Patterico's Pontifications

2/28/2022

Russia’s Economy Cratering; It’s Past Time to Hit the Rich Guys

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:28 am



If you missed my interview with Bill Browder over the weekend, read it now. His top recommendations for dealing with Putin were to disconnect Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system and to go after Putin’s top oligarchs.

The U.S. and EU took his recommendation regarding SWIFT and cut off select Russian banks, including Russia’s central bank, from SWIFT. That was necessary but the fallout will be bad for the Russian people, who largely seem not to support Putin’s aggression. The ruble crashed overnight and lines are forming for a classic Depression-style run on the banks:

It is indefensible that the Russian people are being made to suffer while at the same time the Biden administration has failed to target Putin’s top oligarch trustees. Both Browder and Garry Kasparov, who are steeped in this information, are saying Biden’s sanctions have thus far missed some of the most important figures. I asked Browder if he thinks Biden and the Treasury Department know who these people are, but are taking no action, or don’t know. He seems to think the latter, but thinks that will change.

Do you agree with Kasparov that the sanctions so far have ignored Putin’s worst oligarchs?

The list of oligarchs who are currently sanctioned is woefully small, and doesn’t address the lion’s share of Putin’s capital and the capital that’s been stolen from Russia. And so there’s a very long list of high-profile, well-known oligarchs from Russia who still need to be sanctioned. And I hope that as the crisis continues to unfold, the next step in the sanctions program is to add those people to the sanctions list.

Do you think the Treasury Department and President Biden don’t know who those people are, or do you think they do know who they are and just haven’t taken the steps to sanction them yet?

Well, I think everything is happening so quickly that it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that they’re not at the level of knowledge that I have, or Garry Kasparov has, because the people work on a lot of different issues, not just Russia. But many people from different governments and different lawmaking bodies have reached out to me asking for assistance in this area, so hopefully as the knowledge level increases, we will see some more of the high-value targets getting sanctioned.

As Gunnery Sergeant Hartman says in Full Metal Jacket:

62 Responses to “Russia’s Economy Cratering; It’s Past Time to Hit the Rich Guys”

  1. The Russian people shouldn’t be exempt from the actions of their leaders. I have no sympathy.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  2. Switzerland has joined in.

    Switzerland says it will freeze Russian assets, setting aside a tradition of neutrality.

    After a meeting with the Swiss Federal Council, Switzerland’s president, Ignazio Cassis, said that the country would immediately freeze the assets of Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail V. Mishustin and Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, as well as all 367 individuals sanctioned last week by the European Union.

    nk (1d9030)

  3. The U.S. and EU took his recommendation regarding SWIFT

    The U.S, wasn’t in the lead here, as he said. This is one time where Biden’s principle of only acting when there is international unity caused more to be done rather than less. Browder also was not alone in urging this. They are said to have been moved by a personal appeal from Volodymyr Zelensky at their meeting (himself remotely) , whom the European leaders had gotten to know. There was only silence when he finished speaking.

    A few countries, like Cyprus might make problems for this. Hungary, despite Orban’s cozying up to Putin is going along completely with sanctions (also faces an election in April)

    The Russian stock market is closed today – of course somewhere in one of the Putin controlled publications there was published a question something like if Russia is cut off from the world what does Russia benefit from the rest of the world existing? (something like that)

    Non poisoned air, maybe? And it is not going to be completely cut off.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  4. The Russian people shouldn’t be exempt from the actions of their leaders. I have no sympathy.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/28/2022 @ 9:27 am

    I don’t remember them actually getting a say-so for this war, or Putin in general. So I have a bit of sympathy for those who didn’t vote for this or have a say in Putin’s reprehensible actions.

    Hoi Polloi (093fb9)

  5. ‘Mary Poppins’-styled sanctions vs. ‘Don Vito Corleone’-styled sanctions; a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down– or you serve up the horse head in the bed.

    The West already knows they’re dealing with cold war killers. The message to send to these guys is what is of value to them is of absolutely no value to you. There’s a ‘007’ is awaiting their next assignment someplace.

    Sink the yacht. Take the cannoli.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  6. They don’t need to be tied to the world economy. They can always go back to the Soviet economy when three rubles could buy a bottle of vodka and a cheese snack to be shared by three comrades.

    nk (1d9030)

  7. @2

    Switzerland has joined in.

    Switzerland says it will freeze Russian assets, setting aside a tradition of neutrality.

    After a meeting with the Swiss Federal Council, Switzerland’s president, Ignazio Cassis, said that the country would immediately freeze the assets of Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail V. Mishustin and Foreig

    n Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, as well as all 367 individuals sanctioned last week by the European Union.
    nk (1d9030) — 2/28/2022 @ 10:29 am

    …I don’t think we fully understand how ground-shattering that is. Switzerland?! SWITZERLAND!!!!

    whembly (2900b2)

  8. I would not only freeze the accounts of Russian oligarchs, but take the money. Then use the money to buy weapons for Ukraine. Post the transactions on Twitter and TikTok.

    I can’t decide who my favorite Ukrainian is right now, but it’s hard to beat the guy removing a landmine from a bridge while smoking. That kind of badassery is just woven into one’s DNA.

    Hoi Polloi (093fb9)

  9. @6. Meh.

    One of the most endearing memories was going through the GUM Department store and seeing a large, ping-pong-sized table with a pile of shoes on it and a sign with the cost stuck on a pole out of the top of the pile. That was the Shoe Department. It was up to the buyer to sort through them and match left to right and style to style. Nyet on any shoe boxes. It was so sad it was funny.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  10. Switzerland has joined in.

    The fat lady sings.

    I would not only freeze the accounts of Russian oligarchs, but take the money.

    That “rule of law” thing is in your way.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  11. Sink the yacht. Take the cannoli.

    This is what is called a “funny-once.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  12. Everything that the world is doing to Putin and Russia right now are being noted, in bold, by Xi in Beijing…

    Hoi Polloi (093fb9)

  13. @10. But how many ‘assets’ are actually in their names or tracible to same via Swiss institutions- plenty of ways around that. And there’s always the Caymans, etc., and alternate hiding places.

    But the optics make the Swiss look a lot less cheesy through this.

    It’s horse head in the bed time; the message to send is what is of value to them is of absolutely no value to you.

    _____

    @11. This is what is called a “funny-once.”

    So you think it’s ‘funny-once.’

    “Funny how? What’s funny about it?” – Tommy DeVito [Joe Pesci] ‘Goodfellas’ 1990

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. Ukrainian president I am not leaving! Joe But hunter’s checks from putin might bounce if I can’t get you to leave now!

    asset (6d455e)

  15. Reports saying Russians are moving their mega-yachts out of US waters and ports to Maldives.

    Hoi Polloi (093fb9)

  16. They don’t need to be tied to the world economy.

    The nat-cons ought to be happy to see Russia liberated from the curse of economic globalism and finally able to guard the sacred Russian culture from the ravages of liberalism and McDonald’s.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  17. @15. Rough seas ahead; ahoy sheltered harbors: any word on the Caymans?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  18. Kona coast economy hit hardest by yacht departures. Ships disappear at sea.

    mg (8cbc69)

  19. Read the lines are long in Moscow at the subways as no more apple or google pay.

    mg (8cbc69)

  20. Personal sanctions enforcement:

    Ukrainian Man Partially Sinks Yacht of Russian CEO ‘Selling Weapons’

    A Ukrainian ship crew member reportedly tried to sink a yacht owned by the CEO of a Russian weapons manufacturer in protest over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    The 55-year-old Ukrainian who was identified as D. Taras O. tried to sink the boat by flooding its engine room by opening a large valve as well as another one in a different part of the boat, the Majorca Daily Bulletin reported.

    The yacht, called Lady Anastasia, reportedly belongs to Alexander Mijeev, the Russian CEO of Rosoboronexport—a Russian military weapons company.
    ……..
    The yacht was left with a destroyed engine room.
    …….
    The 55-year-old worked for 10 years as a chief engineer on the yacht, which is worth €7 million ($7.8 million) and stretches nearly 48 meters at the Mallorca port, according to El País.

    When he appeared before a judge on Sunday, the 55-year-old said that he doesn’t regret his actions and that he “would do it again.”

    “I watched the news about the war. There was a video of a helicopter attack on a building in Kyiv. The armaments used are produced by the yacht owner’s company. They were attacking innocents,” he told the judge, according to the Majorca Daily Bulletin.

    He was released on charges of his actions…….
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  21. Still not corrrected:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/putin-victims-guatemala-igor-irina-bitkov-imprisoned-extradition-russia-kidnap-rape-human-rights-cicig-united-nations-un-11646001772

    In a country where politicians readily acknowledge that the U.S. wields enormous power, it is worth asking why the State Department refuses to help a family targeted by Mr. Putin’s crime ring regain their freedom….

    …The Bitkovs had a successful paper-and-pulp business in 2008 when Putin henchmen offered to buy 51% of the company. The Putin political machine also asked Irina to become a party representative for Kaliningrad. The Bitkovs said no to both opportunities. Shortly thereafter, their 16-year-old daughter was kidnapped. They paid a ransom of $200,000 and got her back after she had been held for three days and raped.

    The family lost their company to Mr. Putin and fled. They eventually sought refuge in Guatemala in 2009, only to be arrested by local authorities in 2015 at the behest of a Putin-owned bank working with the U.N.’s International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, or CICIG.

    As absurd as that sounds, it actually happened: A U.N. body deputized to fight corruption in Guatemala took instructions from Putin cronies to go after and lock up a refugee family. Worse, the U.S. Embassy continued to endorse the commission’s work.

    The then-U.S. ambassador to Guatemala, Todd Robinson, worked closely with CICIG even as it became clear that the commission was violating the civil liberties of its targets, including the Bitkovs. Because the U.S. was the largest financier of CICIG, the family appealed to the embassy to protect their rights. They got no results.

    There was never any credible evidence to support Russia’s accusations—filed with Guatemala’s attorney general—that the Bitkovs had stolen from the Putin-owned VTB Bank. But the bank had its own problems. In 2018 the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on its chairman, Andrey Kostin.

    VTB Bank’s wild claims about Bitkov fraud went nowhere. But Russian proxies in Guatemala also had gone to CICIG and asked it to investigate the family for allegedly using false identity documents.

    Mysteriously the U.S.-backed commission never investigated the law firm that had secured those documents for the Bitkovs in exchange for what it said were legal fees. It’s also notable that one of the lawyers inside Guatemala’s migration office, who signed Anastasia’s temporary residency card and many other false documents, was hired by the Guatemalan attorney general’s office in 2014. In its investigation of the crime ring she was not investigated.

    The Bitkovs were victims of a human-trafficking operation inside Guatemala’s migration office, not members of it. In 2017 a court cited Guatemalan and international law when it ruled that as migrants they weren’t liable for using the papers that the migration office had issued to them illegally. In April 2018 the constitutional court upheld that decision.

    Three months later the same court arbitrarily reversed its decision. The Bitkovs are still fighting in court for their freedom while there are outstanding arrest warrants for an unknown number of officials who allegedly violated the law to obey CICIG.

    At least four of those are fugitives being harbored by the U.S. That’s because the American left still believes in the CICIG model as a way to advance its causes abroad wherever its agenda isn’t winning at the ballot box. It wants to hide the fact that the commission not only failed but morphed into a tool of the thuggish Mr. Putin and unsavory characters in Guatemala. This is embarrassing for the State Department but by refusing to admit its errors, it is compounding them.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  22. They’re down and bleeding badly now. I think we can stop kicking for the moment.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  23. <oi Polloi (093fb9) — 2/28/2022 @ 12:33 pm

    Everything that the world is doing to Putin and Russia right now are being noted, in bold, by Xi in Beijing…

    That is why Beijing is so intent on nobody revognizing the independence of Taiwan. Especially that Taiwan and Mainland China not be recognized as two separate countries.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  24. I think we can stop kicking for the moment.

    No.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  25. The Oligarch/Robber Barons cover huge payrolls throughout Europe
    https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/spotlight-is-on-limerick-plant-as-international-sanctions-target-russian-oligarchs-41378944.html

    This one is small, but its complicated when a government makes decisions that take food off peoples tables. Does Ireland put these 450 people on full salary paid by the public for the duration of sanctions?

    steveg (e81d76)

  26. Memo to Kevin:

    Ukrainian Man Partially Sinks Yacht of Russian CEO ‘Selling Weapons’

    ‘A Ukrainian ship crew member reportedly tried to sink a yacht owned by the CEO of a Russian weapons manufacturer in protest over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The 55-year-old Ukrainian who was identified as D. Taras O. tried to sink the boat by flooding its engine room by opening a large valve as well as another one in a different part of the boat, the Majorca Daily Bulletin reported.

    The yacht, called Lady Anastasia, reportedly belongs to Alexander Mijeev, the Russian CEO of Rosoboronexport—a Russian military weapons company.
    ……..
    The yacht was left with a destroyed engine room.
    …….
    The 55-year-old worked for 10 years as a chief engineer on the yacht, which is worth €7 million ($7.8 million) and stretches nearly 48 meters at the Mallorca port, according to El País.

    When he appeared before a judge on Sunday, the 55-year-old said that he doesn’t regret his actions and that he “would do it again.”

    “I watched the news about the war. There was a video of a helicopter attack on a building in Kyiv. The armaments used are produced by the yacht owner’s company. They were attacking innocents,” he told the judge, according to the Majorca Daily Bulletin.

    He was released on charges of his actions…….’

    ROFLMAOPIP. But did he take the cannoli? ‘ D.Taras. O’ is an alias, of course. Page him tonight at the Wellington Club in Knightsbridge. His name? ‘Bond. James Bond.’ 😉

    “That boat, is she yours?” – James Bond, 007 [Sean Connery] ‘Thunderball’ 1965

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. The working class Russians are going to face hardship, but that’s on Putin. And yes, hit Putin’s oligarchs and their families and their yachts hard.

    Good news, hopefully not too late.

    Ukraine will reportedly receive 70 fighter jets via the EU’s arms package. This will dramatically boost Kyiv’s air power:

    Bulgaria 🇧🇬 (MiG-29) – 16
    Bulgaria 🇧🇬 (Su-25) – 14
    Poland 🇵🇱 (MiG-29) – 28
    Slovakia 🇸🇰 (MiG-29) – 12

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  28. I’m not going to predict if Ukraine prevails, but even if they don’t, but I think it’s say to safe that Putin’s invasion has been a strategic disaster. This tweet has a different descriptive:

    We are witnessing the first geopolitical ‘cancellation’ of the 21st century.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  29. Stop spamming everything with the same “news” DCSCA

    Kevin M (38e250)

  30. @30. Spam news, Kevin?

    8 Things You Didn’t Know About Spam (Like, Why You Should Try It)

    1. What Exactly Is Spam?

    Apparently it’s not a mystery meat at all. In fact, the product’s list of ingredients is shorter and less mysterious than most hot dogs. According to Spam’s website, the canned meat contains only 6 ingredients: already-cooked pork (two different cuts: pork shoulder and ham), salt, water, potato starch (to keep the meat moist), sugar and sodium nitrite (a common preservative).

    2. How Do You Eat Spam?

    Spam rose to popularity since you can eat it right out of the can, making it a useful product for feeding soldiers during World War II. But according to Spam enthusiasts, eating plain, cold Spam is like eating plain, cold chicken breast. Devotees swear that it lends itself to a variety of culinary deliciousness. For breakfast, try it cubed and pan-fried in a hash with potatoes, peppers and onions. For dinner, try a thin, grilled slice on top of your favorite burger. (It’s like a bacon substitute!) Got some left over rice? Dice your Spam and whip up some salty fried rice.

    3. Does Anyone Actually Eat Spam?

    Apparently. More than 7 billion cans have been sold and the product is now available in 41 countries. It is especially popular in Asia and the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii and Guam where, on average, each person consumes 16 tins of Spam each year. McDonald’s in Hawaii even features special Spam menu items.

    4. Why Is It Called Spam Mail?

    The phrase “spam mail” was inspired by the below 1970 Monty Python sketch in which the canned meat is portrayed as ubiquitous and inescapable ― kind of like the gajillion emails J. Crew sends us each day.

    5. It Can’t Be Good For You … Can It?

    Not really ― it does have a lot of sodium and the effects of sodium nitrite, which preserves meat and prevents bacterial growth, aren’t fully understood. That being said, when was the last time you indulged in a hot dog or some pepperoni ― both of which are high in sodium and sodium nitrites? Moreover, most hot dogs have about ten more ingredients (including far more chemicals) than Spam’s simple 6.

    6. What Does The Name Mean?

    Apparently no one really knows where the name Spam came from. According to the company, “one popular belief says it’s derived from the words ‘spiced ham.’ Others suggest it’s an acronym for ‘shoulders of pork and ham.’” Wikipedia says it could also be an acronym for “special processed american meat.”

    7. Where Does Spam Come From?

    Austin, Minn., is known as “Spam Town USA” and is home to parent company Hormel’s corporate headquarters. The proud town even features a 16,500-square-foot Spam museum, which is affectionately (and awesomely) dubbed the Guggenham.

    8. So… Should You Eat It?

    It definitely takes a strong stomach to get over the initial pale pink appearance of Spam in the can. But trust in its staying power, its simple ingredients, and the great state of Hawaii and you just might find the strength to experiment with this iconic American staple. Admit it; Spam sushi looks pretty yummy.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-you-should-eat-spam_n_4923479

    And #9, a bonus for just for you, Kev:

    Thanks to Joe’s 7.5% inflation:

    The price of Spam is up too, with the average 12 oz. can costing about $2.62. That’s an increase of 17 cents, or nearly 7 percent, from the same time last year. But it’s not stopping sales, as the pork meat in a can seems like a good alternative to consumers. [At Walmart, a 12-pack of 12 oz. canned Spam Classic is $53.23!]

    Sales of Spam – that much maligned meat – are rising as consumers are turning more to lunch meats and other lower-cost foods to extend their already stretched food budgets…Consumers are quick to realize that meats like Spam and other processed foods can be substituted for costlier cuts as a way of controlling costs, said Marcia Mogelonsky, senior research analyst with Mintel International in Chicago.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/as-food-prices-soar-so-do-sales-of-spam/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  31. Russia President Vladimir Putin stripped of taekwondo black belt in the wake of Ukraine crisis

    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/russia-president-vladimir-putin-stripped-of-taekwondo-black-belt-in-the-wake-of-ukraine-crisis/articleshow/89915024.cms

    Does this hurt the mind, the body or just the ego?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  32. Was he wearing the black belt when they stripped him of it?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  33. Here’s the real question now:

    “How does Putin thinks this ends?”

    Let’s assume that, with great effort, the Russian armed forces subdue the Ukraine and install a new regime. What then? The sanctions, which are going to bankrupt Russia very soon, remain. Food imports and energy exports stop (yes, oil is fungible, but try carrying it in your hands). The US petroleum reserve is opened and the price of oil gets existing wells pumping like mad, so energy prices don’t go crazy, but in Russia there is no bread.

    Does Putin think that it lets up? That we forget that he’s still raping Ukraine? Does he threaten to invade Poland or the Baltics if we don’t ease up? Or actually invades?

    It makes no sense. Every escalation makes his situation worse. How long does he think that the oligarchs will wait before it’s “Heads, pikes, walls.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  34. Take the belt, leave the kimchee!

    nk (1d9030)

  35. Kevin M (38e250) — 3/1/2022 @ 10:50 am

    How long does he think that the oligarchs will wait before it’s “Heads, pikes, walls.”

    Probably longer than it actually will take.

    And how long will it take? Till they think they risk more by not trying than by trying.

    Maybe Putin will be given a chance to back off. After all, who else has the skill to keep things going, as well as the color of law?

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  36. There are some generals that are checking body parts frequently to make sure they are still attached.
    I saw a documentary about smugglers in airports where one of the tells was constantly checking the stash. Turns out it was often just a spicy burrito or a hygiene issue (so to speak) but still there are some lower level generals stuck with culpability in the “40KM CONVOY!!!!!” who are taking inventory as we speak

    steveg (e81d76)

  37. U.S. prepares to expand financial attack on Russian oligarchs, aiming to freeze billions held by Putin allies
    ……..
    Officials at the White House and Treasury Department are working on producing a list of names that is expected to overlap in part with the lineup of Russian oligarchs who were newly subjected to sanctions by the European Union on Monday, the people said.

    For instance, the White House is weighing imposing new sanctions on Alisher Usmanov, the owner of an iron and steel conglomerate who Forbes has estimated to be worth more than $15 billion, the people said.
    ……..
    The Department of Justice on Wednesday also announced the creation of “Task Force KleptoCapture” to coordinate prosecutors and other federal investigators in the effort to prosecute sanctions against “corrupt Russian oligarchs.” The task force will be led by a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and include leadership from the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, and Internal Revenue Service, among other federal agencies.
    ……..
    ……..Usmanov’s company Metalloinvest, a mining firm, said in a statement that it considers the sanctions against him to be “ungrounded and unfair.” Usmanov also released a statement accusing the E.U. of “false and defamatory allegations damaging my honour, dignity and business reputation.”
    ……..
    At least in the United States, the effort to freeze or seize assets of Russians close to Putin is also likely to be stymied by a U.S. legal structure that allows anonymous actors, often using illicit funds, to form companies and purchase real estate and other assets under a strict veil of secrecy, said experts and transparency advocates.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  38. U.S. prepares to expand financial attack on Russian oligarchs, aiming to freeze billions held by Putin allies……..

    Officials at the White House and Treasury Department are working on producing a list of names that is expected to overlap in part with the lineup of Russian oligarchs who were newly subjected to sanctions by the European Union on Monday, the people said.

    WTF- why the wait; professionals would have had this package ready months ago; should be an off the shelf pull, not a special order.

    The Confluence of Incompetence.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  39. And tonight, I am announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding an additional squeeze on their economy. He has no idea what’s coming.

    The press had been told in advance, and, in addition, a Russian Aeroflot flight from Moscow to New York already had had to turn back, because Iceland would not give it permission to enter its airspace.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  40. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/01/us/politics/biden-sotu-transcript.html

    Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies in the event that Putin decides to keep moving west.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  41. I wonder if Biden is operating under a medical directive from Jill

    steveg (e81d76)

  42. If Putin remains in power, he is going to remember the US, EU, and NATO lethal aid.

    We fought for 20 years in Afghanistan and Iraq without facing the best handheld anti tank and anti helicopter weapons Russia and China could field.
    I’m guessing if we got caught up in action vs. Iran, the Russians would be certain to make sure we take casualties

    steveg (e81d76)

  43. We fought for 20 years in Afghanistan and Iraq without facing the best handheld anti tank and anti helicopter weapons Russia and China could field.

    I’m guessing if we got caught up in action vs. Iran, the Russians would be certain to make sure we take casualties.

    I doubt we will fight the Iranians/Russians, the next time will be in any one or more the NATO countries (and it could be sooner than you think).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  44. And tonight, I am announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding an additional squeeze on their economy. He has no idea what’s coming.

    Swatting Russian flies.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  45. Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich says he will sell English soccer team Chelsea
    …….
    Abramovich, 55, was under growing pressure to sell because of his reported ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Sunday, Abramovich had handed “stewardship and care” of Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation.

    Within 72 hours, though, he decided to sell a club that he had purchased in 2003 for about $185 million and is now worth an estimated $3.2 billion.
    …….
    In recent days, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been repeatedly questioned about Abramovich. When Johnson announced the U.K.’s initial round of sanctions, he told Parliament he thought Abramovich had been sanctioned previously. The prime minister was wrong and later had to correct the record.
    …….
    Fire sale.

    Related:
    …….
    Sources have told ESPN that U.S. firm Raine Group have been appointed to manage the sale, and interested parties include Los Angeles Dodgers owner Todd Boehly, who expressed interest in buying a Premier League club in 2019. He held talks with the Blues and Tottenham but failed to find an agreement with either owner. Swiss business tycoon Hansjoerg Wyss has said Abramovich contacted interested parties on Tuesday to sound out potential interest.
    …….
    Abramovich announced his intention to donate profits of any sale — he bought the club for £140m in 2003 and is owed £1.514bn in loans — to victims of the Ukraine conflict. “Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated,” continued Abramovich’s statement. “The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  46. ‘The 670,000 barrels per day in Russian oil and petroleum products that the United States imported from Russia in 2021 was up from 540,000 barrels per day in 2020; 520,000 in 2019; and 375,000 in 2018.’

    https://cnsnews.com/article/washington/terence-p-jeffrey/us-petroleum-imports-russia-set-record-bidens-first-year

    _____

    Petrol subsidy to bite harder as oil price rises to $112 a barrel — highest since 2011

    Global oil prices pulled a surprise on Wednesday, trading above $110 a barrel amid supply disruptions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The development is coming even as the United States and other member states of the International Energy Agency (IEA) agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil reserves to tame rising prices. Brent crude climbed up 7.80% to $112.70 per barrel at 09:00 GMT+1– up nearly $8 per barrel from Tuesday and the highest since February 2011.

    https://www.thecable.ng/petrol-subsidy-to-bite-harder-as-oil-price-rises-to-112-a-barrel-highest-since-2011

    Do the math; the policies of the Biden Administration have the U.S. financing the Russo-Ukraine War.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  47. Ukraine Issues War Bonds, Raising $270 Million
    ……..
    “The proceeds from the bonds will be used to meet the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and to ensure the uninterrupted provision of the state’s financial needs under the war,” the country’s finance ministry said in a LinkedIn post. The ministry’s website is currently not operational due to cyber attacks, according to an official.

    The bonds have a maturity of one year and don’t pay a coupon. They have a yield of 11%, according to the ministry’s post.

    The government also issued two-month bills with a 10% yield. That is comparable to where the yield of a Ukrainian dollar-denominated bond maturing in 2023 was in early February before the invasion, but it has surged since.
    ……..
    While I haven’t taken DCSCA’s suggestion to buy the bonds, I have made a high four-figure donation to the fight via bitcoin.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  48. @46. Fire sale.

    Pfft.

    Hardly: “he decided to sell a club that he had purchased in 2003 for about $185 million and is now worth an estimated $3.2 billion.”

    That’s a Capitalist Pig-out.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  49. @48. Pfft. Buy any Confederate War Bonds, Rip?? 😉 —

    US investors to sue Germany for defaulting on pre-Nazi bonds

    Hitler declared old German bonds worthless when he came to power. Now a group of US investors wants Germany to pay out to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars on the Weimar Republic era bonds.

    The bonds were issued in the 1920s and early 1930s by the Weimar Republic, Germany’s government from 1919 until Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. During that time, the government printed an enormous number of bonds to cover rebuilding costs in the aftermath of World War I.

    Many of these bonds were purchased by American investors – with the encouragement of then US President Calvin Coolidge.

    Although Hitler defaulted on the bonds as Germany’s new chancellor in 1933, they continued to be traded by investors around the world, who hoped to someday turn them into cash.

    https://www.dw.com/en/us-investors-to-sue-germany-for-defaulting-on-pre-nazi-bonds/a-5994635#:~:text=The%20bonds%20were%20issued%20in%20the%201920s%20and,on%20the%20bonds%20when%20he%20came%20to%20power

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  50. The Germans have seized a Russian oligarch’s yacht, valued at $800,000,000. Mazel tov.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  51. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Travel to Europe

    Secretary of State Antony Blinken leaves Thursday for a trip to Belgium, Poland, Moldova and the Baltic states to coordinate the continued international response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and to assure neighboring countries of the U.S. commitment to their security, the State Department said Wednesday.
    ……..
    Potential target?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  52. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brussels_and_the_European_Union

    Brussels (Belgium) is considered[2] the de facto capital of the European Union,[3] having a long history of hosting a number of principal EU institutions within its European Quarter. The EU has no official capital, and no plans to declare one, but Brussels hosts the official seats of the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and European Council, as well as a seat (officially the second seat but de facto the most important one) of the European Parliament. In 2013, this presence generated about 250 million euros (8.3% of the regional GDP) and 121,000 jobs (16.7% of the regional employment).[4]

    t’s also where NATO is headquartered, since Charles dee Gaulle forced it to leave France in or about 1966.

    https://shape.nato.int/page1463252

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  53. I’m more concerned about the stops in Poland, Moldova, and the Baltic States, all on the border of Ukraine.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  54. U.S. closes embassy in Belarus due to ‘security and safety issues’ The State Department has closed the U.S. embassy in Minsk, Belarus, and is allowing non-essential staff at the U.S. embassy in Russia to leave due to the war in Ukraine.

    That’s three United States embassies shuttered in six months– with a fourth in Moscow on deck… and Taiwan warming up in the bull pen.

    Attaboy, Joe!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  55. @52. On Aeroflot?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  56. @54 thanks, 81 million!

    JF (e1156d)

  57. Did Europe renege on promised fighter jets to Ukraine?

    Yes and no, but at the least they’ve made the modern version of Lend-Lease more complicated. The heartwarming story of European support for Ukraine’s air force captured imaginations everywhere but in Russia and Belarus, as dozens of military fighter jets got offered for Ukraine’s defense. Pilots came to NATO countries to pick up their rentals last night:

    https://hotair.com/ed-morrissey/2022/03/01/did-europe-renege-on-promised-fighter-jets-to-ukraine-n452091

    Paper jockeys vs. fighter jockeys. And the clock ticks…

    Film at 11.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  58. Send in the Mossad to crater the Putinistas

    mg (8cbc69)

  59. Another sign of Biden’s weakness.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  60. Some of the sanctions look silly – like about sports, but there coul dbe two reasons for this:

    First, nobody knows where something can hot somebody important.

    Second, if other teams are determined not to play, it would be unfair to award Russia a forfeit. Unless there’s a matter of justice here and there isn’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  61. I hear Russia is selling oil at a discount.

    I think there’s away to cut the price Russia gets to maybe 1/3 of the normal price.

    Allow Russia oil and gas to be sold, but with the warning that, should any government not controlled by Vladimir Putin come to power in Russia within five years, the oil will be considered not to paid for and the new government will have a cause of action in U.S. courts, which cannot be waived by a president.

    Same: if the government of Russia brrows money, it will not be considered to be owed by anew government.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)


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