Notes on the crisis, Part I
Great comment Claire. I look forward to the rest. Recall in our discussion with Dr X re Global Warming and Germany closing nuclear plants and buying gas from Russia, I asked, what could possibly go wrong?
India (and Bangladesh as well) abstained in the General Assembly vote criticizing Russia. It would be great to get Vivek’s take on the Indian view and Modi’s political calculation.
Damn well said, Claire
"suzerainty" - Oh hey look, a new word! To me anyway.
Brent Crude on the spot markets this morning is selling for close to $111.50 a barrel. Some analysts are projecting it could reach $170.00 a barrel. Just a couple of years ago, you could hardly give the stuff away.
How long the United States and Europe can thrive with oil selling at these prices is an open question. Will Americans tolerate paying $6.00 - $7.00 a gallon and potentially more? If so, for how long?
The impact on inflation is obvious, but in the intermediate term, the impact on economic growth could be just as devastating. Europe is even more at risk than the United States and Germany, which is, in part, to blame for the current crisis is at greater risk than the rest of Europe.
At the moment, the West is suffering less than Russia, but how long democratically elected leaders will be able to survive a potential economic calamity is unclear. The West may not need a resolution to the current conflict as much as Russia does now, but it may become almost as desperate in the not too distant future.
Who do you think is more prepared to trudge on through economic crisis, impoverished Russians who have lived with hardship forever or gluttonous Europeans who’ve insisted forever that they have a right to live on the American dole? Simply put, unless someone kills Putin, before long the West will need a negotiated settlement almost as much as Russia does. Economic sanctions on the third largest energy producer in the world are sustainable for only so long. Here’s an interesting take on how the West created the conditions which helped inspire Putin’s villainy.
As for the new found German enthusiasm for defense spending, how many years or decades do you suppose it will take for this proposed spending to be impactful?
Barack Obama insisted that NATO members increase defense spending. Donald Trump insisted the same thing even louder. Obama was ignored and Trump was reviled.
By the way, Christine Lambrecht, the German Defense Minister was promoted to her current position due to the great work she did in her past job, Minister of Family Affairs. Gives you alot of confidence, doesn’t it?