Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Something to Know - 13 April

As had been said before, the accomplishments by Biden have not been well articulated, nor have the serious economic issues been addressed in a manner that the  general population can understand.  Robert Reich has stepped up to the plate to identify what needs to be understood, and this is what he has written in his column of yesterday.

For today, Robert Reich is laying out the sacrifice we (those of us sitting around in the USA) must make to ensure that Russia feels the pain of their aggression in Ukraine:

Office Hours: Is it time to make a big sacrifice for Ukraine?

We're now seeing that the only way to inflict economic pain on Putin is to cut off all energy supplies from Russia

Robert ReichApr 13CommentShare

Despite economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the West, we now learn that Russia's cash flows soared during the first quarter because of surging energy prices for Russian oil and gas — ironically, brought on by Russia's attack on Ukraine. Russia's continued sales of oil and gas to the West are the single most important thing now propping up Putin's brutal regime.  

The Institute of International Finance projects that Russia will post a record $250 billion surplus this year based on its first-quarter sales of oil and gas, which would entirely make up for the Russian central bank reserves now frozen by Western powers through sanctions. In short, sales of oil and gas are giving Putin the money he needs to finance his savage war.

Russia's ruble has more than fully recovered. True, imports into the country have fallen sharply, reducing the standard of living of Russians who are unable to buy foreign goods. But via lies and propaganda, Putin has rallied Russians behind him nonetheless.

It's now clear: The only way the United States and the West can impose real pain on Putin is to stop purchasing Russian oil and gas entirely. This would be costly for us, of course. We don't know exactly how costly but there's no question such a move would drive world energy prices substantially higher.

So today's Office Hours question: Is it time for the United States and the West to make this sacrifice for Ukraine? Please leave your comments below. I'll chime in as well.


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