EYE ON PUTIN POWER: COLD WIND BLOWING FROM THE EAST

10/23/08 11:33AM EDT
Belarus today became the fifth nation to appeal to the IMF for help as the credit meltdown continues to knock small, leveraged economies over like dominoes.

As the crisis spreads, the division between pro Russian and pro Western states is becoming increasingly pronounced. Anti-Russian former Soviet states Belarus and the Ukraine –as well as former satellite Hungary, have been relatively warmly received as they reach westward for help. The aid pledged by the western powers to help Georgia rebuild after this summer’s conflict now exceeded $4 Billion.

Meanwhile the much heralded Russian loan for Iceland has, as of yet, failed to materialize and the flight of capital from Moscow banks continues. The Russian Navy –which looks about as seaworthy as the Russian stock market, arrives in Venezuela just in time to see their South American comrades sink into the abyss as plummeting oil prices bankrupt Higo Chavez’s grand socialist experiment.

The Pro Russian block is experiencing a rapid reversal of fortune as credit replaces oil as the most coveted commodity on earth. The large financial Infrastructure of the US, EU & Japan have been weakened dramatically, but they remain the undisputed strong hands at the poker table.

If these trends continue the Threat to Putin’s global influence are considerable. That is not a positive data point for stability.

Andrew Barber
Director
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