April 21st, 2014
04:12 PM ET

What I'm reading: Is Ukraine crisis hitting Russia's economy?

By Fareed Zakaria

“President Putin is currently riding a surge of popularity at home, propelled in no small measure by his assertive moves in Ukraine. When tallied in mid-March by state polling group VTsIOM, Mr. Putin's approval stood at nearly 72 percent, a gain of almost 10 percentage points from earlier in the year,” writes Ilan Berman in the Wall Street Journal.

“But the longer the crisis over Ukraine lasts, the higher the economic costs to Russia are likely to be. Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, for example, has projected that Moscow's maneuvers in Ukraine could result in up to $160 billion in capital flight this year, and he concluded that the Russian economy will stagnate as a result.”


“Hardly a day goes by without an article predicting, lamenting, or celebrating America's decline. The turmoil in Crimea and Syria, the polarized and frequently gridlocked U.S. political system, the deepening income and wealth inequalities in the United States, and the growing clout of rivals like China and Russia are all offered as proof of waning American power,” writes Moises Naim in The Atlantic.

“These weaknesses surely exist, and some – like mounting economic inequality – are truly alarming. But the doomsayers often fail to see the ways in which America is gaining rather than losing global influence. And nowhere is this truer than the manufacturing sector. The combination of lower energy prices, innovative information technologies, and advances in robotics and materials science are powering a manufacturing revolution that will reinvigorate the U.S. economy and make many of its industrial sectors the most competitive in the world.”


“Registering and defending true innovations is important. IP creates incentives for technological exploration, experimentation, and commercialization. It helps us pass knowledge through the generations and deliver new products and services to consumers. But abuse of IP can do just the opposite – moving the state of play from the lab to the courtroom, elevating lawyers above entrepreneurs and consumers,” argues Bret Swanson in Forbes.

“A PriceWaterhouseCoopers study shows patent suits in the U.S. grew to over 5,000 in 2012 from around 1,200 in 1991. Some of these suits are legitimate, involving real disputes over true IP. Many, however, are just a result of the new IP game, where IP is a legal strategy disconnected from the real world of products and services.”


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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. GOP Prayer - GOPers, Read Together and Out Loud With Me

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    April 21, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
  2. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    April 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
  3. derss

    "What I'm reading: Is Ukraine crisis hitting Russia's economy?"

    NO, IT DOES NOT: sanctions against two small banks are irrelevant, and stock markets/currency weakened BEFORE current Ukraine crisis phase - as in Brazil, Mexico and many other countries which were influenced by low rates that USA have set, what made investors take money from developing markets to USA's stock markets. Many countries have the same issues as Russia in this aspect; nothing to do with Ukraine or sanctions whatsoever.

    April 22, 2014 at 3:57 am |
  4. railtoad2

    Popularity in Russia for Putin is based on fear that Russia would slide into a former form of Communism. Putin to many is the leader that has brought them this far out of that regimental regime from the past. He needs a democratic vote from the people to prove the public will. Many polls in North America have been wrong in predictions because they asked the wrong people the wrong questions. The mistakes are part of the risk of politically panhandling the public to tell the truth. Sochi was a total disaster due to security restricting the freedom of people. If that makes Putin popular so be it. The western leaders shunned the show, and cancelled the summer sessions there as sanctions so it would not be paid for. Russia has supplied the Ukraine with arms, and now they are systematically collecting them through raids on military store houses. They are worth millions of dollars on the underground market, which 60% of the Russian economy is based. As Russia surges west the collection gets more profitable, and N.A.T.O would defend the Ukraine because the countries in the group have sold arms to both Russia and the Ukraine. Canada has used a sanction of not selling anymore arms to Russia, yet donates 6 F-18's for N.A.T.O It reads lake economic embezzlement from the west so Russia cannot collect more arms and would go home. A military showdown over money owed by Russia to those who built Sochi may bring Russia to its knees. The Russian economy then goes underground and Putin with it. Putin has to continue with his back to the wall making advances to the west and wall gets further away at home, Many leaders have done this in the past. Hitler went north away from home while loosing his base there. Napoleon of France did it before him. Russia defeated both. Sochi remains empty and falls into ruins behind the lines. The Russian front shakes in solidarity as the U.S stands oddly in a non-offensive military stance. Most of the Ukrainian army is pro Russian and trained by them. Nobody wants war over financial sporting flops like Sochi.

    April 22, 2014 at 11:01 am |
  5. palintwit

    Sarah Palin believes that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that early man walked with the dinosaurs. Sarah Palin believes that early man rode dinosaurs to church every Sunday and parked them in the Roman Coliseum. Sarah Palin also believes that the first automobiles really were foot powered just like on the Flintstones.

    April 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
  6. ✠RZ✠

    Gee, what do you suppose Russia's economy would look like if the Kremlin had a policy of printing $85B per month in Rubles, for like 5 or 6 years straight?

    Wotsis Naim is right. The US is still a leading manufacturer of products made mostly elsewhere by others.

    Definition of an IP lawyer ? An expensive mouth piece for communications.

    April 22, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
  7. j. von hettlingen

    The Crimea quest may prove to be Putin's Pyhrric victory, if Russia's economy stagnates as a result of sanctions. After having brought them prosperity Putin enjoys support among cronies, oligarchs and middle-class Russians. The question is whether they are willing to give up their comforts and perks, to go back to the old days of deprivation, just as their parents and grandparents did.

    April 23, 2014 at 4:43 am |
    • ✠RZ✠

      Deutsch Post halts letters to Crimea and McDonalds stores close yesterday, all 3 of them. Fluke? Coincidence? Or trend?

      April 23, 2014 at 7:42 am |

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