Changing Course: Financial Sanctions on Russia

There are reports this morning that the Obama administration is contemplating extending economic sanctions against two large Russian banks– Gazprombank and  Vnesheconombank (VEB).  This is a step I have called for here and here.  If true, this is a significant event and, given the magnitude of Russia’s links to global financial markets, introduces a new era in the use of economic sanctions.  It also […]

The Sanctions Against Russia Do Bite: But Are They Having Their Intended Impact?

Often, the problem with many policy actions employed to influence the economy is their unintended consequences. In the case of economic sanctions, it is not always easy to tell whether half a success is any better than a failure. On March 21, 2014, under the new sanctions regime, both Visa and MasterCard froze the card […]

How a Coordinated IEA SPR Release Could Enable Russia Energy Sanctions

I read a nice report today from Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and the owner of Economonitor, Roubini Global Economics (RGE), called “Russia-Ukraine Crisis and Its Implications for Global Energy Markets,” and it gave me an idea: America should export crude to IEA member states who agree to energy sanctions on Russia and participate in […]

U.S. Funds Nervous About U.S. Sanctions On Russia

Several U.S. funds are concerned about the investment risk posed by potentially broad economic U.S. sanctions on Russia in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. According to Reuters, securities filings submitted by major funds show that fund managers believe that there is a major downside risk to investments in Russian assets. If the U.S. and Europe […]

Putin Is Losing Eastern European Energy Gamble

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he doesn’t think the European community can do without the natural gas it gets from energy monopoly Gazprom.  With a Russian economy starting to decline, however, it may be Gazprom that’s too strongly interconnected to the European market to break free. The narrative over European energy security reaches at least […]

Who Really Won the Cold War?

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall the West was under the illusion that it had won the Cold War. The Western powers had defeated communism, brought down the Iron Curtain, freed the peoples living under Soviet influence, brought the dreaded Berlin Wall down and saw the disbandment of the Warsaw Pact. NATO, the West, […]

Ukraine Falling to Economic Warfare and Its Own Missteps

By Robert Bensh: As protests in Ukraine’s eastern region turned violent on Sunday leading to the death of a Ukrainian security officer in a shootout with pro-Russian militia, Kiev threatens military action while Moscow flexes its geo-economic warfare muscles. Pro-Russian militia groups have seized government buildings and police headquarters in Ukraine’s eastern city of Donetsk […]

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