About Me

Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ukraine vs. Russia

Key economic data show Russia is on a pronounced glide path to recession. Ukraine is an
economically and financially broken country. Since patriotism can often be the last refuge
of scoundrels, I, unlike many US investors, take potential armed conflict in eastern UKR
seriously. UKR's prior leader looted the country and Putin and his guys have yet to find
policies to reverse a clear economic slide. And, you do not put 40k troops with attack craft
on your neighbor's border for the hell of it. As much as the West may hope these two proud
countries can settle differences peaceably, actions on the ground in stressed areas even if
carefully choreographed can subvert detailed plans once some shooting starts. Since Putin
and Lavrov have pissed away credibility with the West, the markets may focus more on
activity at ground zero if matters heat up. Hope all goes rationally and peaceably.

Russia? I'll take Kissin and Pletnev over Putin and Lavrov any day.

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