Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by Dopefish on Sunday March 09 2014, @01:30AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the back-in-the-USSR dept.

Papas Fritas writes:

"James B. Stewart writes in the NYT that there's one major difference between now and the last time Russia invaded a neighbor (Czechoslovakia in 1968): Now Moscow has a stock market that provides a minute-by-minute referendum on Putin's military and diplomatic actions.

On Monday, the Russian stock market index (RTSI) fell more than 12 percent, in what a Russian official called panic selling and the ruble plunged on currency markets, forcing the Russian central bank to raise interest rates by one and a half percentage points to defend the currency. On Tuesday, as soon as Mr. Putin said he saw no need for further Russian military intervention, the Russian market rebounded by 6 percent. With tensions on the rise once more on Friday, the Russian market may again gyrate when it opens on Monday. Russia is far more exposed to market fluctuations than many countries, since the Russian government owns a majority stake in a number of the country's largest companies and many Russian companies and banks are fully integrated into the global financial system.

The old Soviet Union, in stark contrast, was all but impervious to foreign economic or business pressure, thanks in part to an ideological commitment to self-sufficiency. By contrast, today "Russia is too weak and vulnerable economically to go to war," says Anders Aslund. "The Kremlin's fundamental mistake has been to ignore its economic weakness and dependence on Europe." Almost half of Russia's exports go to Europe, and three-quarters of its total exports consist of oil and gas. The energy boom is over, and Europe can turn the tables on Russia after its prior gas supply cuts in 2006 and 2009 replacing this gas with liquefied natural gas, gas from Norway and shale gas.

If the European Union sanctioned Russia's gas supply to Europe, Russia would lose $100 billion or one-fifth of its export revenues, and the Russian economy would be in rampant crisis. Other penalties might include asset freezes and the billionaire Russian elite who are pretty much synonymous with Mr. Putin's friends and allies are the ones who are being severely affected by visa bans, which were imposed by President Obama on Thursday. "The recent events were completely irrational, angering the West for no reason," says one Russian economist. "This is what is most scary, especially for businesses. Instead of reforming the stagnating economy, Putin scared everybody for no reason and with no gain in sight. So it is hard to predict his next actions. But I think a real Cold War is unlikely.""

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday March 09 2014, @01:58AM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday March 09 2014, @01:58AM (#13397) Homepage
    America doesn't exactly have the upper-hand either. Here's why:
    • "Street Cred" -- The U.S. has almost no credibility on the world stage, having meddled destructively and unnecessarily in the Middle-East and with disastrous results. Now that we are no better than they are, we have no standing to claim the moral high-ground. I chuckled to myself when Kerry told Russia to stop meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations, ha. At this point we as a country embarass ourselves whenever we open our mouths on the world stage, and then there's the whole NSA matter which will continue to fester for months, if not years.
    • The U.S. also has a shit economy. Well, its GDP may be decent, but unemployment is at the second-highest point its ever been(and much likely larger than reported due to the voodoo and other shady tricks used to calculate the rate), Americans are becoming ever more distraught and angry with a congressional approval rating of 13%, up from a low of 6% last year, and this anger and distrust is reflected in its guns and ammo sales among other things. You bet your ass we're not buying those guns to use for a Chinese or Russian invasion, we're buying them because we're counting on a catastrophic event which will pit We The People against our own government and other thieving degenerates. Income disparity is super-high, and the rich will take their wealth with them elsewhere because their loyalty is only to money, not nation.
    • Russia are friends with many big and Red nations and other BRICS countries, and like Europe and the U.S. They could simply take their business elsewhere. Putin's administration is definitely not the first to call to an end to the Dollar as the world reserve currency. The U.S.' meddling in the Middle-East is a war of attrition against itself, and another draft will definitely not fly with the American public.

    So you see, we're not gonna blow each other up with nukes. We're probably not even going to fire a single bullet at each other. The future of war is economic war, and both of us are too weakened to damage each other in that fashion. It would be mutually-assured destruction, modern-style.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by jt on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:44AM

      by jt (2890) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:44AM (#13415)

      Financial and economic MAD, although undesirable, still sounds a much better outcome than the bullets/nukes option.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by b on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:23AM

      by b (2121) on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:23AM (#13424)

      From the summary, "the Russian government owns a majority stake in a number of the country's largest companies."

      In the US, a number of the country's largest companies own a majority stake in the government. Especially military companies.

    • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by captain normal on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:47AM

      by captain normal (2205) on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:47AM (#13441)

      I think I've heard all these talking points on Faux News (Yes I actually do check in from time to time to see what they're up to). May I suggest that you also broaden your access to information and check in with other sources, even if you think they do not affirm your beliefs.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:16AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:16AM (#13449) Journal

      America has virtually zero influence in this situation.

      It has little to do with the wars in the middle east. It has to do with the track record of this administration.
      It is totally disrespected in virtually every capital of the world.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by goody on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:23AM

      by goody (2135) on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:23AM (#13452)

      The reasons for the runs on guns and ammo aren't quite that complex or due to some noble patriotic cause. It's from this: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=oba ma%20derangement%20syndrome [urbandictionary.com]

      • (Score: 0, Troll) by beckett on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:20PM

        by beckett (1115) on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:20PM (#13579)

        don't need to some up with some fancy syndrome for what's happening: 6 years on and people still can't wrap their heads around a black president.

    • (Score: 1) by Ken_g6 on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:36AM

      by Ken_g6 (3706) on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:36AM (#13455)

      I heard another argument for economic warfare the other day. The US could release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, dropping the price of oil around the world for awhile. Although the US is producing more oil from fracking lately, I think the Russian economy is still much more dependent on oil prices.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by khchung on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:41AM

        by khchung (457) on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:41AM (#13459)

        The US could release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, dropping the price of oil around the world for awhile.

        So that China can take the opportunity to build up some strategic reserve of its own for cheap? Umm....

        The game is quite a bit more complicated when there are more than just two players.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:38AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:38AM (#13457)

      I think there have been calculations on the likely outcomes of all possible interventions already and Russia is confident that this one is the best for them. The economy of Ukraine is on its knees, so it was an easy choice for the population of Crimea to side with the local cultural and economic power. This isn't the fault Ukrainians who are themselves a quite civilised and culturally rich people, but over the past hundred years have been persecuted most severely, only to be corrupted by Western cultural and financial influences on gaining "independence", so they are in the same boat economically of being fleeced, only now they don't experience quite the same totalitarian rule as they did under the Soviet occupation. Ukraine faces more austerity and sadly the population will suffer once again from the effects of external influences. Many will regret dishing Russia, at least this is the hope of Poutine.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Maow on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:39AM

      by Maow (8) on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:39AM (#13458) Homepage

      "Street Cred" -- The U.S. has almost no credibility on the world stage, having meddled destructively and unnecessarily in the Middle-East and with disastrous results.

      Don't forget Central America.

      And South East Asia.

      And... well, you're correct and my point was simply that, for most of the world, this lack of "Street Cred" is not, in fact, anything new.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Taco Cowboy on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:32AM

      by Taco Cowboy (3489) on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:32AM (#13465)

      As an American living in Asia I can attest to the lack of credibility of the United States of America among many countries in Asia.

      If you were to talk to people in Asia, most will tell you that they believe Putin more than they believe Obama.

      America is no longer the America 30 years ago. When Ronald Reagan was in charge of the Oval Office, Asia truly believed in America, even Deng Xiao Ping had tacit respect for President Reagan.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hb253 on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:04PM

        by hb253 (745) on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:04PM (#13569)

        You must be young. I've been hearing the same criticisms of the US since the 1970's. The US can never win the world opinion game because it is truly damned if it does, damned if it doesn't. If Asians believed in the US back in Reagan's days, the Europeans and Central Americans didn't. If the US tries diplopmatic and peaceful means, people ask why it isn't more muscular. If the US projects power, people complain about the US acting as the world police. It's hopeless and there is no solution.

        --
        The firings and offshore outsourcing will not stop until morale improves.
        • (Score: 1) by Angry Jesus on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:35PM

          by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:35PM (#13599)

          You must be young. I've been hearing the same criticisms of the US since the 1970's. The US can never win the world opinion game because it is truly damned if it does, damned if it doesn't.

          1000x this. This sort of simplistic, situational criticism is old, tired and completely useless in a critical examination of events. All it does is reveal the ignorance of the critics and says nothing about the US itself.

    • (Score: 1) by anubi on Sunday March 09 2014, @08:12AM

      by anubi (2828) on Sunday March 09 2014, @08:12AM (#13496) Journal

      My take is that international bankers rule the world. These people are international, giving allegiance to no nation, but supporting the United States because we have both controllable politicians and the biggest guns.

      The bankers need these guns to enforce their ownership claims on hard assets bought with dollars printed from thin air and loaned at interest. Its in their best interests to "work with" the people who operate the biggest guns.

      The United States leads the world in the ability to build anything. We also lead the world in the ability to destroy it.

      Would anyone take a banker seriously if he could not enforce his ownership of anything purchased with dollars he created out of thin air? Only by "working with" governments can the banker arrange for tax to be paid in their currency, thus mandating the acceptance of their printed scrip as something of value. Once in, they can now arrange stuff like "fractional banking" so that they can continue to extort usury on scrip which they print with no backing whatsoever. "Full faith of the US Government" my ass!.

      This last financial thing we had about six years ago? Look it up! [stlouisfed.org]
       
      It was deliberate!
       
      The banks have been dropping the rates for years trying to get everyone in debt to pay back future dollars which they control the availability of. All they have to do is get people to sign on for loans, then throttle the money supply back ( just as they did ) then foreclose on that which they had printed money out of thin air for purchase. Year after year, merchants like to report year-over-year sales increases. Yes, the banks made it happen by flooding us with dollars, which are then readily sapped up by taxation authorities every time they change hands. We are now against the bottom stop. Zero. Have been for some time now.. and still we are in economic doldrums. We are now at the point that either Congress needs to start passing law rewarding creating employment and reducing rent-seeking behaviour, or we are going to find ourselves re-doing a French Revolution to get rid of the overwhelming load of Marie Antoinettes our Congress, via the tax law pouring from their pens, has created.

      Every war I have ever heard of was a banker's war. Oh yes, some like to blame it on God, but the bottom line always drops to who has the "rights" to extort taxes/tithes from the sheep. Hitler, Al Capone, Goldman Sachs... they are all in it trying to get us to drink the kool-aid with their loans, then reel us in.

      At any time, a FedHead can appear in front of a microphone and everyone who has drank the kool-aid by signing for one of their loans loses whatever he bought with that loan. Watch these guys.. same MO every time. Loans! Loans! Loans! Buy Now while Rates are Low!.. then they raise the rates ... money supply dries up .. no-one can buy your house for what you paid for it. You can't pay your bills! You lose your home - and all the equity you had. Rinse, lather, repeat when you think the people will trust you. Microphones work wonders for this, as a lot of people seem to think anything spoken through a microphone is the truth.

      Incidentally, I wonder how the US would have taken it if the Chinese or Soviets decided to meddle in our Waco thing?

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:04AM (#13399)

    So, why didn't those same pundits talk about those US stock markets that "provides a minute-by-minute referendum on Bush/Obama/etc's military and diplomatic actions" whenever the Dow drops?

    Or pretty much every other stock markets and their indexes in the world?

    Prejudice much?

    • (Score: 2) by romanr on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:30AM

      by romanr (102) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:30AM (#13409)

      It has to be reaction to something. If the US stocks go down because of some economic data then it is not a referendum about the policy of the president.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by smellotron on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:13AM

      by smellotron (3346) on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:13AM (#13461)

      So, why didn't those same pundits talk about those US stock markets that "provides a minute-by-minute referendum on Bush/Obama/etc's military and diplomatic actions" whenever the Dow drops?

      When the President make major decisions or statements about foreign policy, the markets do provide such a referendum;, I've watched turmoil in the markets during some speeches by Obama. But you are missing one critical step here: the Russian administration is apparently directly invested in its own stock market, much more than the US administration. Supposedly, that provides an economic incentive for Russian policy to favor stability. I don't believe that the incentive is relevant (global politics > equity investment), but it is truly different from the situation in the US.

      Also, the Dow is just a price-weighted combination of 30 stocks, and not the 30 biggest companies (AAPL is now huge but their stock price is so high it would "mess up" the price-weighted combiation algorithm... lame). You should be looking at the S&P 500 index if you want to see the market's referendum in real-time.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by linsane on Sunday March 09 2014, @09:11AM

      by linsane (633) on Sunday March 09 2014, @09:11AM (#13506)

      Well, lets see, the Russian stock market / currency tanked by more than 10%.

      Based on info from the WSJ http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3024-djia_ alltime.html [wsj.com] aside from a couple of times around 1930 (which were widely covered but before my time) the next bunch were in Oct 2008, at which point there was also quite a lot of ongoing coverage about problems to do with the economy.

      I have not done any currency conversions but as a non US / non Russian the impression I get is that the US gets more international coverage of ups and downs and has more pundits trying to explain it on a daily basis than Russia, most likely due to its more widespread, diverse and open approach to news reporting.

      0.02 RUB

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Barrabas on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:23AM

    by Barrabas (22) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:23AM (#13405) Journal

    I'm definitely interested in news of the area; for instance, important happenings with Ukraine, Crimea, and Russia.

    That being said, this story is not about tech, and not about events. It's an opinion piece from one guy behind a paywall. From recent events, it's not even clear whether it's accurate - does Putin *care* about the Russian stock market?

    Does this story belong on Soylent News?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by jt on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:32AM

      by jt (2890) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:32AM (#13410)

      Well, it certainly involves people, and 'SoylentNews is people', so I guess that's a reasonable match :) Maybe we can approach the political system as a giant engineering problem of gargantuan complexity. Or focus on the cool shiny toys that will be used to destroy people.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by LaminatorX on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:56AM

      by LaminatorX (14) <laminatorxNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:56AM (#13417)

      We're aiming, submissions permitting, to have about 70% solidly-nerd fare, with the remainder being a variety of other topics that our community might nonetheless enjoy discussing once in a while. We've had some hits and some misses on the 30% bracket, but that's how we're learning the community's tastes as we go.

      Regarding the Russian market, years ago I used to work for some Russian business men. I'd be shocked if a number of short positions weren't taken by insiders and Putin's favored oligarchs before certain announcements were made and public steps taken.

      --
      Banjo - Fiddle - Tolkien: The Lonely Mountain String Band. lmsb.me [lmsb.me]
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by evilviper on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:10AM

        by evilviper (1760) on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:10AM (#13419) Homepage Journal

        30% sounds awfully high... Nearly 1 in 3 stories won't have ANY relationship to technology AT ALL? Even when the other 70% may be only incidentally related to technology in the most abstract? Ugg. I can't see that possibly working out. /.'s downfall was when it started doing the same thing... Posting tons of global warming, and whatever other inflammatory trash they could find. I'd hate to see this site copy all the same mistakes, and acting like the UI was the ONLY problem over there.

        In this case, I find this story quite interesting... I certainly didn't know Europe's energy fortunes had changed so significantly. But 30% non-tech stories... That would be a mess.

        --
        Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by LaminatorX on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:45AM

          by LaminatorX (14) <laminatorxNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:45AM (#13439)

          Well, it's not like we did market research and focus groups and whatnot. We basically pulled that number out of the air on IRC, and the general consensus was, "Yeah, that sounds about right." If it's way off base, we'll certainly learn that from the results, both qualitative and quantitative.

          Ultimately though, the best way to tell us the kind of stories you want to see is submitting them. :)

          --
          Banjo - Fiddle - Tolkien: The Lonely Mountain String Band. lmsb.me [lmsb.me]
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:08AM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:08AM (#13448) Journal

            I think 30 percent is too high as well.

            This particular story at least had some tech tie-in with the energy angle, but it has a big political payload as well.
            Also the thesis seems to be one person's opinion and its not clear Putin gives a fig about the stock market.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 0, Troll) by smellotron on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:23AM

              by smellotron (3346) on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:23AM (#13464)

              Also the thesis seems to be one person's opinion and its not clear Putin gives a fig about the stock market.

              I think the stock market drop was very predictable, given the decisions Putin made. I doubt he was surprised by the drop. I think it is clear that he doesn't care about the impact on the Russian stock market. The real question is whether his administration was able to trade on the decision before the troops rolled out...

              • (Score: 1) by smellotron on Monday March 10 2014, @04:37AM

                by smellotron (3346) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:37AM (#13742)

                I was entirely serious, what part of my statement looks like a troll?

                • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Monday March 10 2014, @09:58PM

                  by EvilJim (2501) on Monday March 10 2014, @09:58PM (#14315) Journal

                  don't take it personally, I keep getting modded funny when I'm being serious and troll when I'm being funny.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @08:43AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @08:43AM (#13787)

            Note the stories with the most comments--like this one. Your community is deeply interested in civils rights issues. Please keep it coming.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by smellotron on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:20AM

          by smellotron (3346) on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:20AM (#13463)

          Nearly 1 in 3 stories won't have ANY relationship to technology AT ALL?

          I don't see that as a problem, and I never saw it as a problem on /. . Stuff That Matters, matters.

          /.'s downfall was when it started doing the same thing... Posting tons of global warming, and whatever other inflammatory trash they could find.

          Well, there's your problem (emphasis mine). An event like this is the sort of thing reshapes nations, it is not simply inflammatory trash.

          • (Score: 2) by ticho on Sunday March 09 2014, @01:07PM

            by ticho (89) on Sunday March 09 2014, @01:07PM (#13549) Homepage Journal

            While I agree with your first statement, there is no event in this story, it's just an (inflammatory) opinion piece.

        • (Score: 2) by Luke on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:36AM

          by Luke (175) on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:36AM (#13466)

          Actually I don't mind - within reason - what the tech/non-tech mix is, it's easy enough to continue scrolling down the list if an article's not of interest.

          The fact that it's probably been submitted by a techy person suggests it may be something that I might like to see anyway - and in this case it's certainly something that everyone should heed.

          With luck a few non-tech articles might actually broaden the focus of a few resident nerds, sure not a bad thing?

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Shub on Sunday March 09 2014, @01:56PM

          by Shub (474) on Sunday March 09 2014, @01:56PM (#13556)

          Well there is a problem in that respect. If _every_ article were tech related then there would be a deficit or articles quite quickly as there simply isn't that much new material added to the interwebs each day to power a news site.

          If there aren't new articles added on a fairly regular basis around the clock then the site will stagnate and people won't come back since there simply won't be anything to keep them here.

          • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Monday March 10 2014, @04:17PM

            by evilviper (1760) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:17PM (#14058) Homepage Journal

            If _every_ article were tech related then there would be a deficit or articles quite quickly as there simply isn't that much new material added to the interwebs each day to power a news site.

            Haha!

            Hacker News posts far more stories each day than I could read. Throw in Ars, anandtech, and more, and you'll be inundated in no time.

            Besides, I don't think "technology" is all there is. Plenty of stuff going on in various scientific fields every day.

            --
            Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Daniel Dvorkin on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:08PM

          by Daniel Dvorkin (1099) on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:08PM (#13574) Journal

          Depends on how you define "nerd," I suppose. This story is pretty much general-interest, I agree, and therefore doesn't need to be on a nerd site although I don't personally object to it. Global warming is inherently a scientific issue, and therefore ought to be of interest to nerds unless you define that category very narrowly. The only reason it's inflammatory is because a large portion of the community chooses to make it so; it's as though every time there were a story about databases, half the comments came from people working themselves into a lather insisting that such a thing as SQL doesn't exist, and another quarter were from people saying that yes, SQL exists, but humans have nothing to do with its existence.

          --
          Pipedot [pipedot.org]:Soylent [soylentnews.org]::BSD:Linux
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @10:47PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @10:47PM (#13661)

            (Just for the fun of it, modded +1 Informative. (I like the belief of "SQL as intelligent creation, humans have nothing to do with it" perspective)

          • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Monday March 10 2014, @04:13PM

            by evilviper (1760) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:13PM (#14051) Homepage Journal

            The only reason it's inflammatory is because a large portion of the community chooses to make it so; it's as though every time there were a story about databases, half the comments came from people working themselves into a lather insisting that such a thing as SQL doesn't exist,

            That's only part of the AGW flame-fest. Just as much of it is heated debate about how significant it will be, why scientist X got results different from Y, etc., and most of all, the fact that the solutions being commonly proposed could destroy the word economy, or the planet's ecology... It's *inherently* going to be a heated debate.

            --
            Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mmcmonster on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:44PM

          by mmcmonster (401) on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:44PM (#13603)

          And yet this story has a bunch more comments than most of the other stories on the front page currently.

          SN is a news site focused on discussion of the topics. As long as some of the people find it interesting, go ahead and post it!

          I would love more economics and politics posts, so long as they're not flame bait.

          • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Monday March 10 2014, @04:09PM

            by evilviper (1760) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:09PM (#14048) Homepage Journal

            And yet this story has a bunch more comments than most of the other stories on the front page currently.

            Yeah, that's the same mistake /. made in choosing which stories to post... Page (and ad)-views rather than sticking to the it's core competency.

            Rather than rehash the same points, I'll just direct you to my previous post on the topic:

            http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=188&cid=380 8 [soylentnews.org]

            --
            Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Taco Cowboy on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:38AM

        by Taco Cowboy (3489) on Sunday March 09 2014, @06:38AM (#13468)

        Talking about shorting the market ... here is a tip all of you can rake in a truckload or two of moolah tomorrow ...

        Airline stocks gonna plunge - especially those in the Asia market.

        Remember, you hear this first.

        As for what I'm going to do ... hehe ...

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @07:45AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @07:45AM (#13488)

        Don't be discouraged. This is an interesting article. The point of this site is to stimulate discussion, and the commentary here has been very informative, both on the subject of the article and peoples biases. Keep up the good work!

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheRaven on Sunday March 09 2014, @09:43AM

        by TheRaven (270) on Sunday March 09 2014, @09:43AM (#13514) Journal
        Currently, everything seems to be posted in the main category. Is it not possible to start splitting things up, so those of us who want to see the other stories can, but everyone else can hide them from the front page?
        --
        sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 2) by Non Sequor on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:24PM

        by Non Sequor (1005) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:24PM (#13563) Journal

        70/30 sounds fine to me. I just want to say you guys are doing great with the site.

        --
        Write your congressman. Tell him he sucks.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by fleg on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:12AM

      by fleg (128) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:12AM (#13420)

      'Does this story belong on Soylent News?'

      does every little political tussle need to be here? no.

      but this is a bit different, its echoes of Hitler and the Sudetenland
      are disconcerting to say the least.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mrbluze on Sunday March 09 2014, @07:48AM

        by mrbluze (49) on Sunday March 09 2014, @07:48AM (#13490) Journal

        Nerds are allowed to be interested in geopolitics and economics. It's part of everyone's world.

        --
        Do it yourself, 'cause no one else will do it yourself.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by tftp on Sunday March 09 2014, @08:39AM

      by tftp (806) on Sunday March 09 2014, @08:39AM (#13501) Homepage

      does Putin *care* about the Russian stock market?

      A President (of any country) should not care about the stock market when dealing with serious political and military threats. See here [soylentnews.org]. Stock market is a bunch of scaredy cats that sell in panic whenever a rumor spreads. The job of a President is to develop the country, in every way. The stock market will follow if the country becomes stronger. At the same time, the stock market will withdraw if the country's leaders only speak from podiums but do nothing to maintain or improve stability.

      The Ukrainian affair is a forced move. One cannot even say that it was a surprise because Ukraine repeatedly finds itself in the same crisis mode every few years. Just look at Ukrainian governments starting from dissolution of USSR. Ukraine never had a government that was good. In the end, this procession of thieves in power resulted in a country that is broke to such extent that it cannot afford heating in winter. The same governments promoted the divide between East and West. Those differences were carefully managed and patched up in USSR. But the new politicians rode on that wave to power... and the wave crashed. Now they are "ruling" over the ruins (in Kiev - literally) of a hopelessly divided and nearly (practically?) divided country. Crimea wants to join Russia not just because of old ties. There are two major reasons. First, Crimeans are threatened by national[istic] policies of the new "government." Second, Crimeans are sick and tired of living in a banana republic that is ruled by comandantes and "families." And, of course, you cannot deny the value of stability. Outside of politicians, common people can't care less about the name of their country. They only want jobs, salaries, safety, stability, and guaranteed future (they remember about that one from the days of USSR.)

      On Putin's side, geopolitically he cannot afford to have random revolutionaries in power in Ukraine. Say what you want, but countries do not exist in vacuum. Destabilization of Ukraine directly threatens Russia - in particular because NATO (Reagan) promised to Gorbachev to not expand to the East, and then they went in and expanded. Can Russia afford NATO's nukes or antimissiles a few miles away from the border? That's stuff from scenarios of postapocaliptic science fiction. I cannot predict how this situation will be resolved, but one thing is clear: Putin made his move, and that demonstrated to the whole world that he intends to defend interests of Russia (however he sees them, rightly or wrongly.) Stock market? You can't be serious. Russia does not need to sell oil and gas; those are only going to become more valuable in a few years. A few super-rich owners of export companies will see reduction of their personal income. One may even say that isolationism is good because it forces development of industries within the country.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by tomp on Sunday March 09 2014, @09:39AM

      by tomp (996) on Sunday March 09 2014, @09:39AM (#13513)

      Seriously? Isn't it a little soon?

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @11:45AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @11:45AM (#13534)

        this! please mod parent up

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @10:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @10:27AM (#13520)
      It involves a nation that controls a lot of nukes led by a leader who seems increasingly willing to do dangerous stuff, whether it benefits his country or not. Whether Russia can afford a cold war or even a real war does not seem as important as whatever reasons for the Ukraine stuff.

      Thus what Putin and Russia do to other countries is something that nerds everywhere should be concerned about, same whenever the USA decides to "regime change" (whether other countries or itself).

      Whether it belongs in SoylentNews - I guess depends on the readers. To me I wasn't annoyed with Slashdot by "less tech/nerd" news, but by Beta and Beta and stories/edits/summaries that seemed mainly for trolling for page hits (and that includes "typos" even if the original submission didn't have them). But much of the Slashdot readership seemed to enjoy commenting on those stories more than actual technical ones (probably because Slashdotters as a group had become less technically knowledgeable or able - given by the amount of clueless/stupid/pointless comments posted when those stories actually appeared).
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Dragon on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:03PM

      by Dragon (2927) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:03PM (#13558)

      I fully agree. This is newsworthy, but I can get it from any other news-site. Soylentnews should be specialised, for News For Nerds - and only that.

      If we're interested in politics we can go to that other site that lost the focus of what it was supposed to be. I am all for specialsation into a niche - but doing that right and with quality in a way no "general site" could.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @08:46AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @08:46AM (#13790)

        I didn't leave for loss of focus. I enjoy, for the most part, the mix of stories at Slashdot. I'm an adult, and I know how to skip over stuff I don't feel like reading.

        I left because Fuck Beta.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by khchung on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:26AM

    by khchung (457) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:26AM (#13406)

    If the European Union sanctioned Russia's gas supply to Europe, Russia would lose $100 billion or one-fifth of its export revenues, and the Russian economy would be in rampant crisis.

    So EU is willing to let its citizens freeze to death next winter just to cause an economic crisis for Russia? As if Russia can't just turn around and sell those gas to China next door? OTOH, EU would have great trouble importing that much gas elsewhere.

    "I am going to cut of my fingers so your rings would have one fewer customer!" Yeah, that's a totally credible threat!

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:34AM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:34AM (#13411) Homepage

      Scandinavia has plenty of oil and gas for Europe. But why would Russia lose energy revenue? Sure, maybe in the short-term, before it beefs up its infrastructure to send its energy supplies to energy-hungry China and whomever else wants it. This is a mad game of chicken!

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by romanr on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:37AM

      by romanr (102) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:37AM (#13412)

      There isn't really the infrastructure to sell the gas to other customers at the moment. There has been proposed an Altai project to build pipes to China, but this project doesn't seem to be active. But you are probably right, that Europe can't do without Russian gas... yet. If US starts to export gas to Europe, the situation can change quickly.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by jon3k on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:23AM

      by jon3k (3718) on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:23AM (#13423)

      Europe will get gas elsewhere, maybe you've heard of the shale gas boom? If Russia was forced to sell solely to China the price of their gas would fall to the floor because they can't bargain, they pay what the Chinese tell them. Welcome to economics 101.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by khchung on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:37AM

        by khchung (457) on Sunday March 09 2014, @03:37AM (#13427)

        As others mentioned, it's the infrastructure. You can't simply say "buy from the US", yeah, EU can pay for and take ownership of however much gas in the US, but it's worth shit if they can't move the gas over. Without large enough pipes and a finite number of ships available, having all the gas across an ocean isn't going to help them in winter.

        Not to mention the price. EU has been buying Russia gas obviously because it was cheaper. How much a hit on EU's own economy will take for buying more expensive gas? EU's economy aint that strong itself, making the threat even less credible.

        You can say Russia has the same problem selling to China, but a BIG difference is they might be able to work out a deal with China to sell the gas (and get money sooner) and then more slowly send over the goods later. China might be willing to do that just so US has something else to worry over, and build up some goodwill with Russia with the same stroke.

        Money can move at the speed of light, goods can't.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:46AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:46AM (#13440) Journal

          Agreed, I don't think American gas is going anywhere.
          It isn't politically feasible even if it was technically doable. There are gas transport ships, but nobody likes having them near cities.

          The US has been trying to get out of the clutches of middle east oil states, but isn't close to being ready to pick up the EU energy needs.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1) by tirefire on Sunday March 09 2014, @07:11AM

            by tirefire (3414) on Sunday March 09 2014, @07:11AM (#13475)
            I know that Porter Stansberry released a newsletter titled something like "How I Plan to Make a Billion Dollars From Natural Gas". He was betting that the super-cheep natgas in the 'states will spur development of ships transporting compressed natgas to places like Japan where the market rate is several times higher, and he recommended that his subscribers invest in some specific companies that are getting gov't approval to build facilities in ports to do just this.

            I'm pretty ignorant of natural gas, though, so if you could elaborate on why you "don't think american gas isn't going anywhere" that would be great. Or link to a blog with the same idea. I just want to learn more about this since the potential implications are so great.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @08:49AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @08:49AM (#13791)

              Troll: boring & staid. LMGTFY. -1 Flamebait.

              Next time, please troll harder.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by KingofBLASH on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:37AM

      by KingofBLASH (3716) on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:37AM (#13436)

      That's actually exactly how sanctions work. The US and other countries don't care how many citizens of Cuba / Syria / Whatever country is currently getting sanctioned are hurt. The theory being that by hurting the population, you will encourage unrest (and perhaps they will pressure their government).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @08:52AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @08:52AM (#13793)

        On one hand, you say they don't care; on the other hand, you say that their theory involves hurting the population to encourage unrest (thereby pressuring the government). Wouldn't they want to hurt as many people as possible?

    • (Score: 0) by robodog on Sunday March 09 2014, @09:53PM

      by robodog (1365) on Sunday March 09 2014, @09:53PM (#13649)

      There is infrastructure in place allowing the EU to import gas from Scandinavia and North Africa.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by romanr on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:27AM

    by romanr (102) on Sunday March 09 2014, @02:27AM (#13407)

    Crimea is heavily dependent on Ukraine. According to this [slate.com] article, they receive almost all electricity and water from the mainland and 70% of food. Furthermore, they don't piss off only the west, even Turkey [todayszaman.com] has shown quite a bit of concern about the Tatars on Crimea.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Solaarius on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:19AM

    by Solaarius (127) on Sunday March 09 2014, @04:19AM (#13431)
    I don't think so: Russia invaded neighbour Georgia in 2008 [wikipedia.org]
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by zeigerpuppy on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:17AM

    by zeigerpuppy (1298) on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:17AM (#13450)

    I have spent a lot of time with Russians, rightly or wrongly,
    they regard Ukraine as a little brother who they permitted limited independence.
    The Crimean bases are also Russia's only southern naval access and are essential strategic assets.
    The situation is somewhat like the Trident bases in Scotland, England cannot and will not give
    up their interests there because they are deemed strategically essential.
    Economics comes second (not that I agree that the military should run the world, but my wishing doesn't change the fact they do).
    Russia always had control in Crimea and will continue to control, there will be a degree of dummy spitting
    but they have made a move that was predictable and which the west will not challenge,
    they all play in the same swill pen now.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @11:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @11:49PM (#13684)

      "The situation is somewhat like the Trident bases in Scotland, England cannot and will not give up their interests there because they are deemed strategically essential."

      Yeah, but unlike the strategic situation in Ukraine, England is currently -- and will remain for a minimum of two years -- in a political union with Scotland and the two nations share foreign and defence policy, among many other powers that are retained by Westminster. The name "United Kingdom" was not chosen for our health; it was chosen because it was first a personal union of James VI and I, and then a century or so later was a genuinely politically United Kingdom under Anne and her successors.

      In Ukraine, on the other hand, we have a situation where a former colonial power (as England was not, never has been unless you *really* want to go back to the days of Longshanks and seriousky odn't go there, and is not currently in Scotland) gifted a region -- Crimea -- to a constituent federal state -- Ukraine. That gift was retained and guaranteed after the dissolution of the Soviet Empire, in return for a guarantee of Russian military presence in Crimea and in particular, as you rightly point out, a vital base for the Black Sea Fleet.

      Conversely, while the government of the UK -- which is, after all, the government of, err, the UK and therefore is the government of both England and Scotland which are both merely constituent states of the UK -- has based its nuclear subs primarily at Faslane, in the event of Scottish independence those subs can either remain at Faslane under an agreement with the new Scottish government which is yet to be negotiated or else, much more likely, will be gradually rebased at Plymouth and Portsmouth where they have often spent time anyway.

      The situations are in no way comparable. On the one hand, a government legitimately basing a nuclear fleet in a region of its own nation which has a long history of ship-building and maintenance, and which confers neither strategic advantages or disadvantages over the South-Coast alternatives. (Except keeping them further away from the French, a facile aim in the modern world where the French are easily our masters in nuclear technology, and likely not a consideration when Faslane was chosen anyway.) On the other hand, a government legitimately basing a (generally conventional) fleet in a region of *another* nation, under treaty, for entirely strategic reasons. On the one hand, naval vessels from a nation's own navy, based in a nation's own naval base. On the other, naval vessels from a foreign navy based in a foreign base. I'm sure you get the point.

      In other news, I otherwise agree, I've also spent a lot of time with Russians and much to my exasperation and the occasional argument they very much view Ukraine as at the least within their sphere of influence and at the most "ours". The same goes for Georgia, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia. On the other hand, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and East Germany do not seem to incite the same opinions, chiefly I think because they had only small or practically non-existent Russian-speaking populations, whereas the others have large or significant Russian minorities.

      Me, I tend to view the Slavic languages and Russian as so close together that it's a silly argument to make and that it would justify a Danish takeover of Norway, a Swedish takeover of Denmark, a united Scandinavian takeover of Iceland and, of course, a British takeover of Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand and a return to the good old days. None of which are justifiable. (Except the last. BBC > CBC and BBC > NBC. Trufax.) It would also justify German Anschluss with Austria and the German-speaking areas of Switzerland, and at that point I Godwin the argument. That doesn't make me popular :)

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by gallondr00nk on Sunday March 09 2014, @09:22AM

    by gallondr00nk (392) on Sunday March 09 2014, @09:22AM (#13509)

    Other penalties might include asset freezes and the billionaire Russian elite who are pretty much synonymous with Mr. Putin's friends and allies are the ones who are being severely affected by visa bans, which were imposed by President Obama on Thursday.

    In the UK, our gloriously inept leaders have been trying to balance on a tightrope between looking stern, serious and disapproving [theguardian.com] and trying not to scare away the oligarchs and Russian business interests by actually doing something.

    Like in the rest of the world, it's the "business community" had seems to hold most of the cards. As the article suggests, this is just as true in Russia as it is here.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @11:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09 2014, @11:33AM (#13531)

      Do you want a nuclear war? I don't!

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Hurgotron on Sunday March 09 2014, @12:10PM

    by Hurgotron (3585) on Sunday March 09 2014, @12:10PM (#13541)

    Two links to shed some perspective on what's happening, and why it probably isn't really irrational to act like Putin did.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/the-ukraine-crisis-th rough-the-whimsy-of-international-law-1.2559980 [www.cbc.ca]

    http://edition.cnn.com/video/standard.html?/video/ bestoftv/2014/03/07/ac-stephen-cohen.cnn [cnn.com]

    Also, the contract Russia has with Ukraine allows them to put 250000 troops on the Crimea so what's happining there might not even be something out of the ordinary. Yes, you can't walk in and see what's happening, but try to do that with a NATO base.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by lajos on Sunday March 09 2014, @12:25PM

    by lajos (528) on Sunday March 09 2014, @12:25PM (#13546)

    Nor does the USA. Wealready spent our kids' and grandkids' money.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by AsteroidMining on Sunday March 09 2014, @01:00PM

    by AsteroidMining (3556) on Sunday March 09 2014, @01:00PM (#13548)

    If you really think that Germany is going to go along with having its natural gas turned off just in time for Easter, you are living in cloud cuckoo land.

    I have to say, this submission reads like propaganda more than news.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by yours truly on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:39PM

      by yours truly (3040) on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:39PM (#13600)

      This afternoon shortly after 4PM it was 23°C (73°F) in our back yard in central Germany and not a cloud in the sky. I can't remember when the temperature this "winter" was last below freezing. The only snow was early Dec. and disappeared quickly. Putin may have problems selling gas independent of anything he is doing.

      I have read estimates of 20 ~ 25% of Germany's gas coming from Russia. It might not be terribly expensive to do without that and switch to alternatives (Norway, Netherlands, LPG). A couple of years ago we got a wood stove which reduced our use of gas noticeably, although not as much as the cost of wood (which comes from the hills around us). But this year we haven't quite used half what we did last year. It will be interesting to see what develops.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Boxzy on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:54PM

    by Boxzy (742) on Sunday March 09 2014, @05:54PM (#13605) Journal

    "Almost half of Russia's exports go to Europe, and three-quarters of its total exports consist of oil and gas. The energy boom is over, and Europe can turn the tables on Russia after its prior gas supply cuts in 2006 and 2009 replacing this gas with liquefied natural gas, gas from Norway and shale gas."

    See, now this is why western governments have been pushing so hard for shale oil and fracking, they know there's no long term benefit.

    The point of it is economic damage to russia.

    --
    Go green, Go Soylent.