Month: February 2014

Putin’s options limited by home uncertainty

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/862ee4d0-9bf6-11e3-afe3-00144feab7de.html Good article. One good reason why Putin himself is quiet is that he doesn’t know how to respond. His democracy may be a sham, but he still needs to take the sentiment of the Russians seriously. If he cannot control that sentiment through the state-owned media, he’ll have to follow it lest he risks …

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Putin’s options

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/8faf984a-9bda-11e3-afe3-00144feab7de.html  A Russian invasion isn’t an option. If Putin wants to lose, he’ll do that. An invasion will unite Ukraine and Russian armed forces will be lost in the vastness of Ukraine. The Russian military still is large but it also still is a conscript army. Mother Russia won’t like it when her sons are …

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Zbigniew Brzezinski’s column in the FT

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e855408c-9bf6-11e3-afe3-00144feab7de.html Yes the EU needs to form a rescue package for Ukraine but one that unlike the Russian alternative bypasses the olichargs. This revolt was against them and their leader in Ukraine, Yanukovich, and their leader in Russia, Putin. It first and foremost was a liberal revolt demanding not EU membership but EU-style freedoms and …

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Technology, Ukraine and the fading of the nation-state.

Technology is what enabled Westphalia and is what is now slowly fraying it. Our national identity has weakened significantly as we’ve become far more exposed to other people and cultures. The nation state grew because communication was and could be constrained to language and geography. Moscow and Beijing still believe they can control that narrative …

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Ukraine & Russia

Last night, the Ukrainian government first said it would start an “anti-terrorist operation”. Then it had to fire the military chief of staff probably because he refused to carry out orders. Then two hours later that same government announces a truce. Yanukovich looks defeated: he cannot rely on the Ukrainian armed forces. The other options …

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End Euro or EU?

Mrs. Le Pen will hover over Europe threatening to become not only France’s first female president but the one who will exit the Euro or worse, the EU. These threats will not be taken lightly by markets because they risk being implemented. And even today, an increasing majority of mainstream politicians are trying to steal …

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Hassan Rohani’s Tigers

http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2014/02/the-struggle-under-the-persian-carpet-infighting-in-iran/ Rohani has many tigers by the tail. The IRGC: saw its power grow huge under the sanctions regime, its smuggling operations corrupted it, turning it into a parallel state: Iran’s own Hezbollah. Now it is fighting a hugely unpopular war in Syria that has largely destroyed its standing with everyone including the Iranian electorate. …

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EU Elections & Geert Wilders

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/0030c5f4-8f19-11e3-be85-00144feab7de.html That risks are modest and manageable simply is not true, these risks are unknowable. Capital economics can not predict the future. What they’re doing is providing legitimacy to xenophobic europhobes. Wilders is a populist pur sang, he’d claim anything if it would get him elected. People want to believe that an exit from the …

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Where Martin Wolf & Isaac Asimov meet

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e1046e2e-8aae-11e3-9465-00144feab7de.html Martin, many thanks for tackling the issue! Robotics and IT will challenge capitalism in that all productivity could be ‘dehumanized’, so the value creating potential of human beings would become, asymptotically, zero.   Computing replaces humans. “One employee can do this where before we could do this with x”. Banks have been almost depopulated …

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