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Fallout from the Ukraine invasion


Spekulatius
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A lot of comments on Sberbank and Taiwan threads but this really belongs to the politics section, so I am opening one thread here to avoid political clutter in the investment section.

 

As a starter, I just listened to the Bundestalk talk from Olaf Scholz, the new  German chancellor and it’s a 180 deg turn from what Merkel used to do.

1) 100B Euro extra funding for Bundeswehr (for perspective, the annual budget for defense was about 47B Euro this year)

2) Expedited construction of two LNG terminals on German shore to pot. Replace Russian gas

3) delivering anti aircraft (Stinger) and anti tank weapons from the Bundeswehr to Ukraine

4) Potentially purchasing F-35 as nuclear deterrence fighters ( the earlier plan was to develop a European fighter with nuclear capabilities to replace the aging Tornados.

5) Germany agreed to cut of Russian banks from SWIFT

6) Nordstream pipeline will not get certified, It likely will never flow Russian gas.

7) Boosted Bundeswehr troop contingent to Lithuania , where they are leading the  local NATO command center. 

 

This is as quick of a 180 deg turn that I have ever seen in German politics. Interesting enough, Olaf Scholz is member of the “left” Social democrat party (SPD) while Merkel was “conservative”. Go figure.

Edited by Spekulatius
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It’s not just nuclear power, a Germany is looking into extending the life of their lignite power stations. Germany had plenty of lignite resources (open pit mining). It’s somewhat dirty but reliable.

In the mean time, the Rubble is getting totally trashed (-40%). Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day because any financial institution with Exposure to Russia has some lose ends, due to Russia gettin cut of from SWIFT.

 

A330DC58-7386-4C49-BC7A-47D06C13CFD7.jpeg

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Facebook might be blocked in RU but these sort of situations tend to increase usage of the platform.

Goldman Sachs... They will probably make money off this and come out even. Wild guess.

Oil is surprisingly tame. WTI not making new highs? Hmm. Iran deal coming? 

Iran: if no deal we're going for nukes!

Europe: you sure about that?

Iran: ok, actually nevermind, deal!

Uranium? Complicated. I own U.UN but in reasonable positioning.

 

 

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Anyone else thinks that Putin looks unhealthy? His face is pale and looks bloated. I have a hunch that his urgency may be driven by health issues, He wants to make his mark in history and maybe he doesn’t feel like he has much time.

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2 hours ago, Spekulatius said:

Anyone else thinks that Putin looks unhealthy? His face is pale and looks bloated. I have a hunch that his urgency may be driven by health issues, He wants to make his mark in history and maybe he doesn’t feel like he has much time.

 

I am actually concerned about his mental health, with the political miscalculation and now with tight sanctions that insecurity will be amplified.  

That being said, I do maintain it is hard to call this a full scale invasion, when the Air Force has largely been abscent (folks need to re-watch the Russian bombing in Syria). Ukrainian (top brass) are not fools, they know well enough that the hammer may not have fallen yet. Of course the fog of war is thick, and I could in turn be talking all non sense.

 

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It's absolutely a full scale invasion, it's just not at the point where Putin indiscriminately bombs civilians like he did in Chechnya. Yet.

 

Oil is back up. Market getting spooked?

 

WTI at 110: shit might hit the fun

125: shit just hit the fan

150: review how to build wheels from stones.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Xerxes said:

 

I am actually concerned about his mental health, with the political miscalculation and now with tight sanctions that insecurity will be amplified.  

That being said, I do maintain it is hard to call this a full scale invasion, when the Air Force has largely been abscent (folks need to re-watch the Russian bombing in Syria). Ukrainian (top brass) are not fools, they know well enough that the hammer may not have fallen yet. Of course the fog of war is thick, and I could in turn be talking all non sense.

 

Yes, it is a invasion, but I don't think the russian went all in. I agree the airforce seems largely absent. They could turn Kiew into rubble, I am sure about this. Looks now that with pick of this large convoy that the backup force and siege army is going to arrive.

 

And yes, we are seeing misinformation and propaganda from both sides. This is a war and propaganda is part of any war.

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I am sharing this talk here, because it is soo good. Posted in SBRCY thread by @mcliu but deleted by Parsad as a political post. I do agree with Mearsheimer in virtually anything respects, but in my opinion, he does not consider enough Ukraine's right to decide for themselves, but overall, I think he is 100% on point. You have got to understand your opponents POV, even if you do not agree with him.

 

 

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More recent John Mearsheimer discussion. Just a handful of days before the invasion. Like most experts he was dead wrong on the chances of invasion. But his analysis of geopolitics and what lead to the situation are probably the most accurate. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbj1AR_aAcE&t=1926s

 

Some solid twitter accounts to follow for up to date info (recommended to me by friends who worked AF Intel and currently NSA). 

- @IntelDoge

- @MarQs

- @Oryx

- @IntelCrab

- @5472_nde

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@Castanza thanks for the leads. I probably will follow some of them. I am still  contemplating how deep I want to go into this rabbit hole, because watching this unfold is quite frankly depressing for me.

One of my friend wife is from Odessa and her parents are still living there. I  pinged her a couple of days ago on FB messenger and they were still OK then, but have seen some shelling. No idea what is going on right now.

My mom remembers bombing as a kid during WW2 (in Berlin) and it's not for the faint of the heart and leaves a mark for many. Quite a few German's I know are in favor of doing something with the NATO and that was never the case before. The older generation still knows what it feels like to be on the receiving and of this.

Mearsheimer states that Putin <> Hitler but I would argue the methods as well as the communication look indeed very very similar now. Putin boxed himself into a situation where there is no turning back, is isolated like Hitler was later in WWE (just look at the ridiculous picks where he and his chiefs look on opposite side of a long table.

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Great discussion with General Petraeus. He served in Iraq. I agree with his assessment of the situation except for the part in the interview where he said "well when i invaded iraq people cheered for us ...". Dude, people cheering or not cheering doesnt make a wrong right. This like saying that Russia' annexation of Crimea was ok because they are mostly Russian speaking people there. It does not matter.

Ret. Gen. Petraeus: Ukraine invasion 'going terribly' for Putin - CNN Video

 

Who was it that said this, General Mattis, "The enemy gets a vote too".

NATO keep expading east, thinking the enemy doesn't gets a vote.

 

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And frankly what we (our leaders) ought to be focused is on getting an off-ramp for Kremlin. Point made with all the sanctions and speeche & social media stuff. Move on. Don't sit in an echo chamber like Putin is.

Chocking Russia economically with no off-ramp leads to the same path Japan took in the late 1930s. This shouldn't be rocket science. But you never know, the un-intended consequence of eastward expansion of NATO was apprently rocket science for the latte-sipping leaders in the Western world.

(Not that i like Kremlin) We in Iran have dealt with Russian foreign policy for centuries. They are worse than the United States. At least U.S. pretends to like you before raping you.

Edited by Xerxes
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38 minutes ago, Spekulatius said:

@Castanza thanks for the leads. I probably will follow some of them. I am still  contemplating how deep I want to go into this rabbit hole, because watching this unfold is quite frankly depressing for me.

One of my friend wife is from Odessa and her parents are still living there. I  pinged her a couple of days ago on FB messenger and they were still OK then, but have seen some shelling. No idea what is going on right now.

My mom remembers bombing as a kid during WW2 (in Berlin) and it's not for the faint of the heart and leaves a mark for many. Quite a few German's I know are in favor of doing something with the NATO and that was never the case before. The older generation still knows what it feels like to be on the receiving and of this.

Mearsheimer states that Putin <> Hitler but I would argue the methods as well as the communication look indeed very very similar now. Putin boxed himself into a situation where there is no turning back, is isolated like Hitler was later in WWE (just look at the ridiculous picks where he and his chiefs look on opposite side of a long table.

Yeah, war footage can absolutely be depressing. But it is a reality we luckily do not have to live here in the states. I always try to view it as some form of educative solidarity because most people including myself have no clue how bad war can be. All we know is likely stories and pictures from news, friends and family. 

Regarding those absurd photos of Putin I agree he is showing some weird behavior. But it could be due to Covid? Apparently he was very paranoid about that. Let's hope he takes a page out of Hitler's playbook and puts a bullet in his own head. Regardless of who is responsible for this conflict on a geo political level one thing is certain. Putin is a massive dick and did NOT have to invade at this time. Although I do think NATO and US likely failed in some respects regarding negotiations. 

No doubt this whole thing is going to permanently change Europe. Personally I think it has already caused some positive changes and perhaps lit a fire under the ass of some EU countries. Could end up being a win win for both EU and US if other countries like Germany step up their defense spending so the US can slowly withdraw or at least spend less. Don't have much insight to EU spending so I can't speak to that. I did see it perhaps upped the timeline of Germany's shift to clean energy by 15 years. Ultimately this will leave a void of influence. Hopefully some savory countries pick up the reigns. 

Might also create some enemies of the EU and US though. If these sanctions don't go according to plan, you're looking at a handful of countries dependent on Russian Wheat and Oil who will be hurt badly as a result. Sounds like a good excuse to start another terrorist harboring state....Even during Lenin's time the US allowed the flow of wheat...and I'm pretty sure US was an exporter to Russia. 

I also got some pics from a friend who was helping train Ukrainian SF a few years ago. Assuming he kept in touch with them or something. Not sure, but he has been getting some photos and videos (helmet cam GoPro footage) of current affairs'. Holy....f*&%ing....hell....Those dudes can seriously fuck some people up....think "human carpet"....

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An off ramp at this point is going to be almost impossible. It's areal problem to prevent de-escalation but once Putin gets into genocide territory, then what is an off ramp going to look like? There was no off ramp for Hitler either after killing millions and that's why the fight went to be bitter end.

 

I think Putins plan was a repeat of the Crimean occupation or something or more historically speaking that was similar to Hitler grabbing Czechoslovakia in 1938 - quickly and without much resistant. this is not turning into Poland 1939 and from that, there is no off ramp any more.

 

I don't think the NATO eastward expansion was a mistake. the mistake was to leave the Ukraine in limbo. Either take them in or make it clear that you won't. I am fairly certain Lithuania and the other countries countries are happy to be in the NATO. I think it is quite possible that Finland decides to get into the NATO as well since they had some bad experience with their large Neighbor before and neutrality does not necessarily protect from harm. The former Finnish Prime minister already spoke about thinly veiled threats from Putin years ago.

 

Quite frankly, l they should have worked at getting Russia into the NATO as ridiculous as it may sound right now.

 

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1 hour ago, Spekulatius said:

An off ramp at this point is going to be almost impossible. It's areal problem to prevent de-escalation but once Putin gets into genocide territory, then what is an off ramp going to look like? There was no off ramp for Hitler either after killing millions and that's why the fight went to be bitter end.

 

I think Putins plan was a repeat of the Crimean occupation or something or more historically speaking that was similar to Hitler grabbing Czechoslovakia in 1938 - quickly and without much resistant. this is not turning into Poland 1939 and from that, there is no off ramp any more.

 

I don't think the NATO eastward expansion was a mistake. the mistake was to leave the Ukraine in limbo. Either take them in or make it clear that you won't. I am fairly certain Lithuania and the other countries countries are happy to be in the NATO. I think it is quite possible that Finland decides to get into the NATO as well since they had some bad experience with their large Neighbor before and neutrality does not necessarily protect from harm. The former Finnish Prime minister already spoke about thinly veiled threats from Putin years ago.

 

Quite frankly, l they should have worked at getting Russia into the NATO as ridiculous as it may sound right now.

 

 

i mispoke about the mistake, you are correct in saying that "keeping in limbo" was the actual & direct mistake. That said like i said elsewhere, everything action has a consequence. NATO expansion eastward maybe right or wrong, but EITHER WAY it is wrong to not be accountable for its consequence, just like Khuruschev cannot say moving nukes to Cuba was not a mistake.

 

If no off ramp, then that has consequences too. It is never been a problem for the West to deal with genocidal characters in history. (i.e. Mao, Saddam, Pinochet and Stalin). So that moral high ground is not an issue. The issue is the massive emotional intertia in support of Ukraine that cannot be reversed. Hence very hard to put an off ramp, without not embrassing the Kremlin.

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6 hours ago, Xerxes said:

And frankly what we (our leaders) ought to be focused is on getting an off-ramp for Kremlin. Point made with all the sanctions and speeche & social media stuff. Move on. Don't sit in an echo chamber like Putin is.

Chocking Russia economically with no off-ramp leads to the same path Japan took in the late 1930s. This shouldn't be rocket science. But you never know, the un-intended consequence of eastward expansion of NATO was apprently rocket science for the latte-sipping leaders in the Western world.

(Not that i like Kremlin) We in Iran have dealt with Russian foreign policy for centuries. They are worse than the United States. At least U.S. pretends to like you before raping you.

 

The only off-ramp at this point is Putin removed, anything else is just a temporary fix -- which is exactly what got us here to begin with.

 

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Damn. Listening to state of union. Going after the oligarch. That is going to impact the business jet market. Jokes aside, oligarch are going to get squeezed on both sides. Sucks to be them. That is what Obama should have done with the bankers after the GFC. 
 

nice touch on Ukraine on state of union (although obviously expected). It does however baffles me how the total economic war against Kremlin would mean Putin will not do anything. If it works that is great. Just don’t see how without collateral damage.
 

 Lastly, whatever else, Russian army, command & control, logistics so far looks like the army of Mordor than that of Gondor. That intel is immensely valuable for NATO and myth shattering. But also means PLA is taking notes. They will not embrace themselves. 

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Lastly. How crazies it is that in the span of just six months, we went from Biden screwing up in Afghanistan to Putin who screwed up in Ukraine. 

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I think using financial weapons of mass destruction is smart. The US has the worlds reserve and trade currency, controls much of the worlds financial system, so using it to hit an enemy with a smallish economy and no means to retaliate in kind is smart. Putin may have a large military, but his weak economy’s is the soft underbelly and hitting it there will hurt.

I do think they Biden made a mistake saying that a American soldiers will not get involved in this conflict. Maybe it’s a smart decision, but he should keep all options open, if not for anything else than to keep Putin guessing.

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