By Amy Gleich: Steal less, invest more, run a fair game, and sell off the pipeline system that Moscow is using to keep Ukraine in line — energy experts at a forum in Kiev.
Entries in Russia & Ex-Soviets (55)
By Scott Belinksi: Gazprom’s mega-deal with China sent shockwaves around the world. But Gazprom might not be able to honor the deal if shale reserves are not tapped soon. And that might not happen because capitalism à la russe is a harsh mistress.
By Nick Cunningham: ExxonMobil, BP, Total, and other oil majors are doubling down in Russia despite moves by the West to isolate Russia; they just signed mega-contracts with state-owned Russian oil companies – sanctions be damned.
“People thought sanctions were about visas for oligarchs wanting to visit Disneyland. But they are much more important.”
Belgium is known for its surprises. For example, it got by amazingly well for a couple of years without a national government, to the chagrin of a lot of people. Now that tiny country with a tiny economy is suddenly piling up a mountain of US Treasuries.
The battle between the US and France has been brewing for months, but now it came to a head: the French government decided to spite the US and move forward with the contract to deliver two warships to Russia. To heck with those silly sanctions.
Smart Russians are voting with their bank accounts, dumping rubles at the fastest rate since the financial crisis, and yanking dollars and euros out of banks at a record pace. So where do the teetering banks go to refill these holes? Where the dumb money is: German savers.
By Nick Cunningham: As Russian President Vladimir Putin tries to tighten his grip over Eastern Europe with Gazprom’s vast web of natural gas pipelines, one tiny European country gained a bit of leverage over Russia: Lithuania.
Putin is a master at this game. Even as the sanction spiral is supposed to strangle his ambitions for the Ukraine, he set up a photo op of incomparable ingenuity. And his confidant, ex-Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder stepped in it with gusto.
By Casey Research: A startling fact most investors have never heard: During the financial crisis in 2008, Russian leaders met with China to persuade them to dump the dollar – and destroy the world’s reserve currency. It wasn't the last time (brief video).
The tiny country of Belgium with a GDP of $484 billion, a country that became famous to the chagrin of some people because it did just fine for a couple of years without a national government – well, it’s growing an enormous mountain of US Treasuries.
By Nick Cunningham: Russia’s primary energy customer is Europe, which is now planning sanctions. That has accelerated the natural gas deal Russia is trying to hammer out with China. But they’ve been negotiating for years, the biggest sticking point being price!
Armed pro-Russian separatists barricaded in official buildings in eastern Ukraine exhorted Uncle Putin to come to their aid. But sudden breath of fresh air: a poll found that an overwhelming majority of the people in that region want to remain part of Ukraine.
Russia doesn't need sanctions for its economy to slither into trouble. Last year, growth slowed to 1.3%, worst in four years. This year started out even shakier. The current entanglements are knocking the economy into outright recession, and fast.
By Nick Cunningham: That the US could unleash a flood of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to drive down prices has been pushed for weeks, most recently by George Soros, but has been dismissed as not a serious option. Then Obama went to Saudi Arabia.
Stocks down, bonds down, ruble down, interest rates up: the pinpricks of the sanction spiral are painful – for foreign investors.