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Silicon Valley Bank collapse: Not 2008 all over again
Silicon Valley Bank collapse isn't the same as 2008 financial crisis | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Silicon Valley Bank collapse: Not 2008 all over again

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

With the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, is it 2008 all over again?

There's one very clear way that it's not, which is that it's not a big enough crisis for people to come together. And remember, after 2008, everyone understood that we needed to do everything possible to get the markets functioning, get trust in the system again, and avoid a great depression. Nobody's saying that right now. And it's not just because the US political system is more divided, it's also because people feel like it's fine to go after the "woke" banks. It's fine to go after the Trump era deregulation around the medium size banks. And everyone can point at their favorite villain while you don't really need to do a hell of a lot beyond the bazooka that Secretary Yellen threw at SVB and Signature Bank this weekend. So no, in that regard, it's very much not 2008 all over again. In some ways I'm happy about that and other ways I'm not.

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A day after the elections, officials tally votes at a collation centre previously stormed by unknown assailants in Lagos, Nigeria on February 26, 2023.

REUTERS/James Oatway

What We’re Watching: Nigerian election results, Italian migrant tragedy, COVID lab leak report

Nigeria starts presidential vote count

Early results from Nigeria's presidential election are still trickling in Monday, as delays at some polling stations forced people to vote throughout the night on Saturday and the following day. Final numbers could take days, especially if the race is very tight. So far, the big news is that Peter Obi, a third-party insurgent posing the most serious threat to the Nigerian political establishment since the restoration of democracy in 1999, captured Lagos, the country's biggest city and state. Obi is facing off against ruling party candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu and opposition hopeful Atiku Abubakar. To avoid a runoff, a candidate must win the popular vote and 25% of ballots in at least two-thirds of Nigeria's 36 states. Whoever comes out on top, the final result "will most likely leave a large chunk of Nigerians upset," tweeted Amaka Anku, head of Eurasia Group's Africa practice, who's covering the election on the ground. Anku highlighted the low voter turnout — although it's unclear whether fewer people actually showed up or if biometric ID verification prevented unregistered people from voting.

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A woman in a protective suit walks past a shop as COVID outbreaks continue in Shanghai, China.

REUTERS/Aly Song

What We're Watching: China's COVID shenanigans, Oz olive branch, Peru vs. Mexico, Twitter succession

Counting China’s COVID deaths

In recent weeks, China has announced an abrupt about-face on its zero-COVID policy, which imposed tough (and economically costly) restrictions on freedom of movement inside China for the past three years. Despite predictions that a sudden end to existing COVID rules could contribute to one million deaths, the state has lifted lockdowns, ended many testing and quarantine requirements, and halted contact-tracing systems. For a government that works hard to persuade its people that it protected them from the COVID carnage in Western democracies, it’s a big risk. How to keep the number of COVID deaths down? Just redefine what counts as a COVID death. Going forward, only those with COVID who die of pneumonia or respiratory failure will be counted as COVID fatalities. (The US counts any death to which the virus contributed as a COVID death.) China’s change will make it much harder for Chinese health officials to properly allocate resources to respond to COVID spikes, and more infections will create mutations that generate new variants that cross borders. Officials in many countries, including the US, have argued over how to define a COVID death, but the question is especially sensitive in an under-vaccinated country of 1.4 billion people.

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