2015: The Great American Military Rip-Off

21st Century Wire says… Is the rest of the world catching up to the US in the military arena? Is the US simply bogged down with too much politics, pork and pink elephants? Last week, Russian leader Vladimir Putin gave a public rebuttal to an open media challenge leveled by BBC veteran correspondent John Simpson, after Simpson accused Russia of being an ‘international aggressor’ in the both Europe and the Middle East. Putin responded sharply by pointing that while Washington’s annual defense and military budget totals well over $600 billion, Russia’s annual budget is a meager $70 – $80 billion in comparison, and while the US operates well over 1,000 military bases and outposts globally, Russia has only two. In light of Russia’s recent effectiveness in striking terrorist targets in Syria, this raises another very important question: is Russia getting more “bang for its buck” in terms of defense […] Read More

2014: Russian Food Suppliers Have Begun Halting Shipments

Until now, when it comes to the fallout in the Russian economy from the crude price plunge leading to a collapse in the Russian currency, most of the interest has been on how the Russian financial system recovers and/or survives and just as importantly, what Putin‘s response would be. Just yesterday, we wrote that as a result of capital controls fears, many western banks led by Goldman Sachs had halted liquidity to Russian clients and other local entities. However while the adverse impact on the Russian banking system has been mostly confined to the upper class – since there is virtually no middle class in the country to speak of – the second cold war of words, which rapidly morphed into a very hot financial war, is about to hit the very ordinary Russian on the street, because as Russia’s Vedomosti reports, citing vegetable producer Belaya Dacha, juice maker […] Read More