RT – Precedent of charging Bolsonaro with ‘crimes against humanity’ threatens leaders that deviate from the western Covid narrative

Source: https://www.rt.com/op-ed/538740-bolsonaro-criminal-charges-covid/

By Rachel Marsden, columnist, political strategist and host of an independently produced French-language program that airs on Sputnik France. Her website can be found at rachelmarsden.comBy recommending charges of “crimes against humanity” against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over the way he handled the pandemic, a senate panel there is setting a dangerous and irrational precedent for the world.

The Brazilian high chamber commission has recommended nine criminal charges in total against President Jair Bolsonaro over his handling of the Covid pandemic, including “charlatanism,” “prevarication,” and “incitement to crime.”

From the outset, Bolsonaro has resisted liberticidal and economically suicidal measures adopted by western nations. Relative to its population, it doesn’t seem that Brazil was ultimately much more or less spared from Covid than other nations, regardless of the machinations, rhetoric, and hand waving in which others chose to engage contrary to the leader nicknamed the “Trump of the Tropics.”

Brazil’s peak of 4,249 deaths in a single day in April 2021 isn’t wildly disproportionate, for example, to France’s 987 Covid-labeled fatalities registered in a single day in April 2020, since the population of Brazil is about three times that of France. It’s also worth noting that the waves ebb and flow at different stages in different parts of the world and that a snapshot of any given moment doesn’t capture the full story.

Banks Warn Fed They May Have To Start Charging Depositors

Banks Warn Fed They May Have To Start Charging Depositors

The Fed’s Catch 22 just got catchier. While most attention in the recently released FOMC minutes fell on the return of the taper as a possibility even as soon as December (making the November payrolls report the most important ever, ever, until the next one at least), a less discussed issue was the Fed’s comment that it would consider lowering the Interest on Excess Reserves to zero as a means to offset the implied tightening that would result from the reduction in the monthly flow once QE entered its terminal phase (for however briefly before the plunge in the S&P led to the Untaper). After all, the Fed’s policy book goes, if IOER is raised to tighten conditions, easing it to zero, or negative, should offset “tightening financial conditions”, right? Wrong. As the FT reports leading US banks have warned the Fed that should it lower IOER, they would be forced to start charging depositors.

In other words, just like Europe is already toying with the idea of NIRP (and has been for over a year, if still mostly in the rheotrical and market rumor phase), so the Fed’s IOER cut would also result in a negative rate on deposits which the FT tongue-in-cheekly summarizes “depositors already have to cope with near-zero interest rates, but paying just to leave money in the bank would be highly unusual and unwelcome for companies and households.”

If cutting IOER was as much of an easing move as the Fed believes, banks should be delighted – after all, according to the Fed’s guidelines it would mean that the return on their investments (recall that all US banks slowly but surely became glorified, TBTF prop trading hedge funds since Glass Steagall was repealed, and why the Volcker Rule implementation is virtually guaranteed to never happen) would increase. And yet, they are not:

 
 

Executives at two of the top five US banks said a cut in the 0.25 per cent rate of interest on the $2.4tn in reserves they hold at the Fed would lead them to pass on the cost to depositors.

 

Banks say they may have to charge because taking in deposits is not free: they have to pay premiums of a few basis points to a US government insurance programme.

 

“Right now you can at least break even from a revenue perspective,” said one executive, adding that a rate cut by the Fed “would turn it into negative revenue – banks would be disincentivised to take deposits and potentially charge for them”.

 

Other bankers said that a move to negative rates would not only trim margins but could backfire for banks and the system as a whole, as it would incentivise treasury managers to find higher-yielding, riskier assets.

 

“It’s not as if we are suddenly going to start lending to [small and medium-sized enterprises],” said one. “There really isn’t the level of demand, so the danger is that banks are pushed into riskier assets to find yield.”

All of the above is BS: lending has never been a concern for the Fed because if it was, then one could scrap QE right now as an absolute faiure. Recall that as we showed recently, the total amount of loans and leases in commercial US banks has been unchanged since Lehman, with the only rise in deposits coming thanks to the fungible liquidity injected by the Fed.

Furthermore, contrary to what the hypocrite banker said that “the danger is that banks are pushed into riskier assets to find yield”, banks are already in the riskiest assets: just look at what JPM was doing with its hundreds of billions in excess deposits, which originated as Fed reserves on its books – we explained the process of how the Fed’s reserves are used to push the market higher most recently in “What Shadow Banking Can Tell Us About The Fed’s “Exit-Path” Dead End.”