Tag Archives: russia

Stratfor: Russia’s economy burns; they have no good options.

Summary: As Obama’s military requests vast new sums to defend against Russia, Stratfor examines Russia’s crashing economy — and its few options for recovery. Russia is largest casualty of the financial world war begun by the Saudi Princes (bet on them to win). While this great conflict burns the US military dances away to its own delusional but profitable tune.

Stratfor

Russia Has Few Options for Turning Its Economy Around

Stratfor, 5 February 2016

Forecast

  • The Central Bank of Russia will try to reduce high inflation and encourage growth to counter the economy’s rapid deterioration.
  • However, the bank probably will not be able to rely on its biggest tool — the interest rate — to do so, instead turning to less effective means that will have little impact on inflation.
  • While the central bank’s efforts to reform the banking sector will not yield many immediate gains, they could spur growth in the long run by encouraging investment in Russian businesses.
  • Meanwhile, the Kremlin will use its limited resources to prop up Russia’s most important sectors, including agriculture and the military.
  • Still, unrest will likely grow throughout the year as inflation continues to put pressure on the Russian people.

Analysis

Low oil prices have thrown a wrench in many of the world’s economies, but perhaps nowhere more so than Russia. Depressed energy prices have sent the value of the Russian ruble tumbling and inflation soaring, and much of the Russian population is struggling to make ends meet.

The Central Bank of Russia, under pressure to find a solution to the country’s deepening economic crisis, is exploring all of the monetary policy options at its disposal. But the bank will find that its primary tool for combating the inflation wreaking havoc on the Russian economy — adjusting the country’s key interest rate — may be difficult to actually use under the current circumstances. As a result, bank officials will likely be forced to turn to secondary, less effective measures to keep the Russian economy from sliding even further into disrepair.

Continue reading

Stratfor looks at the Caucasus: A Crucible for Conflict

Summary: Stratfor looks at the Caucasus, where some of Europe’s fault lines cross. These border regions are often unstable, and have birthed many of Europe’s wars. The Caucasus nations are heating up, with no signs of resolution in sight.

Stratfor

The Caucasus: A Crucible for Eurasian Powers

Stratfor, 31 December 2015

Summary

Where the boundaries of Europe and Asia meet, a relatively new arena has emerged in the competition between Russia and the West: the Caucasus. The region, which comprises Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, rests outside mainland Europe and is surrounded by regional powers. A wave of separatist movements since the fall of the Soviet Union has played an influential role in how the Caucasus countries view Russia, which has consistently lent its support to disputed territories.

In the coming decades, the Caucasus will continue to be an important battleground for Russia and the West as other regional powers like Turkey and Iran are drawn into the competition for influence. And as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan align more closely with their chosen sides, all signs point to a Western-backed alliance gaining ground.

Analysis

Where the boundaries of Europe and Asia meet, a relatively new arena has emerged in the competition between Russia and the West: the Caucasus. The region, which comprises Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, rests outside mainland Europe and is surrounded by regional powers. A wave of separatist movements since the fall of the Soviet Union has played an influential role in how the Caucasus countries view Russia, which has consistently lent its support to disputed territories.

In the coming decades, the Caucasus will continue to be an important battleground for Russia and the West as other regional powers like Turkey and Iran are drawn into the competition for influence. And as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan align more closely with their chosen sides, all signs point to a Western-backed alliance gaining ground.

Continue reading

The first financial world war has begun, over oil. Bet on the Saudi Princes to win.

Summary: We have not begun a new era of low oil prices, fruits of new tech and a beneficent Fate. Low oil prices are the wreckage of an ongoing war — a financial war waged by the Saudi Princes for control of the world oil markets. We can predict who will win but only guess at the effects.

It's an Oil World

Nukes made conventional interstate war among great powers as obsolete as jousting. But war is protean, always assuming new forms. Fourth generation warfare is one form, as non-state actors use asymmetric tactics to defeat larger and better financed state forces. We might be in the midst of the first financial world war, waged by the Saudi Princes for control of the world oil market. The outcome seems likely to reshape the world, inflicting massive damage on nations relying on oil income — with Brazil, Venezuela, Russia, Iraq, and Iran among the notable casualties. A major victory by the Saudis — making them leader of a stronger OPEC — might reshape the Middle East and the world more than our 14-years of wars since 9/11.

To understand this new age of war I recommend reading Unrestricted Warfare, published in 1999 by Qiao Liang (乔良) and Wang Xiangsui (王湘穗), Colonels in the air force of the People’s Liberation Army. They describe the 1997 attack on the currencies of Southeast Asia by George Soros and other hedge funds as the first financial war. Here’s a key excerpt…

“When people begin to lean toward and rejoice in the reduced use of military force to resolve conflicts, war will be reborn in another form and in another arena, becoming an instrument of enormous power.

Continue reading