Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Russia’s way

The cat is out of the bag.

Let's recount.
An independent journalist, murdered. A bit of blackmailing regarding energy resources.
After a neat exercise of ethnic cleansing, follows an unnecessary invasion and occupation of a neighbouring sovereign state, and destruction of its military and civil infrastructure beyond the conflict area as a punishment. And a lesson for others: Ukraine.
You set out the rules of the game. States with Russian nationals are within the scope of Russia’s military activity. If I was the Ukrainian, Estonian, or Latvian government, I would be very worried indeed.
Another journalist, murdered.
A chilling threat.

I am no fan of the US foreign policy, as I wrote about in a previous entry. But Russia’s strategy and actions are frightening. Whatever the flaws about the USA’s government, standard of democracy and society cohesion, Russia is not the counterweight the world needs, despite the usual suspects' retorts. There are many people who are nothing more than resentful and bigoted souls whose hatred of the US blinds them to the authoritarian and antidemocratic nature of the Russian government. In their misguided ignorance, they think it is a “good thing” that someone is challenging America’s pre-eminent role in world politics and economy.

These are going to be difficult times.

If you are invested in an “emerging markets” mutual fund, either equities or bonds, I would encourage you to reassess your positions. Many of us have already done so.

If I had time, I would write what I really think about the term "emerging markets". A very nice euphemism for "undeveloped" or "mildly corrupt" countries.
Fasten your seatbelts.