Monday, March 17, 2014


The DOW was up 186 points at the close and Europeans equities were way up earlier as well.  Thug Putin had just finished annexing Crimea without a shot so I guess everybody decided that if you are going to invade somebody else's country and take over territory--which used to be referred to as a warlike event--this was about as good as it gets.  Of course no one has a clue as to what this nut-job has in mind for his next act and forget about the fact that he sent out one of his little puppets on Russian TV to remind everyone that Russia could turn the United States into an ash heap with no one seeming to have the mind to say something like, "Oh yeah, Boris, and what do you think will be going on with you if you try that?"  Nope, it's risk on boys and girls, buy 'em up.

For a small digression, one might look at a map of Russia.  The immediate reaction is, "Wow, big country."  When I was very young and playing big boy games, I had the same view.  Not so, a far senior colleague said to me, "big land mass, no people.  They all live in an area that's pretty compressed, and there's only 150,000,000.   They wouldn't last long and they know it."  And that's what kept us alive throughout the Cold War.

Putin probably wouldn't mind another Cold War if he could fight it on his terms.  Problem for me is time is against him and he knows it.  The Leader and the EU started talking sanctions today; Putin could deal with those.  They are weak and he preys on weak; what he cannot accept is a serious set-back for that would probably mark the end internally.  The west has about a week or two to convince themselves that they are serious, but once again there is a depressing lack of leadership.  I'm not comfortable, not comfortable at all.

Back to basics tomorrow.

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