Without being a Putin apologist, there are other lenses through which to see Moscow’s efforts to destabilize Ukraine and even break off eastern provinces as “New Russia” than raw Russian aggression.
But the United States and, more reluctantly, the EU have been steadily imposing more sanctions in retaliation. I suspect this only boosts Tsar Vald’s popularity at home and makes America seen more like a bully and enemy to average Russians. The sanctions are hurting the Russian economy.
But this isn’t the old Soviet days, where the Reds were not integrated in the world economy of the Capitalist Running Dogs. Russia can fight back, and much more than by closing a few McDonald’s. Germany is a huge trading partner and its businesses are seeing a slowdown. Russia supplies much of Europe’s natural gas. Washington sold more than $1.5 billion in merchandise exports to Russia last year, compared with about $260 million in 2005. Nearly 80 percent was transportation equipment, i.e. airplanes. Boeing has a design center in Moscow.
This Week’s Links:
• Oil — no price is right | Naked Capitalism
• The Pentagon’s $800 billion real-estate problem | War is Boring
• Is China another Japan in the making? | Businessweek
• U.S. gets unexpected bounty from slow growth abroad | Bloomberg
• The economics of digital currencies | Economist’s View
• The big lie about why the bankers weren’t busted | Barry Ritholtz
• A simple equation: More education = more income | Eduardo Porter
• What was the Federal Reserve thinking in the summer of 2008? | Tim Taylor
Today’s Econ Haiku:
High-speed trains in Spain
Expanding despite the pain
Yankees, we don’t rhyme
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