5 Reasons War in Ukraine Should Worry You

Three days after Russian diplomats assured the West that Russia will not invade Ukraine, Russia ... invaded Ukraine.


"Trust me. Would I lie to you?" Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Conflict in Ukraine began Tuesday, with an announcement that Russia would begin war games on the Ukrainian border, involving three Russian armies, 150,000 troops, 200 combat aircraft and helicopters, and more than 2,000 tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other pieces of "military hardware." Over the ensuing days, it evolved rapidly into an armed takeover of crucial military installations, airports, and communications centers around the Russian military base in Sevastopol, leased from Ukraine in the Crimea. Russia's parliament has authorized a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, putatively to protect ethnic Russians living in the country. Ukraine has responded with military mobilization and a warning that further incursions by Russian troops will amount to a declaration of war.



Russian tanks on parade. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Last week, New York Times columnist Helene Cooper took a look at goings-on in Ukraine and opined on Meet the Press that "at the end of the day it's not the No. 1 priority for the United States."

That's not exactly accurate, though. To investors at least, events in Ukraine could matter very much.

Here are a few ways how.

Oil companies
Largely dry on the oil front, Ukraine is believed to have ample reserves of natural gas, particularly in shale formations, and in offshore regions surrounding the Crimea. Major exploration companies including Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A  ) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX  ) have signed agreements to conduct exploration in the country, while ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) is believed to be close to signing an agreement of its own. Bloomberg puts the value of these agreements at upwards of $10 billion -- all now at risk from conflict in the country.

Steelmakers
ArcelorMittal
(NYSE: MT  ) , the world's largest steelmaker by revenues, has significant operations in Ukraine, including the Kryvyi Rih steel plant in Dnepropetrovsk. With 8 million tons of annual production capacity, this mill is Ukraine's largest, and one of the biggest steel producing plants in Europe. Its location in the Ukrainian east, however, where pro-Russian rallies have been taking place, puts this production at risk -- potentially disrupting world steel supplies and driving up prices.

Airplane makers
Ukraine is an important market for foreign commercial aircraft. Ukraine International Airlines has four Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) 737-900s on order for its fleet. UTair-Ukraine (a subsidiary of Russia's UTair Airlines) is an even bigger customer -- one of Boeing's best in the CIS, and has 40 Boeing new 737s on order. As a rule, big sales contracts like this include a clause releasing parties from their obligations in the event of a "force majeure" -- and one big reason for invoking such a clause is the outbreak of war. A war between two countries in which Boeing's buyer operates could be especially disruptive.

As a matter of fact, should the conflict in Ukraine widen, we could see force majeure clauses invoked by a whole host of companies operating in Ukraine, suppliers and buyers alike.

Consumer goods
Any number of consumer goods count Ukraine as an important market. Western purveyors of detergent, toothpaste, food goods, and so on, all operate within Ukraine, and many own subsidiaries in the country. To cite just one example, Mondelez International (NASDAQ: MDLZ  ) , the snacks business that spun off from Kraft in 2012, produces 6,000 tons of Vedmedik Barni cookies in the country annually. Mondelez has also significant holdings among Ukrainian producers of candy, chocolate, chewing gum, and even coffee.

Military suppliers
There's an old saying in military circles that "generals are always fighting the last war." That's largely because it takes a conflict to expose the gaps in a country's defenses.

Six years ago, Russia's short, victorious war in Georgia in 2008 nevertheless uncovered a glaring deficiency in the Russian armed forces' lack of drones -- which Georgia used to great effect in the early days of the conflict. In recent years, Russia has embarked upon an ambitious program to beef up its drone forces, buying some drones from Israel, and building more of its own. The country claims a drone fleet of 500 aircraft today and says it's investing $9 billion in research and acquisitions to further develop its capabilities.

Flip to the other side of the border, and Ukraine's military boasts some 4,000 main battle tanks and 1 million soldiers in the reserve forces. That sounds good on paper, but it wasn't enough to deter Russia from aggression last week. Why not? Two-thirds of Ukraine's tanks are in mothballs, and its active-duty military comprises only about 160,000 soldiers, mostly ill-equipped with Soviet Army castoffs. The country's air defenses, too, proved incapable of preventing Russia from flying thousands of troops into Crimea to occupy the peninsula last week -- so already deficiencies are showing up in Ukraine, before even a shot has been fired in anger.

It's too late for Ukraine to fix these problems now. But farther down the road, after the conflict reaches its conclusion, there will be a reassessment of military capabilities by both sides, and new markets for defense contractors to begin plugging the gaps.


This Georgian Army T-72 main battle tank illustrates gaps in Georgia's defenses uncovered by the 2008 war with Russia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Conflict is eternal, and defense stocks will never let you down

So long as countries go to war against other countries, defense contractors that protect the one from the other will make money for investors. Over time, generous dividend-paying stocks can make you rich -- and defense stocks are some of the richest dividend payers out there. While they don't garner the notability of high-flying tech stocks, dividend-paying stocks are also less likely to crash and burn. And over the long term, the compounding effect of the quarterly payouts, as well as their growth, adds up faster than most investors imagine. With this in mind, our analysts sat down to identify the absolute best of the best when it comes to rock-solid dividend stocks, drawing up a list in this free report of nine that fit the bill. To discover the identities of these companies before the rest of the market catches on, you can download this valuable free report by simply clicking here now.

 

Read/Post Comments (80) | Recommend This Article (108)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 2:06 PM, Risky88 wrote:

    We kill, hurt and torture each other on not only individual but mass scale.

    While still wondering why there's so much hate and arrogance in the world.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 2:53 PM, MaxTheTerrible wrote:

    1 reason war in Ukraine should NOT worry you - you have zero control over it.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 3:06 PM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    The Ukraine situation will not affect long-term investing. The US will not increase defense spending.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 4:09 PM, AFMS wrote:

    Only RUSSIA should worry

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:02 PM, ClimbinFool wrote:

    I'm sure this isn't the intent, but man does this article make the Fool look like a fool.

    We're talking about a situation with possible implications of significant loss of life and suffering, people being displaced from their homes, and international destabilization.

    And we should turn our attention to short term impacts on our portfolios? Really?

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:02 PM, Wills61 wrote:

    Tora Tora Tora! Pearl Harbor!

    Oh my gosh they lied to the Great Emperor OB 1!

    When tings go boom..stocky go flat...saving cash.. then buy then... for wary long time is ware it is at!

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:05 PM, Papko wrote:

    If there were an armed revolt in a Carribean island say , and the Govt was deposed , would the USA , take any military action ?

    Would they send troops ? would they safeguard national interests ? would they use force ?

    Are there any precedents for this type of action in US history , since WW!! ?

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:06 PM, democide wrote:

    We invested 5 billion to destabilize the Ukraine, just like Iran in the 1950s. And for the same reasons,BP Shell, and others. Russia had no Choice

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:24 PM, Wills61 wrote:

    Not only is this not the first time in history diplomats have lied to American leaders...it is nothing new that people profit from other peoples misfortune.

    It is sad but we investors are actually profiting on the backs of underpaid overworked populaces be they international or within the continental borders.

    There is no perfect world and no morally perfect investment.

    I think for the Fool to make commentary with regard to this is their job. That is why we pay them.

    My relatives hail from that region. I hate the facts however..I plan to make a boat load of money to get their souls out!

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:25 PM, XXF wrote:

    Just to be clear Russian troops have killed exactly zero people while riots were resulting in hundreds of deaths. Believe it or not, people, your Cold-War mentality towards Russia is counter productive for this whole scenario.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:28 PM, hotdaddy13 wrote:

    Good buying op. while the stocks are temporarily (hopefully) deflated!

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:32 PM, jstine wrote:

    The sum of all of the above "economic issues" are the same as the cost of about one day of war with Russia. This does not even consider the death and destruction, long term political instability and human loss that such an act would involve.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:43 PM, ecohen wrote:

    Answer to Papko: Yes. President Reagan invaded Grenada in 1983 when the government turned communist, and among the pretexts were 1) they were expanding an airport runway that would have the capability of landing transcontinental transport planes from Russia, and 2) American medical students in Grenada needed protection. Both excuses were flimsy at best.

    The US also invaded Panama in 1989.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:45 PM, Wills61 wrote:

    There once was this little thing called the Bay of Pigs. We went to oust a young man named Fidel. Russia threatened to blow us to the other side with nukes if we did not stand down. Therefore John and Bobby caved and left several dozen CIA and Military Special Forces to hang! I think we are making progress...right?

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:48 PM, TMFDitty wrote:

    drfrank1: Your comment is both on point and welcome. Please know that I am cognizant of this -- and if you catch me being flippant, or otherwise making light of this situation, I expect to be called out on it.

    That said, world events do have an impact on people's finances, and people do need to anticipate what that impact might be. If the Fool doesn't offer guidance from this perspective, who will?

    --TMFDitty

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 5:52 PM, Wills61 wrote:

    Go Roadrunners! 5th Infantry Fort Polk Louisiana!

    Operation Just Cause! Hell yes we invaded Panama. We were successful!

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 6:12 PM, Wills61 wrote:

    I would also like to add this tidbit. I have been told my entire life that war is good for the economy. It is contrived by people in power everywhere to get their share back.

    I am no warmonger to be sure. However if I have a chance to get me some I will. Just keep your hands off of my stack!

    It is (not) Foolish to think one can make money without wars and rumors of wars. This is the system that man has set forth. It be corrupt no doubt.

    I understand the need for someone to offer moral guidance in the realms of humanity.

    If one is looking for religious guidance TBN,CBN or the CCTV channels may be a better fit.

    Pat Robertson actually has an investment segment and he is a preacher!

    The Fools offer mostly objective common sense to most situations.

    By the way Dr Drew needs to lay off Florida on his slanted talk show. Stay the heck out of Florida Drew! Mrs Ali needs some new hats too! She hates everyone equally.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 6:32 PM, veritasvincit wrote:

    Thank you for the article, TMFDitty. The business and economic implications of conflict anywhere are valid, and your thoughtful readers understand that the Fool's and your empathy for the human suffering that has and will occur is presumed.

    @papko, look into the US interventions in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in addition to Panama and Grenada. LBJ send airborne troops to the DR in the 1960s to prevent "a second Cuba".

    TMFDitty, can you give us your thoughts about the influence that the very wealthiest people in the world might have upon the actions (and inaction) of governments in foreign policy and military decisions? I ask in the absence of cynicism, but with the thought that oligarchs and billionaires certainly don't want to see dramatic reductions in economic activity any more than the rest of us do. Civil and/or international war, in this case, in Europe and potentially Asia and the Middle East, cannot serve the conventional cause of wealth generation that abides during times of mutual prosperity.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 6:46 PM, cmalek wrote:

    The one and only reason I am worried about the situation in the Ukraine is that Obama will decide to leave his mark on history and involve US in that mess. Starting with Korea, US Presidents had the misguided idea that United States is the World's Cop and have sent us and our kids into every God forsaken military conflict on the planet. All it did was waste a lot money and get Americans killed for no reason. Now Obama

    has his chance to try to impose Pax Americana on another part of the world we should have no interest in.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 6:51 PM, TMFDitty wrote:

    veritasvincit: Surprisingly, some of the very wealthiest people in Ukraine may be helping to calm this conflict down. Kiev has begun appointing Ukraine's oligarchs to take over as governors of several restive provinces in the east. The hope is that they'll find it in their business interest to settle things down there. Also, they've ties to Russia, which might give them some pull with President Putin.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 7:09 PM, thunderboltnova wrote:

    I'm scared so I sold everything today. Thanks on the advice to get out of the market. I'll be buying back at Dow 4000 as Harry Dent promises.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 7:17 PM, cmalek wrote:

    @Mathman6577:

    "The US will not increase defense spending. "

    If Obama sends troops there, defense spending WILL increase.

    @XXF:

    Please check the last 1000 years of history of that region. All you will see is examples of Russian imperialism. Russian governments have always believed that it is Russia's Manifest Destiny to rule both Europe and Asia. Toward that end, they subjugated all the countries from the Baltic Sea to the Bering Sea. Putin's goal is to re-conquer all the breakaway republics and recreate the Greater Russia as it existed under the Tzars and the Communists.

    @AFMS:

    Russia did not worry in 1956 when they sent troops into Hungary. They did not worry in1968 when they sent troops into Czechoslovakia. They did not worry when they invaded Afghanistan. They did not worry when they sent troops into Georgia, Chechnya and other breakaway regions. Russia will not worry about sending troops into the Ukraine because they know nobody will stop them. Other countries will rattle their sabers, send strongly worded diplomatic notes but, in the end, nobody will do anything concrete.

    @Wills61:

    Wars, like WWI & WWII, may be good for the economy but police actions, incursions and putting out brush fires, IOW everything the US has been involved in in the last 50 years, are not. Just look what the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have done to US economy. They certainly haven't helped it.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 8:13 PM, sagitarius84 wrote:

    The best time to buy is when there is blood on the streets:

    http://www.dividendgrowthinvestor.com/2014/01/how-to-buy-whe...

    Cheers!

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 8:45 PM, veritasvincit wrote:

    @TMFDitty,

    Thanks for your reply. I do hope that the economic interests will calm this situation down. All wars are vastly complex. Battlefield histories rarely reveal the political and economic forces that affect strategies and priorities. However, most modern wars have economics and access to resources at their core.

    Thanks again.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 9:41 PM, Wills61 wrote:

    I am way diversified..bought more of a secret weapon today..Thanks Fools!

    Baron Rothschild, is credited with that quote Sagittarius84. Good One!

    SOOOOO True!

    One should decide if they are a Trader or an Investor.

    Traders may be staying up all night for a while.

    As for me and my house..we'll see ya in 45 years after a nice long nap.

    Thanks for the history reminders everybody.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 10:49 PM, gskinner75006 wrote:

    None of our business.

  • Report this Comment On March 04, 2014, at 12:45 AM, VExplorer wrote:

    @ PlanetCatcher,

    I have no idea what is your source of info and/or interest. But your statements are very provocative.

    My origin is Zaporizhzhya, East Ukraine. I'm Jew. My wife is Russian. It was an issue (but not a life threat at least for last 50 years) to be a Jew (Armenian, Tatar, Greek, even Polish), but never ever it was an issue to be an Russian in East Ukraine. No threat to Russians in Ukraine. No threat to Russian's military bases in Crimea (from whom?). Revolt in Kiev was not against Russian, not fueled by national ideas, but against totally corrupted regime.

    P.S. Only significant impact of this will be a shift in view on Iran/N.Korea nuclear programs. Ukraine is ONLY country which discharge nukes in replace to guaranties of defense of US/UK and Russia. Now we see real worth of those guaranties (Iran/N.Korea/Pakistan and others see as well).

  • Report this Comment On March 04, 2014, at 2:58 AM, ellaerdos wrote:

    PlanetCatcher is correct, there are few things happening in the Ukraine that are clear or well understood in the west.

    What is clear is that once again some fool has started beating the war drum over a situation that we have little interest in and no control over.

    Give it a rest.

  • Report this Comment On March 04, 2014, at 7:38 AM, ilsm50 wrote:

    Latvia joining NATO was one thing.

    Putin sees a EU-NATO "presence" due south of Moscow the way US might have seen a Soviet pact with Canada in 1970.

    Next some Russian nation will smack around a Ukraine and there will be a permanent presence of 4 NATO brigades and supports in Ukraine.

    NATO needs a catchy name for a "Camp Bonsteil" in Ukraine.

  • Report this Comment On March 04, 2014, at 8:46 AM, XXF wrote:

    @cmalek

    Really the only relevant consideration of your post is the fact that Russia cannot rule all of Europe and Asia as the European powers lie to their west and China and Japan to the east. Russia's sphere of influence includes certainly most of Ukraine unquestionably including Crimea. The foundation of the Pax Americana is that global powers get to exercise within their sphere with minimal interference under fairly loose guidelines. As long as Russia follows the guidelines, such as no/limited human rights abuses and some degree of self determination/democracy we should be leaving Russia alone.

    Alternatively we should invade Ukraine by way of Tibet and really get WWIII off to a rousing start.

  • Report this Comment On March 04, 2014, at 9:45 AM, snickerdoodle9 wrote:

    As a long term investor my diversified portfolio of reinvested high yield dividend stocks ( paying out monthly ) / blue chip and corp bonds ( cash payouts once every 6 months ) have survived much worse than the Ukraine War ..... I am a " Fool " who sleeps worry free as the profits continue to pay me handsomely regardless of any global turmoil . Knowing what I own in my portfolio has definitely served me well .

  • Report this Comment On March 04, 2014, at 9:20 PM, BeliaR wrote:

    What a sh*t-beginning-article. He hasn't said that there're almost 30-40% russians living in Ukraine. That there's 60% russians living in Crimea. That Crimea was something like a present to Ukraine. That more than two-thirds of present Ukraine lands is presents of russian tsars (1654-1917) and presidents (1917-...) That Ukraine as a state was formed thanks to Russian Federation. And that almost all trade turnover goes with Russia. And after there's some nationalists say that they are going to come to power... Isn't that strange? Should Russia sit and watch how sh*t goes on? After such strage new laws new Rada makes.

    And finally after there's a threat to existing of sea-military base. And so on. And where it really will "invade" is only Crimea. Rich Smith, after reading your article you don't look professional reporter to me...

    to @VExplorer

    Wait till Yarosh (learn his idealogy first) and party "Liberty" (nationalistic party) come to power. Then you'll regret that you're a jew.

    And your point of view is very narrow. You need to watch wider.

    And what about anti-russian language law? What about monuments to be brought down? Little by little ... Sevastopol isn't russian sails city? And so on.

    Isn't that a beginning of something bigger?

    You say "No threat to Russian's military bases in Crimea (from whom?)" - that's really very stupid question...

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 1:01 PM, rrl1124 wrote:

    easy solution to this mess, make it a real estate transaction. Ukraine puts a price on crimea and Russia buys it. Ukraine uses the money to pay down on all debt. Russia gets what it wants and already technically has.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 1:05 PM, junktex wrote:

    We are in no position to lecture anyone on interventionism.It's our national foreign policy.In fact it was our meddling that caused this mess in Ukraine as it is in Venezuela/Syria.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 1:21 PM, Longfisher wrote:

    Why is it that the author decided to use the image of Soviet tanks from long ago in this article?

    BTW, as someone who once studied the Russian language I know that CCCP in the picture means Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in Russian. That union was dissolved long ago.

    Is someone trying to scare us?

    LF

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 1:27 PM, ONTIME wrote:

    The phrase "Peace thru strength" is not without merit, "Trust but verify." a proven negotiation rule and this ineptitude demonstrated by this administration of fraud has encroached upon all the strengths we have leaned and demonstrated throughout our history, the impact we now see has been horrendous and we are now in a pickle, we look foolish and confused and act as though we are in our last days.

    We have the men and women to put this nation back on track and resume the course we have set for over two hundred years, we need to use the clean up crew to wash down the spattered walls and clean out the halls of the government that have been trashed with debris....we either do this and do it soon or we lose this Republic...

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 1:28 PM, klock wrote:

    We will not do anything militarily in the region, nor should we. If we moved in our sphere of influence and Russia said anything we would tell them to pound sand. My guess is that is exactly what Putin is telling Obama.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 1:29 PM, jvgfool wrote:

    All the neighboring states should invade Russia as allies to the Ukraine. There is no way Russia can defend all those borders. Russia would pull out of Crimea very quickly.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 1:57 PM, gastrickland2003 wrote:

    The territorial aspirations of Mother Russia are well documented. Czarist ambitions are no different than todays. Gen. Patton was right, we should of liberated Russia when we had the chance. No end to their trouble making now.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 2:07 PM, 092326 wrote:

    The Crimea was given to the Ukraine by a former Russian leader and functions as a semi-autonomous enclave, is the only warm water base for the Russian Fleet, and 58% of its population is pro-Russian speaking people. As long as the rest of the Ukraine remains free of Russian intervention. I fail to see any cause for undue alarm.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 2:08 PM, Haggy wrote:

    When there was a big to do in the news about this, we were told that stocks would take a dive and they did. Then we were told that the crisis was averted. The next day my portfolio was up perhaps more than I ever had seen on a single day.

    This did two things. First of all, it reinforced my thesis that the secret to wealth is to start investing early and put away as much as you can. A single gain in one morning was more than five times what my annual salary was when I started investing.

    That had nothing to do with the Ukraine though. It did have to do with riding things out when I thought my investments were fundamentally sound. I have to ask myself whether this would affect the specific companies I invest in, and to what extent. Would people in the US eat out less often? Would the price of oil cause slimmer margins? Would it trigger a worldwide recession? Even if all these things happened, I'd have to look at whether I would have better places to invest. Would other companies be plagued with the same problems?

    There are those who are of the school of thought that it's good to invest in recession proof industries. It sounds good in theory, but if they are not doing better in the long run than where my money is, I'll leave it where it is.

    But this still doesn't talk about the Ukraine. These risks are with us at all times. It doesn't have to be the Ukraine. It can be anything that affects the overall economy. So the answer may not be looking at the Ukraine but looking at how your investment strategy can survive ups and downs over the long term regardless of the cause.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 2:31 PM, famulla wrote:

    The historic stock bull market that grew out of the ashes of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression officially turns five years old this weekend.

    While sophisticated investors continue to count their gains from the second best bull run in the post-war period, many battle-scarred retail investors feel left out of the party.

    Ironically, the lack of retail participation during much the '09-'14 run may have helped keep it alive, preventing valuations from getting out of whack with mediocre fundamentals.

    “Bull markets come to an end when everybody has bought in. People tend to sell at the same time, but they buy in at staggered times,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at S&P Capital IQ.

    Since bottoming out at 6547 on March 9, 2009, the Dow Industrials have ripped off nearly 10,000 points as the collapse of the financial system was averted and economic growth eventually returned.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 2:38 PM, gdthjiic wrote:

    We make money while they die because we can and its what we do being humans. There are so many humans on earth we are becoming a plague. Nothing will change until there is a paradigm shift. So let's make profit and be happy.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 2:39 PM, dicmal wrote:

    First, Putin had this planned all along while the Winter Olympics were going on. The Ukrainian president had negotiated his escape with his massive amount of loot to Russia,but had to wait til the Olympics were over to bolt. Putin never liked him anyway but couldn't pass, up the pretext to take back the Crimea which Kruschev drunkenly gave away 60 years earlier. Since then Russia has lusted after it, but for no good reason. Except for the nice town of Yalta,a mediocre beach resort,and an aging sub base,the Crimea is a third world area with no redeeming features. Ships leaving the Black Sea can easily be blockaded,and the sub base is not defensible with current NATO boundaries as they are. In short,capturing the Crimea would be like our capturing Guatemala- a needy stepchild,with no means of defense. The only reason for capturing parts of Ukraine is a macho display with no negative consequence for the West except face. However, we must up the ante by stealth overflights of F16s sending sonic booms over the southern Crimean peninsula, and beefing up NATO forces. Just as with Reagan, the military build up required to defend against NATO's multiple points of attack will severely harm Russia's domestic budget and stir the populace to imitate its Ukrainian neighbors in revolt.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 2:41 PM, famulla wrote:

    With Ukraine, some countries were wary of bringing a nation with a patchy record on human rights and rule of law so close to the fold. Southern European nations trying to forge closer ties with Russia were wary of provoking Moscow. But countries which had experienced Soviet rule saw Ukraine as a worthwhile prize in the geopolitical battle with their former masters.

    The result was no unanimity on offering a path to membership, and some demands – like the release of the jailed former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko – which would be raised by some nations then swept under the carpet by others. After President Yanukovych pulled out of signing the agreement, a humbled EU appeared to drop the sticks in favor of the carrots, and stressed the need for dialogue while testing the waters with new financial aid packages.

    As the bodies started piling up in Independence Square earlier this week, it became clear such an approach was not working, and EU foreign ministers on Thursday agreed on a package of sanctions. Three of their number headed to Kiev for the most intense negotiations yet, and appear to have been instrumental in negotiating a deal for early elections.

    The situation in Ukraine remains shaky, not least because large swathes of the east of the country still support President Yanukovych and want to maintain ties with Russia. If the peace agreement does hold, a new interim government should be in place soon. Saryusz-Wolski says the EU should offer a beefed-up association agreement, with clearer promises of financial aid and a pledge of visa-free travel. While nations still cannot agree on offering a concrete path to membership, assurances should be made that it remains on the table.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 2:43 PM, famulla wrote:

    Leaders of both houses of Russia’s Parliament said on Friday that they would support a vote by Crimea to break away from Ukraine and become a new region of the Russian Federation, the first public signal that the Kremlin was backing the secessionist move that Ukraine

    Valentina I. Matviyenko, the chairwoman of the upper house, the Federation Council, compared the vote to a scheduled referendum in Scotland on whether to become independent from Britain, omitting the fact that London has agreed to the ballot. Ukraine’s new interim leaders have fiercely opposed splintering the country.

    The remarks by the leaders, both close political allies of President Vladimir V. Putin, came a day after Crimea’s regional assembly voted behind closed doors to secede from Ukraine and to hold a referendum on March 16 for voters in the region to ratify the decision. On Friday a delegation of lawmakers from Crimea arrived in Moscow to lay the groundwork for joining Russia, winning strong endorsements from senior lawmakers.

    Ms. Matviyenko told them, according to Interfax news agency. “Many threats have been made against you; there were threats of attacks, in particular, against the Black Sea Fleet, but you endured that and protected your people.”

    Only three days ago, Mr. Putin said he did not foresee the possibility of Crimea becoming part of Russia, though he cited the independence of Kosovo as a precedent. “We will in no way provoke such any such decision and will not breed such sentiments,” he said. The Kremlin has not yet directly addressed the possibility of Crimea’s secession.

    Kiev said it would invalidate the decision (of the Crimea Parliament)and dissolve the Crimean Parliament.Officials in Kiev had already declared the Crimean Parliament to be acting illegally, and a court issued an arrest warrant for Sergei Aksyonov, the leader of the breakaway effort, who was installed as prime minister of Crimea after armed men seized the Parliament building last week.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 2:45 PM, famulla wrote:

    The problem is not Ukraine is Russia. Russia is a country, which for centuries the only ones who were able to rule her, were strong men or women, weak leaderships in Russia had always failed. I will not write an essay about Russian history, but this is too simple. Just remember who were since XV Century the most successful sovereigns. Ivan IV who killed his son and murdered thousands of Russians, put fire the city of Novogorod, but at the same time he was successful in waging wars against the traditional enemies of Moscow. He was the second Tsar after Ivan III. We have to remember as well, Peter I the Great (Pyotr Bielikij) an extraordinary statesman, who was very successful in reshaping the Russian Empire, in my opinion after the election of the Romanov dynasty (1613) he was the true organizer of the Empire, even the first one to use the title of Imperator following Roman and Byzantine traditions. Russia was the Third Rome. He was a successful militar leader, he defeated King Charles of Sweden, the Poles and most of the traditional Russian foes. He built up Saint Petersburg after his voyage through Europe, his aim was to open a "window to Western Europe". But he was extremely cruel like Ivan IV, he didn't care to execute his own son and heir to the Throne, as Ivan IV did. But he will be remember always for his postive legacy, the man who left a country such as Russia as one of the big European powers. Ekaterina Bielikaya many years later, born Sophie Princess of Anhalt Zebst was going to continue his work, she was again a very cruel woman, who murdered her own husband Peter III (Romanov Holstein Gottorp), but she extended the boundaries of the Russian Empire and reached the Black Sea and the Caucasus. Catherine the Great was a little bit bipolar, on one hand she loved the great thinkers of her time, like Voltaire and Rousseau, on the other hand she was a tremendous Autocrat without mercy or pity, she ordered the assassination as well of Ivan VI the true Tsar, but she modernised Russia as Peter did it before her. Her successor and son Paul I was irrelevant and was murdered by the Orlov, Potemkin and count Pahlen, who was in charge of Russia in times of Napoleon and his wars was Alexander I a good Tsar but without enough character. Nevertheless he was very successful after the fall of Napoleon in the reorganisation of the entire Europe with Prince Metternich, the Austrian Chancellor, Lord Castlereagh, and Prince Charles Maurice the Talleyrand. This Europe lasted until the Great War from 1914 to 1918. Nicholas I and his son Alexander II were great emperors and autocrats as well. Nicholas smashed the very aristocratic and liberal revolution of December 1825, but later on, he signed alliances with Austria and Prussia.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 2:59 PM, famulla wrote:

    New legislation has passed the state's House and landed on the desk of Republic Gov. C.L. 'Butch' Otter, who is likely to sign the measure into law

    Idaho lawmakers voted Thursday to allow concealed guns to be carried onto college and university campuses, so long as the weapons stay out of the dorms or large entertainment venues seating more than 1,000 people.

    The legislation, which passed the state House 50 to 19, is now on the desk of Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, who supports the proposal on Second Amendment grounds, the Spokesman-Review reports.

    While the proposal has broad support in the state legislature—the Senate passed the bill in February, 25 to 10—there is overwhelming opposition among members of the Idaho education community. All eight public university presidents, the state Board of Education, faculty senates and student associations oppose the measure, according to the Spokesman-Review. Greg Hampikian, a professor of biology and criminal justice at Boise State University, penned an op-ed for the New York Times titled “When May I Shoot A Student?“

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 3:01 PM, ecrivan wrote:

    I don't think it will worry certain manufacturers who will compete with each other to have the latest in weaponry and warfare equipment..Putin must have considered the benefits of grabbing the Cimea well before the invasion and I wonder whether the Ukranians saw it coming, They should have realized their military shortcomings and the loss of a region so heavily populated by ethnic Russians knowing that this is what Russia "does best"..the excuse for intervention being the defense of the ethnic bretheren. Just look at what happened in Georgia 6 years ago!People have such short memories!I hope the Russians withdraw from the region and respect Ukranian autonomy without inforcing a referendum in the Crimea while holding the Ukraine hostage..

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 3:20 PM, iliusa321 wrote:

    Who ever is saying that russia is doing something bad to ukraine YOU ARE WRONG. 1. Have russian troop killed anyone in the ukraine? NO , the right sector of ukraine are the ones that are there and killing citizens that have not done anything wrong, they have snipers which they use to kill police and citizens. they are the ones who are killing people in ukraine and Russia has not killed a single person since they moved in to crimea. If you would watch ukrainian news or russian news you would see ukraine people saying things like "Russia we need your help because we wont be able to hold for any longer because of the right sector" they are asking for help and also on thursday its been said that people of crimea have agreed to join Russia because they do not feel any connection to ukraine. Also its been said that obamas move with his carrier ship which carries planes and helicopter is illegal and he is not allowed to enter the black sea. Also obama has said that he communicated with ukraine and offered them money to help with the economy but its a lie , the ukraine parliment has said that no communication with the USA about economy was made. its been said that this is USA trying to make an anti-russian project.who ever thinks that russia is doing something bad and against the law you have been BRAINWASHED by obama , do some research, dont just look at your english news try using a translator to translate news from russian or ukraine!!!

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 3:26 PM, HoosierRube wrote:

    I don't think you have to worry about the U.S. embarking on any 'lead from the front' wars.

    I'm not sure a single conservative would willingly fight for the United States of Obama.

    And certainly no liberal would every fight for anything.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 3:36 PM, RxDan1 wrote:

    I am glad to see Defense and Oil stocks go down or disintegrate at some point...don't own and they either have no Utility or leave carbon footprints. Yes, I know there can be indirect affects but I still do not care. BUT, I am still against any military action anywhere which should be kind of obvious.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 3:44 PM, RxDan1 wrote:

    Maybe it is time for the MF to bone up on or, enhance their ethics when recommending stocks. No more wars, no military offense department (come on really ? You think we have a Defense Dept?), NO MORE OIL !!

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 3:47 PM, Hetman wrote:

    Well, as history can teach us, relying on the "expert" journalists fro NEW YORK TIMES is of lesser value than the ink she wasted! Let me remind you of another NEW YORK TIMES brainy nitwit who went to Russia to investigate "rumors" of GRATE FAMINE of 1929-1933, GENOCIDE committed by STALIN and his cohorts, notably Chrushchev personally responsible for the FINAL SLOUTION in UKRAINE! The fellow travelled visited "every village"(sic) only to find happy villagers loading up on lard, salt pork and other goodies! while singing peans to Batyushka STALIN!!! Fellow did received promptly a PULITZER for an "investigative reporting!!!"(sic).

    My late Father rescued 7 year old Ukrainian Boy while Peace Loving COMMUNIST were shooting at him while he swam to freedom...on the Polish side of the border! He told, young Polish Army conscripts, my family ATE MY BROTHER!!! I was next on the menu! I commend Rich for bringing the AMERICANS here on this forum to their senses by illustrating the economic damages to US investors. The mistake, he makes in my opinion, however is that he assumes: "if the things get out of hand". When one looks how cold blooded are Ras-PUTINS calculations and actions, its appalling to me that we still pay our idiots in CIA, State Department, etc! Just consider the chronology of events: Ras-PUTIN puts Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad ostensibly being upset with 10 PATRIOT missiles in Poland. Prior to disclosing their presence, he moves at least 2 Air Fighter wings to "democratic" republic of Bealarus and conducts the largest maneuvers there dubbed "Attack from the West" last year! These positions are necessary to stage the flank attacks aginst Poland should Europe decide to uphold the guarantees given to UKRAINE in exchange for giving up their nukes. There is also annexed piece of real estate called Naddniestria, stolen from MOLDOVA and ROMANIA, to have a flanking capability against any European ideas of helping UKRAINE escape the mortal squeeze!

    Gentleman, RUSSIA is poised to conquer UKRAINE regardless of our feckless POLICY or even more feckless so called Commander-in Chief, who famously declared himself to be "leading from behind!". Being an investor in that region, I would say the danger is MORTAL! I also think that Russians will ultimately take over POLAND, its a matter of time! The crash of Polish Government plane in Smolensk, killing Polish President, the most important PEOPLE in that country and entire MILITARY command of that country was as much an accident as polon poisoning of MR. Litwinienko was a food poisoning.

    Be scared to death and act accordingly, regardless of what apologists of RUSSIAN terror write here!

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 4:08 PM, staceymott wrote:

    I wish Motley Fool would poll their officers and staff to find how many of them volunteered for U.S. military service in order to protect the interest of investors by getting involved in a foreign war. The response to this article in heartening to one who thinks we should cooperate with allied interests to maintain peace and security in the world rather than trying to straighten out everyone who crosses our path.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 4:54 PM, nswanberg wrote:

    The Russians want Crimea and the "unrest" in the Ukraine was only an excuse to take it. No way to kick them out as it is right next to their border. This is a case of might makes right.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 5:04 PM, AlanDJ wrote:

    This is a worthless article. It ignores both the human side of this story, and is only a shallow filler piece on the investment side. Come on, Motley Fool. You're better than this.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 5:28 PM, aaron987 wrote:

    My own 2 cents:

    Making investment decisions based on world events is not unethical, even if those events include war.

    To be clear, nobody in their right mind wants a war. But at the same time, I see no problem with taking advantage of a buying opportunity if the events are beyond my control.

    There are times when it makes sense to consider social causes into investment decisions. For example, if Widget Makers Inc. had terrible sweat shops and working conditions in Asia, I wouldn't buy, because the company has the power to change those conditions and chooses not to.

    War or natural disaster is a different matter. Take Chevron for instance, which was mentioned in the article. Chevron didn't start the war, and they have limited power to stop it. As unfortunate as it is to hear about the possibility of war, I see no reason to blame Chevron.

    In fact, in some sense, it could actually be more socially responsible if you did profit from a war. Think about it this way: If the company has no role in the war, and you make money from it, you can give some of that money to charities that go out and help people. Whether or not you invest has no bearing on the war itself, so you might as well make money from it and donate some of it. You will be helping more people than if you didn't invest to begin with, because the war will or won't happen either way. But if you invest, you will have more to donate.

    Some food for thought.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 5:43 PM, mmmed wrote:

    I thought this was one of the lamest MF articles in some time because it really didn't give me any reason to fear that war.

    Gas development occurs over a decade like time frame so a couple years will require catch up of less than a couple years with little impact to net output. Airliner orders are backed up so far that the few Ukrainian orders will only let a few others move up in line and lengthen the order list if any are damaged in the war. Steel isn't in short supply so reduced Ukrainian output means someone else will supply with little price hike. Commodities are needed whether there's a war or not.

    I agree that at the end of the day it's not the No. 1 priority for the United States.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 6:47 PM, veritasvincit wrote:

    May I suggest that we be objective regarding the scope of this article, the author, and The Motley Fool:

    TMF tries to provide information, opinions, articles, interviews, and forums regarding investing, finance, and economics. I don't think it intends to show excessive pretense outside those topics.

    Naturally, politics and current events impact investment risks and opportunities (and vice versa), and are certainly relevant. As long as they avoid pontificating, I don't think TMF or its contributors need to offer moral & ethical disclaimers every time they publish. Until we see contrary evidence, may we presume TMF authors have empathy for other souls? Meantime, let's talk about investing.

    Indeed, the credentials of TMFDitty seem to add considerable credibility to his article. At least he's been to Ukraine and Russia.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 8:59 PM, BillFromNY wrote:

    We should have a referendum in the US on whether we should re-start the cold war. One or two percent? That dangerous and expensive period of friction with the Soviet Union cost hundreds of thousands of lives, including 50,000 young American lives in Vietnam.

    At least we had a theory, no matter how screwy, for that war: the Domino Theory. If the US let the Communist government of North Vietnam overrun South Vietnam, then the next thing you know Thailand would be Communist, then Australia, France and Iceland. Or something like that.

    We are not the world's policemen. Do you think that the Russians want us telling them what to do? Does Obama think that we have the moral high ground? What about slaves and Native Americans. What about the terror bombings of Japanese cities that killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians, mostly women, children, and the elderly? And the piece de resistance: dropping not one but two nuclear weapons on said Japanese women, children, and elderly, when avenues for surrender had not been exhausted.

    If pressure must be brought on Russia, let the Europeans do it. We have more than enough on our plate with all the terrorists who would enjoy seeing nuclear devices detonated on our homeland.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 10:02 PM, BeliaR wrote:
  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 10:09 PM, BeliaR wrote:

    @ Hetman

    U need to go to a doctor. So much lies...

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 10:44 PM, CampTuto wrote:

    How do you think the U.S. would react if the Russian's wanted a country bordering us to join their equivalent of NATO? We might just want to take things down a notch and stop beating on other people doors. Nothing was going on over there until we started making things safer.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2014, at 11:00 PM, livermore wrote:

    I just would like to correct a little bit.

    Ukraine population more than 55% Russian.

    Crimea area 70-90% of the people Russian.

    More than 70% of the export going to Russia.

    By the way anyone know, before this week Ukraine get 30% discount on the gas price (old government had agreement, they got the 30% discount if they not stilling the gas what went to Europe)

    Germany 36% of gas supplies come from Russia,

    France 34%, some eastern Europe country gas supplies 80% come from Russian and come through on Ukraine.

    Monday the new Ukraine government had deal with Gazprom, but the new deal is not 30% discount, its actually double price, what they had before.......

    and business as usual.....

    I am not russian, but if i had to make a choice about i want to be in the new Ukraine or Russia, i choose Russia, they don't have 45% Debt compare to the GDP, they not taking Loan from IMF, and they do not have to save 12-16% saving on social expenditure to pay that loan, and this is just a start...........

    Another, question: who want to start a war what You cannot win, or a war against your brother, cousin, nephew etc...

    If someone really want to read between the misleading media lines,

    just have a look, who talk with Obama first about the Ukraine crisis

    Israel PM, and he cannot support US on this as well......

    So maybe You can spend your time more valuable and watch the movie:

    Wag the dog

    and You get more information guys!

    Have a great weekend

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 3:51 AM, Henryfraenkl969 wrote:

    1)If you want to be successful in live there are always some kind of threats to your money. So there are certain threats that are foreseeable. Like criminal minded people. On the surface they behave humans, only to get you later. This advice I can give to everybody. Whatever they are talking is only to make believe - its not for real. If you find out and you talk facts with them, they are afraid that their mask will fall on the ground and their true face will show. That this doesn't happen they will kill you for nothing.

    2)The other treat is global economy, Russia holds about 200 Bi..$ in Us dept papers. Will the whole economy collapse? Can they do something on this front?

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 11:32 AM, DL30 wrote:

    Send all those brand new tanks that are just being stockpiled and are of no use to our military. They like tanks over there, we are not planning to use them, sounds like a win win for everyone. Then no one can say we didn't do anything.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 11:37 AM, DL30 wrote:

    Why is everyone all upset about Russia invading other countries, yet it was OK for us to invade Iraq?

    And actually they have not even invaded anyone yet......

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 12:19 PM, SkepikI wrote:

    Rich: I did not see any indication that you are a vet, but I certainly see little appreciation for the dark history of Russia for centuries. I spent most of my adult life standing (well ok, sailing) between most of you, your homes and family and wars desolation. All of that was in opposition to the USSR. Those who think the rabid oppressors in Russia disappeared along with the moniker USSR in the late 80's need to read or re-read Solzhenitsyn, Dostoyevsky, Lenin, and a few others.

    Russia has been a very dark place for multiple centuries and nothing has changed. Much like Syria, I believe we have few friends anywhere east of Poland, and even if we have friends in the Ukraine, much like Syria, we can't tell who they are.

    I think some of you should reread cmalek commentary with regard to history as well.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 4:31 PM, cmalek wrote:

    @PlanetCatcher:

    How much is Moscow paying you to defend Mother Russia???

    @CampTuto:

    "How do you think the U.S. would react if the Russian's wanted a country bordering us to join their equivalent of NATO?"

    The answer is Cuban Missile Crisis in 1961.

    @livermore:

    Russia has most of Europe by the gas tank and Europe is afraid Russia will squeeze.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 4:26 PM, famulla wrote:

    Hiding evidence? That means there was something on the plane that someone didn't want anyone else to see. Seems a bit over the top to kill yourselves and 275 other people to accomplish this sort of mission. I'm for the hijacking gone wrong theory, makes the most sense to me. That's why nobody's taken credit. The idea of the hijackers headed for Europe from Asia seems a bit unrealistic. First they'd have to cover a lot of monitored air space while trying to explain what they were doing there. If they were Chinese bred terrorists, Uighur's or whatever, and they were on their way to Beijing anyway why not just destroy the airport? No one would suspect their intentions until it was way too late. No worry about being intercepted because they were not supposed to be there etc. I distrust Big Brother as much or more than the next guy but it might be time for a retinal scan of just about everybody so we know who's who. If the terrorists were Chinese or Asians of any kind, how does one pass for an ethnic Italian? I suppose that not all Italians look Italian in the traditional sense, but maybe in a case like this and a world like this one maybe more flags ought to be raised under these circumstances.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 4:30 PM, famulla wrote:

    It is only a matter of time before the stock market plunges by 50% or more, according to several reputable experts.

    “We have no right to be surprised by a severe and imminent stock market crash,” explains Mark Spitznagel, a hedge fund manager who is notorious for his hugely profitable billion-dollar bet on the 2008 crisis. “In fact, we must absolutely expect it."

    Unfortunately Spitznagel isn’t alone.

    “We are in a gigantic financial asset bubble,” warns Swiss adviser and fund manager Marc Faber. “It could burst any day.”

    Faber doesn’t hesitate to put the blame squarely on President Obama’s big government policies and the Federal Reserve’s risky low-rate policies, which, he says, “penalize the income earners, the savers who save, your parents — why should your parents be forced to speculate in stocks and in real estate and everything under the sun?”

    Billion-dollar investor Warren Buffett is rumored to be preparing for a crash as well. The “Warren Buffett Indicator,” also known as the “Total-Market-Cap to GDP Ratio,” is breaching sell-alert status and a collapse may happen at any moment.

    So with an inevitable crash looming, what are Main Street investors to do?

    One option is to sell all your stocks and stuff your money under the mattress, and another option is to risk everything and ride out the storm.

    But according to Sean Hyman, founder of Absolute Profits, there is a third option.

    “There are specific sectors of the market that are all but guaranteed to perform well during the next few months,” Hyman explains. “Getting out of stocks now could be costly.”

    How can Hyman be so sure?

    He has access to a secret Wall Street calendar that has beat the overall market by 250% since 1968. This calendar simply lists 19 investments (based on sectors of the market) and 38 dates to buy and sell them, and by doing so, one could turn $1,000 into as much as $300,000 in a 10-year time frame.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 4:39 PM, famulla wrote:

    The amount of debt globally has soared more than 40 percent to $100 trillion since the first signs of the financial crisis as governments borrowed to pull their economies out of recession and companies took advantage of record low interest rates, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

    The $30 trillion increase from $70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 compares with a $3.86 trillion decline in the value of equities to $53.8 trillion in the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The jump in debt as measured by the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS in its quarterly review is almost twice the U.S.’s gross domestic product.

    Borrowing has soared as central banks suppress benchmark interest rates to spur growth after the U.S. subprime mortgage market collapsed and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy sent the world into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Yields on all types of bonds, from governments to corporates and mortgages, average about 2 percent, down from more than 4.8 percent in 2007, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market Index.

    “Given the significant expansion in government spending in recent years, governments (including central, state and local governments) have been the largest debt issuers,” according to Branimir Gruic, an analyst, and Andreas Schrimpf, an economist at the BIS. The organization is owned by 60 central banks and hosts the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a group of regulators and central bankers that sets global capital standards.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 4:48 PM, famulla wrote:

    Bravo, sanity at last. Sadly, I don't think the scholarly consensus on immigration and employment will find its way into the Mail and other outlets. Reminds me of a story I read about Denmark at the beginning of this year:

    "Workers from Poland, Lithuania, Romania and seven other eastern European nations contributed more to Danish welfare between 2009 and 2011 than they received in benefits from the state, a study from the Finance Ministry revealed. The figures show that eastern Europeans are in Denmark to work and not to exploit Danish social benefits like the SU student grant or unemployment benefits, according to Bo Sandemann Rasmussen, a professor in economics at Aarhus University."

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 4:53 PM, famulla wrote:

    Speaking at an event organised by the European Parliament's Socialist group, Stiglitz said central banks should look to strike a balance between controlling inflation and supporting job creation.

    "The ECB's mandate needs to be changed," he noted.

    Stiglitz is a long-standing critic of inflation-targeting by central banks, believing instead that monetary policy should be used to stimulate employment.

    Stiglitz's remarks came as ECB president Mario Draghi kept the bank's headline rates, including its main interest rate, at the record low of 0.25 percent, following a meeting of the bank's governing council the same day.

    Draghi said the bank decided to leave the rate unchanged because of continued signs the eurozone economy is slowly recovering.

    "We saw our baseline by and large confirmed. There is a continuation of a modest recovery," he told reporters in Frankfurt.

    Draghi has consistently rejected suggestions that Europe's low inflation and stagnant economy could see a repeat of Japan's economic experience, which saw companies and households hold off on spending on expectations of lower prices ahead, leading to two decades of economic stagnation.

    New forecasts published by ECB staff estimate that inflation will stay at 1.0 percent this year, 1.3 percent in 2015, and 1.5 percent in 2016 - comfortably below its 2 percent target all the way through the projection.

    Last month, the bloc's economic affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn, warned that low inflation is making price cuts in the peripheral economies less effective at boosting their competitiveness, making it harder to geographically rebalance the economy.

    However, the ECB's main mandate under the EU treaty is tightly restricted to the maintenance of 'price stability' across the eurozone at a rate of around 2 percent per year.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:20 PM, famulla wrote:

    Women are checking all the time whether luxury wear are made in China , as many of these Made in China these labels are now non-existent and obscured in a difficult to detect area for many brands. Frustrated with their having to make such time-wasting checks sometimes having to ask shop assistants, many women are turning their backs on products that call themselves luxury or with a heavy price tag that are made in China as it spells of poor quality. European and US manufacturers who outsource production to China have done so based on greed for profits. Other brands with the words London, Italy or France after the brand name should be suspected. Some factories in China have even opened "sweatshops" manned by Chinese workers in Italy so that the luxury wear shows the "Made in Italy" label but nonetheless doesn't carry that fine Italy craftsmanship. Very scrupulous indeed. This reminds me of tainted milk powder.

    Next time luxury brands should just put the "Made in China" label CLEARLY in a easy to find place so women know where to glance and walk away.

    Fashion brands who try to sell "luxury" can't win loyalty and be greedy for maximum profits at the same time by hiding country of manufacture, thereby giving shoppers a hard time.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:30 PM, famulla wrote:

    Destroy Trust With Layoffs

    My company told us that everything was fine and then, one day, they called my whole department into a meeting and laid off half of us. I was one of the "lucky" ones. I still have a job. But, we don't believe anything that management tells us and we are all looking for new jobs - under the table. But, we support each other

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:41 PM, famulla wrote:

    Despite their personal differences, Ukrainian opposition leaders Yulia Tymoshenko and Vitali Klitschko put up a united front at a meeting of centre-right EU leaders on Thursday (6 March), warning the West against allowing Russia to invade their country.

    "Putin will go as far as the Western world will allow him to," Tymoshenko said in a speech at the Dublin congress of the European People's Party.

    "If we allow Russia to hold a referendum under the barrel of Kalashnikovs on the annexation of Crimea, we will lose stability throughout the whole world," she said.

    Still in a frail state after more than two years in prison, Tymoshenko confirmed reports she will fly to Germany for medical treatment.

    In a wheelchair, she was accompanied on stage by her daughter, Eugenia, who campaigned tirelessly for her mother's release. They were both welcomed with standing ovations and flowers.

    The EPP has consistently pleaded for Tymoshenko's release, with the party's late chief, Hans Martens, a strong supporter of the Ukrainian politician.

    But other EPP leaders, notably Germany's Angela Merkel, were concerned about giving Tymoshenko too much of a platform. The former prime minister is a polarising figure in Ukraine, after controversial gas deals with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

    EUobserver has learned that Merkel insisted that other opposition figures be invited to the EPP congress. Vitali Klitschko and Arsenyi Yatsenuk were added as speakers, although the latter was unable to make it to Dublin.

    Klitschko and Tymoshenko appeared together for press photos but chose to hold their press conferences separately.

    Of the two, Klitschko seemed more inclined to co-operate.

    "I have been working together with Tymoshenko's party against the regime and I hope to do so in the future," Klitschko said.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:48 AM, mikiehorn wrote:

    Conflict indeed guarantees increased defense spending. Camp Bondsteel (catchy name? eh!) was named after a Medal of Honor Winner and was constructed by KBR in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers. Clinton said we'd be gone from the conflict by Dec 1996 - right? ...

    As a 26 year uniformed service member and now in my 17th year of military contract work - 'pax Americana' over the years has been at a terrible cost of human life and suffering to ourselves and the world - but before one comments - one should have a clear grasp of history leading up to our interventions and a clear statement of conditions of the populations prior and after - that need to be presented.

    I currently live and work in South Korea - a country that's blossomed under 'pax Americana' - our role is there now is simply as a nuclear deterrent against the North - as a result of our feckless and incoherent policies over the last 15 years in the region.

    Mike Horn

    LTC, USA, ret

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2014, at 2:47 AM, cajun1958 wrote:

    By way of historical background..............

    Crimea was never part of Ukraine!!! It was seized by the Russian Empire from the Turks in the 18th century. Nor at that time the population was Ukranian; it was Tatar, Greek & Turkish with a few

    other groups in significant numbers. This went along merrily enough until Stalin removed the Tatars to Central Asia during WWII; Crimea was briefly in German hands. After the war and Stalin's death, Kruschev (1st Ukranian leader of the USSR) "gifted" Crimea from the Russian Soviet State to the Ukranian SSR but this had little impact since everything was run out of Moscow. Once the Soviets were gone and Ukraine was independent, Crimea became a relatively small issue between the 2 countries until the latest round of stoking an issue that makes Russians patriotically support the govt in Moscow and Ukranians the . one in Kiev. THX

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