid-sized lenders like First Republic, when people were panicked and trying to move their money around. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase deposited $5 billion dollars each into First Republic. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley deposited 2.5 billion. And Truist, PNC, U.S. Bancorp, State Street and Bank of New York Mellon each contributed a billion dollars. So that’s a lot of money. This plan came together in the past few days between these bank executives. They all discussed it with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other federal officials. The deal was immediately backed by Yellen and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who all called it a welcome show of support for First Republic. On Sunday, First Republic said that it had more than $70 billion dollars in available liquidity and these deposits bolster that amount. These deposits aren’t insured, so this really is a vote of confidence from these other banks in First Republic’s future and in the stability of our banking system. Despite recent events, they feel like they can go ahead and give them this money, even though it is not insured, because they believe that our system is stable. That is a vote of confidence for them and obviously should be interpreted as one for us.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yellen told lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee yesterday that the American banking system is, quote, “sound” and sought to reassure them that regulators were doing everything necessary to protect the public, but reiterated that the government will only step in to help a failing bank if its collapse would lead to, quote, “systemic risk and significant economic and financial consequences.” So they’re not doing this for everybody. They didn’t necessarily, you know, put up the money to do this, but they did help broker this deal.
Tre’vell Anderson: Gotcha. Now, on yesterday’s show, you mentioned issues with another bank, Credit Suisse. What’s the deal with them and how is that connected to what’s going on with First Republic?
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, I mean, there has been a lot happening in the financial world in the past week. As we were saying on the show earlier this week, Credit Suisse’s problems were going on long before these issues with U.S. banks bubbled to the surface. Earlier this week, the bank’s biggest shareholder said that it couldn’t give Credit Suisse any more money and its shares went tumbling, which affected other European banks, raised even more concerns about confidence in the global financial system. But the Swiss central bank ended up stepping in. That is their version of the Fed. They agreed to loan Credit Suisse $54 billion dollars. Regulators are busy trying to reassure, you know, regular people that the money that they’ve deposited is safe. And investors have so far been buying it. Shares of Credit Suisse were up again by the time we sat down to record the show at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Fingers crossed that everything stays good because a banking crisis is something nobody wants to see.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely not. We got enough to deal with. Okay.
Priyanka Aribindi: We’ve been there before. Not trying to do it again.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely not. Thank you so much for that, Priyanka. Now on to a story in our neck of the woods here in Los Angeles, where teachers and staff of the Los Angeles Unified School District are planning to walk off the job for three days next week. In case you don’t know, LAUSD is the second largest school system in the country. And the strike, would shut down schools attended by more than 420,000 students. So, you know, this is not a small thing by any stretch of the imagination.
Priyanka Aribindi: No, definitely not. So tell us more about this. Who exactly is involved and what are the major issues that have led to this projected walkout?
Tre’vell Anderson: So the walkout would be led by SEIU Local 99. They’re a unit that represents about 30,000 workers, including bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria and other food service workers, campus security aides, teaching assistants and aides for students with disabilities. That group would be joined in a solidarity strike by UTLA, which is a union that represents 35,000 teachers, counselors, therapists, nurses, and librarians. So that in total is 65,000 potential folks participating in the strike.
Priyanka Aribindi: Wow.
Tre’vell Anderson: And the reason they’re about to strike is in protest of what they allege have been illegal actions by LAUSD during their negotiations. What have they been negotiating about? You asked. I’m so glad you did. Money, obviously. It always comes back to money.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: Local 99 has yet to settle wage issues dating to the 2020/2021 school year, by the way.
Priyanka Aribindi: Wow.
Tre’vell Anderson: They are seeking a 30% increase for all members with an additional boost for the lowest wage workers. Again, this is the bus drivers, the custodians, the food service workers. And the average salary of these folks is $25,000, which we all know is not something that you can live on in Los Angeles.
Priyanka Aribindi: Probably not anywhere.
Tre’vell Anderson: Right. But the district is only offering these smaller periodic raises of 5% retroactive to 2021. The teachers union, which is engaged in its own negotiations with the district, is seeking a 20% raise over two years, starting with 10% for the current school year. They are also demanding better support for students. Here’s what one union member said during a recent rally in front of L.A.’s City Hall.
[clip of unidentified union worker] We’re demanding fully staffed schools so that students have the support they need from school nurses, [applause and cheering] teacher librarians, counselors, psychiatric social workers.
Tre’vell Anderson: Of course, the Los Angeles school superintendent said he and district negotiators are prepared to meet around the clock 24/7 throughout this weekend to avert the strike. Noting how it would be bad for the students who are still rebounding education wise from the disruptions caused by the pandemic. But of course, you know, they could also just give the teachers what they want and they wouldn’t have to continue doing all the negotiation. But we can leave that for another time.
Priyanka Aribindi: I understand it’s very clear why people in L.A. should care about this, but why should this be a concern more broadly?
Tre’vell Anderson: Well, folks, even outside of L.A. should be concerned about this, because these teachers are not the only ones who are demanding better pay and better working conditions. Right. In fact, it seems that teachers across the country are more willing to strike. We’ve seen similar actions over the last couple of years in Columbus, Ohio. Minneapolis, Sacramento, Chicago, Philadelphia. And let’s face it, we really don’t be treating teachers and other support staff the way we should, considering how pivotal they are in so many folks’ lives.
Priyanka Aribindi: You heard the cheers in that clip after all of those different job titles, those different people who help make a school run were called out.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Priyanka Aribindi: But cheers don’t pay your bills. Like, that’s like, great–
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely.
Priyanka Aribindi: –wonderful. We all recognize clearly that they’re important, so we must pay these people. It makes no sense that we don’t. And I mean, you mentioned COVID. COVID made things so much more difficult.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely.
Priyanka Aribindi: It makes sense that these tensions that were already flaring up in 2018, 2019, when there were waves of these strikes around the country have only been exacerbated since then.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. Give these teachers what they need to teach our young people what they need to know to be out in this world. It’s really that simple.
Priyanka Aribindi: Amen.
Tre’vell Anderson: We will have more on all of this very soon. But that is the latest for now. [music break] Let’s get to some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: Poland’s president announced yesterday that his country will send four fighter jets to Ukraine in the coming days, making it the first NATO member to make that pledge. Members of the alliance have been reluctant to supply Ukraine with more weapons and military hardware, though Germany and the U.S. earlier this year agreed to send armored tanks. Ukraine has previously asked the United States and other European countries to send fighter jets as well. But American officials said yesterday that this is still off the table for now.
Priyanka Aribindi: And in France. [clip of French citizens singing their national anthem] You just heard members of the French parliament singing their national anthem to protest a very unpopular bill forced through by President Emmanuel Macron. The legislation would raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 in an effort to keep France’s pension system afloat. And as we’ve told you here on the show before, it has stoked widespread public anger leading to massive strikes and protests. On Thursday, Macron used his special constitutional powers to push it through without a full parliamentary vote. French lawmakers have since vowed to hold a no confidence vote against him, which could happen as early as next week. If it passes, it would dissolve the lower house of France’s parliament and force new elections, which hasn’t happened since 1962.
Tre’vell Anderson: A new report from the CDC found that the number of women who died from pregnancy related causes spiked in 2021. Over 1000 maternal deaths were recorded in the United States that year. That’s up by 40% compared to 2020 and is the highest it’s been since the 1960s. The report doesn’t explicitly mention COVID, but maternal health experts say the pandemic may have been a contributing factor because research shows that pregnant people infected with the virus are seven times more likely to die than pregnant people who aren’t. The American maternal mortality rate is already notoriously higher than other high income countries. And we also know those rates are disproportionately higher among pregnant people of color, particularly Black women who are often discriminated against in the health care system. To make matters worse, just last year, a separate report found that states that restrict abortion access have higher maternal mortality rates than states where the procedure is more accessible.
Priyanka Aribindi: Not a peep on this from any uh pro-life politician, anybody who is talking about restricting abortions. Very interesting that these people give so many fucks about fetuses and zero about the people who deliver them into this world.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Priyanka Aribindi: So just another thing to get you upset on this Friday.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes.
Priyanka Aribindi: This next one goes out to all the plucky major city mayors out there with a dream in their heart. After what truly felt like a never ending saga. On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to India. Garcetti’s confirmation process lasted nearly two years, and it was briefly put on hold early last year amid allegations that Garcetti knew about sexual and verbal harassment allegedly committed by one of his closest advisers. Garcetti wasn’t accused of any misconduct, but has denied knowing about any wrongdoing.
[unidentified NCAA sportscaster] [loud crowd sounds and uproar] Clark in his [?], [?] he threw it away [?].
Priyanka Aribindi: So much excitement.
Tre’vell Anderson: You just heard the very first upset of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament as 13 seed Furman University took down number four ranked Virginia. The Furman Paladins clinched it with a three pointer with just 2 seconds left on the clock, overcoming a 12 point deficit in the second half.
Priyanka Aribindi: That’s crazy.
Tre’vell Anderson: That is wild. Furman, a small liberal arts college in South Carolina, hasn’t been to the big dance since 1980. The team moves to the next round tomorrow to face San Diego State. But there’s only one thing more exciting than pulling off a stunner like this, and that is getting paid for it. This is the second year that college athletes can sign endorsement deals or make money off their name and image. However, there’s still work to be done to achieve pay equity in college sports. Even though men and women play in identical basketball tournaments, male players currently make twice as much as their female counterparts. Now, that’s what I call March Madness.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yesterday, on the eve of the tour that almost took out Ticketmaster, Taylor Swift asked her fans to meet her at midnight as she dropped four new-ish songs. The tracks include three Taylor’s versions, or re-recordings from her massive catalog. They include Eyes Open, Safe and Sound, and If This Was A Movie, total banger. As well as the previously unreleased track, All of the Girls You Loved Before. The pop superstar kicks off her much anticipated Eras tour tonight in Glendale, Arizona. And you could say the town is welcoming her with open arms. In an official proclamation Monday, mayor Jerry Weiers has declared that the town would be renaming itself Swift City for the duration of Friday and Saturday, honoring Swift’s back to back concert dates. You’re simping too hard my guy. [laughter] A little embarrassing for you. Meanwhile, we are still waiting to hear back about our idea for WAD’s Vegas. After all what happens in WAD’s Vegas gets covered on the show the next morning in WAD’s Vegas. If you um know the mayor of Vegas. Please get in touch. I feel like we have a great concept for them.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen, we made our pitch. We’re just waiting for their response.
Priyanka Aribindi: We could be the official show of Vegas.
Tre’vell Anderson: Stay tuned. We’ll be, you know, headlining opposite Usher and Celine Dion and whoever else.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s us, Usher, Cirque du Soleil. [laughter] All the hits. [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: All the hits. And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads. [music break].
Priyanka Aribindi: TGIF WAD squad. Today is Friday, so that calls for our favorite end of week segment, rent free.
Tre’vell Anderson: [makes airhorn sound with mouth] Yay! [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: If you’ve listened to the show before, you’ve definitely heard us mention What A Day’s hilarious nightly newsletter and one of the incredible staffers who’s behind it is here to join us again, Crooked Associate editor, Julia Claire. Julia, welcome back.
Julia Claire: Great to be here. Happy Friday, WAD squad.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes. Okay, so we’ve had another week of foolishness from banks collapsing to all the glitz and glamor of the Oscars. But what’s the one headline that’s been living rent free in your brain this week?
Julia Claire: As we all know, the right wing is really going two feet in on their war on, quote unquote, “wokeness”. But my favorite thing that happened this week was that this conservative author, Bethany Mandel, went on Briahna Joy Gray’s show on the Hill Rising and talked about her book, quote unquote, “Stolen Youth.”
Priyanka Aribindi: Ah.
Julia Claire: Which accuses the libs of targeting children with woke indoctrination. And obviously she kept using the word woke. So Briahna stops her at one point and asks her to define it. [laugh] And I would love to play that clip.
[clip of Bethany Mandel] This is going to be one of those moments that goes viral. I mean, woke is something that’s very hard to define. And we’ve spent an entire chapter defining it. It is sort of the understanding that we need to retot– totally reimagine and redo society in order to create hierarchies of oppression. Um. Sorry, I it’s hard to explain in a 15 second soundbite. [laughter]
Priyanka Aribindi: Oh.
Tre’vell Anderson: Oh.
Priyanka Aribindi: That was just a question. Like, you could just answer it like a normal person. [laughter]
Julia Claire: I think this is great because it is something that journalists honestly should have done from the very beginning of the quote unquote, like “woke culture wars” is like, okay, define that for me.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. What does that mean to you?
Julia Claire: What exactly are we talking about here? Because really it’s just become this placeholder for anything that Republicans don’t like is wokeness. And it’s just nonsense.
Priyanka Aribindi: Totally.
Julia Claire: Um. And this was really fun because it highlighted how nonsensical the whole rhetorical strategy is. And also this woman, Bethany Mandel, kind of tried to backpedal and do like a Twitter thread explaining herself afterwards, and she couldn’t even put it over the finish line then.
Priyanka Aribindi: Ah.
Julia Claire: Bethany, come on.
Priyanka Aribindi: Bethany. How are you going to sell those books, girl? Who’s buying those books if you can’t sell it? [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: Figure it out.
Julia Claire: Bethany, how am I going to learn about the stolen youth?
Julia Claire: Yeah. I don’t know. [laughter] What you’re saying underscores that like, when pressed on what this says, they cannot define it.
Julia Claire: Right.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s infuriating if you think about it for long enough, because it really is just like huh they’ve just gobbed everything they don’t like together into one helpful word that every single person has like a different idea of what it means. And then they just get to stand behind that. And we have to be like, uh well, like what?
Tre’vell Anderson: But you apparently spent a whole chapter in your book defining it. Like I as someone who just wrote a book. Right. Comes out May 9th. Stay tuned.
Julia Claire: Yeah!
Tre’vell Anderson: I can tell you everything that’s in that book because I wrote it, right. So, like, how can’t you define wokeness if you have a whole chapter apparently about it.
Julia Claire: If it’s a whole fucking chapter of your book. Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: Like, it doesn’t make sense. Like, come on now.
Priyanka Aribindi: We’re poking a lot of holes in every aspect of this operation. [laughter] Including but not limited to the book. [laughter]
Julia Claire: It’s the best book tour anyone’s ever gone on is this lady who wrote a book about Wokeness and doesn’t know what it means. And I think if we’ve learned anything it’s yes, absolutely buy Tre’vell’s book out May 9th.
Tre’vell Anderson: Period. [laughter]
Priyanka Aribindi: That is my takeaway as well. That was Crooked Associate editor Julia Claire. Julia, thank you so much as always for being here. This was so much fun. Love having you.
Tre’vell Anderson: Thank you.
Julia Claire: Thanks, guys. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: That’s all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe, leave a review, catch a bus to Swift City, and tell your friends to listen.
Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading and not just the totally uncomplicated definition of woke like me, What A Day’s also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
[spoken together] And go Paladins.
Priyanka Aribindi: The official team of WAD. [laughter] Maybe. Tre’vell’s like nope. Nah uh.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen. I’m not making any commitments to watch any ball play of any sort. Thank you. Yeah.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. I mean, I guess I’ll wait for the check to clear before I um declare an official team that we’re fans of. [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Jazzi Marine and Raven Yamamoto are our associate producers. Our head writer is Jocey Coffman and our executive producers are Lita Martinez, Michael Martinez, and Sandy Girard. Production support comes from Leo Duran, Ari Schwartz, and Matt DeGroot with additional promotional and social support from Ewa Okulate, Julia Beach, and Jordan Silver. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.