Vladimir Putin has decided how Russia is going to pay for the corona-virus… He’s going to tax the rich.
It’s a remedy that most Americans would support if they were given the choice, but they weren’t asked. Instead, Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package for which the American taxpayer will be held entirely responsible. Even worse, the new legislation contains a $500 billion allocation (another corporate giveaway) that the Federal Reserve will use as a capital base for borrowing $4.5 trillion. That massive sum of money will be used to buy toxic bonds in the corporate bond market. Just as Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) were used to fleece millions of investors out of their hard-earned savings in the run-up to the 2008 Financial Crisis, so too, “toxic” corporate bonds were the weapon of choice that was used to pilfer trillions of dollars from investors in the run-up to today’s crisis. (Same scam, different instrument) The virus was merely the proximate cause that tipped the sector into meltdown. The problem had been festering for years and everyone in the financial community (Including the Fed, the BIS and the IMF) knew that it was only a matter of time before the market would blow sky-high. Which it did.
What every American needs to know is that our crooked bought-and-paid-for Congress just passed a bill that transfers the credit risk for $4.5 trillion of corporate sludge onto the National Debt. A bailout of this magnitude could impact the nation’s credit rating (Fitch has already issued a warning), send interest rates to the moon, dampen economic activity for years to come, and pave the way for a long and painful slump. The much ballyhooed $1,200 checks for unemployed workers are merely a tactical diversion that’s being used to conceal the giant ripoff that is taking place right under our noses.
In contrast, Putin has settled on a more rational and compassionate plan. He’s going to launch a relief program that actually focuses on the people who need it the most. Then, he’s going to cover the costs by taxing the people who are most capable of shouldering the burden. His intention is not to “soak the rich” or to redistribute wealth. He simply wants to find the most equitable way to share the costs for this completely unexpected crisis. In short, Putin was presented with two very bad options:
1– Let the Russian people huddle in their homes (“shelter in place”) until the food runs out and the bills pile up to the ceiling.
2–Or tap into a temporary source of revenue that will help the country get through the hard times.