Ukraine

On Tuesday, March 1, Glenn and Tony will record a podcast on the economic consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The recording will be posted to this blog and also available through iTunes.

Some useful links

General information on developments (political and military, as well as economic):

Updates on the website of the Financial Times (note that the FT has dropped its paywall to allow non-subscribers to read this content). This article on the possible effects on the global economy is particularly worth reading.

The Twitter feed of Max Seddon, the FT’s Moscow bureau chief, is here.

The website of the New York Times has an extensive series of updates focused on military and political developments (subscription may be required).

Streaming updates on the website of the Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required).

A Twitter feed that provides timely updates on the military situation.

An article in the New Yorker discussing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims about the historical relationship between Russia and Ukraine.

A pessimistic blog post by a retired U.S. Army Colonel on whether the U.S. military is equipped to fight a war in Europe.

Discussions focused on economics:

As background, the following figure from the Our World in Data site shows the growth in real GDP per capita for several countries. The underlying data were compiled by the World Bank and are measured in constant international dollars, which means that they are corrected for inflation and for variations across countries in the purchasing power of the domestic currency.

In 2020, Russian GDP per capita was less than half that of U.S. GDP per capita although about 50 percent greater than GDP per capita in China. GDP per capita in Lithuania, part of the Soviet Union until 1991, and Poland, part of the Soviet bloc until 1989, are significantly higher than in Russia. These two countries have become integrated into the European economy and have grown more rapidly than has Russia, which continues to rely heavy on exports of oil, natural gas, and other commodities. Ukraine is not as well integrated into the European economy as are Poland and Lithuania and Ukraine experienced little economic growth since attaining independence in 1991. In fact, Ukraine’s real GDP per capita was lower in 2020 than it had been in 1991.

Here is a transcript of President Joe Biden’s speech imposing sanctions on Russia.

Informative Full Stack Economics blog post by Alan Cole explaining the likely reasons why U.S. and European sanctions on Russia excluded energy. Useful explanation of the role of correspondent banking in international trade.

An article in the Economist discussing sanctions (subscription may be required).

An article in the New York Times discussing the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) service, which is based in Belgium, and is a key component of the international financial system. Some policymakers have proposed cutting Russia off from SWIFT. The article discusses why some countries have been opposed to taking that step (subscription may be required).

An opinion column by Justin Fox on bloomberg.com examines in what sense the United States is energy independent and the economic reasons that the U.S. still imports some oil from Russia (subscription may be required).

Blog post by economic writer Noah Smith on the possible effects of the invasion on the post-World War II international economic system.

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