Saturday 20th of April 2024

why so many despots tried (are trying) to conquer russia if it is not needed?.....

Yale Geniuses Say Russia Not Needed – Logic and Common Sense Say Otherwise

What is the price of a Yale professor? If you wanted to buy one lock, stock, and barrel, depending on what you want to use one (or two) for, the cost could be pretty steep. More often than not, today’s Ivy League know-it-all types seem like soap salespeople. Whoever supplies the grant money gets the squeaky brain grease.


BY Phil Butler


Take the current superheated Russophobia as an example. Many of the western world’s most successful and respected professors publish “research” that looks more like tabloid journalism. It’s the trend. Or, I should say, outlandish analysis is now acceptable in any form as long as the desired “truth” is presented. A recent study at Foreign Policy entitled “The World Economy No Longer Needs Russia,” is just dumb from the title to the summary. Yes, I just said Yale’s Jeffrey Sonnenfel, and Steven Tian are both obtuse with reality. Or else they feel confident that we are. Let’s take their high-profile genius analysis from the start, just to show you what I mean.

First, the two Yale scholars claim that Russia Vladimir Putin has been holding the global economy hostage until the world services his whims. It’s a lie, of course. It was not Russia that blew up the Nordstream pipelines, and Putin has said gas is often available for all who will buy it. How can the Russian president possibly hold Europe or America, hostage, when both countries have the gun to their heads? These Ivy League chums of Biden are ridiculous. The authors spew about Europe’s utter dependence on Russian natural resources, then bound off into never never land with this:

“Now, as we approach the one-year anniversary of Putin’s invasion, it is apparent that Russia has permanently forfeited its erstwhile economic might in the global marketplace.”

Take note. It’s “Putin’s invasion,” but no mention that America and the Europeans lied about the Minsk accords to create a Ukrainian NATO base under the Russians’ noses. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France/s François Hollande just told the world the peace deal was a sham to give Ukraine time to rearm. The sinister nature of the whole Euromaidan affair, the eight years of hammering the separate eastern republics with artillery, and Joe Biden’s insane “all-in policy” for arming Ukraine to death, it’s like watching a lunatic asylum set loose in Washington.

Next, the highly compensated professors paint Europe’s cutting off Russian gas as a genius stroke amplified by unseasonably warm European weather. According to Yale big brains, Europe is running on renewables, nuclear, American LNG, and the medieval benefits of coal. The dynamic duo of Biden policy propagandists does not tell their audience that early on, U.S. LNG was sold in Germany at quadrupling the price it costs in America. This is what prompted EU President Ursula von der Leyen to start advertising for a price cap. The cap was not aimed at Russia, as the new media professed. Instead, it was initiated to hold back the pirates from across the Atlantic, taking advantage of a situation.

Then there’s the big lie. Sonnenfel and Tan claim that the Russians have no alternative buyers to take the place of the European market. They also say Putin is selling gas at zero profit and that the world no longer depends on Russia’s oil. Their contentions are not only misleading, but they are also laughable. I am amazed that  Sonnenfel, an adviser to several presidents, even put his name on this FP story. But he’s not alone by a long shot. Fortune Magazine’s Lars Paulsson also said it was Putin trying to strangle Europe’s gas supply, not the United States and the globalist elites. I mention the Fortune story to show that the thinking of these academics is not thinking at all. It’s a queued narrative parroted all over the information space. Now for the perspective from the “rest” of the world.

I was just reading a CNBC story by Natasha Turak, which aired the projections of Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, energy minister and head of state gas company QatarEnergy. One point made, one which validates my thesis is reflected in the passage below:

“EU countries dramatically cut down their imports of Russian energy supplies over the course of last year.”  

Also, note that CNBC is all-in warmongering for the Biden administration, but the truth has a way of slipping out, as above. If EU countries dramatically cut down their Russian gas on account of whatever, how is Putin holding a gun to their head? The Qatari energy boss even admits Europe will soon be back on Russian gas once the world forgets Ukraine again. Remember, the EU and UK have banned all seaborne imports of Russian crude oil as of December. Furthermore, the EU is set to ban refined product imports starting from Feb. 5. The Brits also banned imports of Russian LNG as of Jan. 1st.

Here’s the actual situation partially illustrated by a report from Viktor Katona, lead oil analyst at Kpler, an intelligence and data firm for commodity markets. “Russian oil exports have been effectively unchanged since the introduction of the oil price cap.” Russia ships energy primarily to Asia, with India being the saving grace. According to Katona, Arctic crude oil now flows almost exclusively to Asia. Markets Insider reported a few days ago that seaborne crude exports from Russia have surged by over 30% to an 8-month high, thanks to shipments to China and India. And with Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran,  Kazakhstan, and Nicaragua all lined up to enter BRICS, the logic of these Yale quasi-energy experts fails. Now prepare for a good laugh.

The U.S. Congressional Research Service report “Russia’s Trade and Investment Role in the Global Economy,” tells the savvy humanoid Yale professors are sometimes full of sheep dip. According to government experts, the Ukraine situation “has heightened congressional interest in understanding Russia’s economy.” After scanning the report, I’m 100% sure neither of the Yale teachers read it. Or, they did read it and decided to go with the “Russia broken” narrative anyhow. What does the report say, you ask?

Russia’s role in the global economy is vital to the extreme. It is true energy is Russia’s biggest export, with the country supplying 11.3% of the world’s demand for oil and 17.2% of the demand for natural gas. And here’s where the funny part begins. A 2011 report from Yale predicted that China and India will be responsible for almost half of the rapidly doubling energy consumption by 2035. This same report tells the entire tale. The Yale analysts said that by 2035, only about 15 percent of the world’s power would come from renewable sources. They also confirm that 80% of our energy will still come from fossil fuels even in another decade. The point is the numbers do not add up to Russia being put out of the game. China and India, Russia’s new biggest customers, will take up over half of the world’s energy consumption shortly, and eighty percent or more of this will be fossil fuels.

Overall, consumption will grow by more than thirty-five percent worldwide, so the questions for the genius analysts Jeffrey Sonnenfel and Steven Tian is, Where will the rest of the energy come from with Russia gone?” Saudi Arabia hit “peak oil” decades ago. The U.S. alone used about 97,331,601,000,000,000 Btu, or about 97 quadrillions Btu in 2021. So, when will consumption reach production capacity equilibrium in the U.S.? Or will there be windmills from coast to coast by 2035? What’s obvious is that Yale University has some interesting brains at work. And maybe the ultimate cost will be credibility.

Russia’s role in the world economy will expand rather than contract in the decades to come. And it’s not all about fossil fuels. More on this in another report.


Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.




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wishful non-thinking....




Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has offered a telling insight into the purpose behind the US-led sanctioning of Russia by the collective West.

While participating in a panel at the 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos, Rogoff underscored the importance to the West of not only staying the course on the current anti-Russia sanctions, but also be prepared to do even more to create conditions for “regime change” inside Russia.

While acknowledging that “getting regime change is hard” through sanctions, Rogoff concluded “that is where Russia is headed.” According to Rogoff, Russia is facing “incredible poverty” because of the sanctions imposed on it by the collective West, and that the 39 countries participating in these restrictions must be prepared to apply even more pressure in the face of a likely Russian escalation in the coming weeks, as the Russian military completes its reorganization in the Special Military Operation (SMO) theater and the incorporation of the last of the 300,000 reservists mobilized last fall.


“If Russia escalates,” Rogoff said, “what are we doing? We need to be ready. They [Russia] need to know that is coming.”


“Will there be regime change?” Rogoff asked, before answering his own question: “I hope so.”

Rogoff, who in addition to teaching economics at Harvard also is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an “independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher” whose mission is to be “a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries,” and the Group of 30, an “independent global body comprised of economic and financial leaders from the public and private sectors and academia” whose self-proclaimed mission is to “deepen understanding of global economic and financial issues, and to explore the international repercussions of decisions taken in the public and private sectors.”


The important take away from Rogoff’s membership in both the CFR and G30 is that neither of these organizations tolerate outliers; they are, instead, the living embodiment of establishment thinking. As such, when Rogoff gives voice to the linkage between the sanctioning of Russia and regime change, this is not simply idle speculation on the part of some fringe character, but rather a peek into the foundational thinking behind the strategic decision taken by the US and its allies when embarking on a sanctions-based policy designed to ‘deter and punish’ what the collective West has deemed to be Russia’s “unprovoked act of aggression” in sending troops to Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

There’s just one problem with Rogoff’s underlying analysis regarding Russia’s economic health—it is wrong. Not by a little, but a lot. Speaking at a meeting with top Russian economic officials earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that despite the difficulties created by Western sanctions, “the actual dynamics turned out to be better than many expert forecasts” which, Putin added, had “predicted a decline of 10% and 15% or even 20%.”

One must wonder where the esteemed Harvard professor fell regarding these assessments.

One of the primary reasons behind Russia’s resilience in the face of the collective West’s full-court press on sanctions is that Russia's budget revenues from the oil and gas industry grew 28% in 2022, amounting to an increase of $36.5 billion over the previous year. This growth played an important role in securing the budget of the Russian Federation in the face of widespread economic disruption in other economic sectors caused by sanctions. The forecast for 2023 is for similar rates of growth, which bode ill for any new round of ‘regime-change-inducing sanctions’ being planned by Rogoff and his ilk.


Professor Rogoff himself seems to be basing his analysis on a new understanding of geopolitical realities that have emerged since he last publicly opined on the issue, in December 2022. Then, Rogoff-who is not a military expert—declared that “The Russians have lost the war on the battlefield, and the only thing keeping Putin in power is very tight control of information that restricts even educated citizens from fully understanding the extent of the crushing defeat Russia has suffered.”

What a difference a month makes. Now, according to Rogoff, Russia is about to escalate the conflict by “launching a new offensive against Ukraine.”

Likewise, in December Rogoff decried the failure of sanctions against Russia, noting that “The sanctions can work if China and India join in,” and adding that “they are very ineffective otherwise.”

Now, even though both China and India are expanding the amount of oil and gas purchased from Russia, Rogoff believes Russia is on the verge of economic collapse, and that regime change will follow.

Fortunately for Russia, Rogoff’s skill as both a military and economic analyst when it comes to all things Russian is demonstrably poor. More worrying, however, is the peek inside the decision-making processes that take place within the inner sanctum of Western policy formulation which his comments provide. If the West, as Rogoff suggests, is seriously banking on sanctions to serve as a precursor for regime change in Russia, then this speaks poorly for both the intent of the West in seeking a peaceful outcome to this conflict, and the ability of the West to grasp reality in terms of mitigating the harm done by pursuing failed policy to the bitter end.

Russia appears to be on the cusp of not only a decisive military victory against Ukraine, but also completing the economic version of a wrestling reversal, turning Western sanctions into an economic suicide pact on the part of those who have embarked on that course, while avoiding any major harm to the Russian economy.

One is left wondering just what tune Rogoff thought he was whistling on the stage at Davos. To the educated ear, it sounds eerily like “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” the last tune played by the band of the HMS Titanic before the ship sank beneath the icy waters of the north Atlantic.








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