I don’t have anything particularly sensible to say about the Ukraine for the moment, but I like this cartoon (I had thought I was intending to print my wise words every three weeks or so, but I see my previous posts were months apart and ago. Time flies). The Russian bear under the tablecloth is nice, as is the image of Putin as fundamentally non-serious, which I think he is. He clearly aspires to be some great statesman but has not a clue how to behave other than as a gangster. There’s a faintly amusing aspect of all this, in the sanctions regime: its possible to imagine that one thing propping up inflated house prices in England – especially in London, but perhaps in Cambridge – is Russian money seeking a safe haven. Sanctions on Russia, which would cut into many people’s lucrative incomes, might depress house prices here. Which would be great. But I’m not counting on it: just as likely the outflow before sanctions bite would push them up.
[Update: you think Russia isn't a dictatorship?]
Brian notes that Stanford University are to divest from coal. That contrasts superficially with my Investors warn of ‘carbon bubble’ as Shell predicts climate regulation will hit profits? But perhaps only superficially: as Brian says “Left unmentioned in the article is the tanking of coal stocks, down 70% over the last few years – why not get out of coal?” Indeed, its not as if Stanford are sacrificing a great investment opportunity. DA wonders about the lack of reaction from the Coal folk. But, what could they say? Silence is best.
And lastly, something about underpants.
Update: Crimean poll results
Hmmm… interesting snippit from the Beeb:
Bill Taylor, a former US ambassador to Ukraine, said results from Sunday’s referendum should be treated with caution after what happened in Crimea.
“The first reports were… that 80% turned out and 97% agreed with the yes vote. And then we find out just a couple of days ago from an official Russian government website that the turnout was not 80%, it was only 30% in Crimea, and the yes vote was not 97%, it was only 50%,” he told the BBC.
* Exciting times in the Ukraine (2013/12/01)
* Ukraine: Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation (2014/02/22)
*Foundation and Empire (2014/04/04)