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Friday, March 14, 2014

From Russia, with...

What's the play? The referendum is already destined to pass given the choices on the ballot and an army already occupying the region. There is no "no" option.

The grave consequence will be sanctions. But how harsh can they be? Does the EU have the capability to impose such things when they need Natural Gas?

The referendum will pass, but what will Putin do after? Will he simply withdraw troops, and hand Crimea back to Ukraine? (I mean Crimea was effectively taken over last week.) Will there be a wild card as China already expressed concern over Russian actions. Will China pressure Putin to ease up? Will this allow them to become care takers of that region? Will Putin tolerate it? 

How far is Putin willing to take this? It makes no sense for there to be an all-out-war. But how will Russia tolerate 'harsh' sanctions? How will they handle economic isolation?

Is there a play that will let all parties walk away with their heads up high? The longer this plays out, the more likely the answer is no. 

So many questions, and these uncertainties are reflected in the DAX and global equity markets. 

I'm most curious as to how China chooses to step it up on the geopolitical front. Will they have the balls to stand up to Russia? Or will they change course and support Russia?

I hope we see From Russia, with Love this weekend. But we may see From Russia, with go-fuck-yourself this weekend too. 

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