In Defense of EU Complexity – Carnegie Europe

This is an interesting article by Justin Vaïsse, director of policy planning at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and published by global think tank, Carnegie Europe

via In Defense of EU Complexity – Carnegie Europe

Personally, I strongly disagree with the author’s viewpoint. I worry deeply about the EU’s application of sanctions. Of the two cases cited, Iran and Russia, Russia is able to respond militarily. It’s not enough for the EU to argue that there are no military solutions to the Ukraine crisis, for example.

For me, complexity weakens vision, strategy and delivery. Major players like China and Russia will ignore complexity and cut to the chase.

Let me ask an open question:

Do you think that there is ever an effective justification for EU complexity?


Can rating agencies ruin Russian economy? – English

English: Cathedral of Christ the Saviour over ...

English: Cathedral of Christ the Saviour over Moscow River. Moscow (Russia). Français : La Cathédrale du Christ-Sauveur de Moscou, en Russie. Polski: Cerkiew Chrystusa Zbawiciela nad rzeką Moskwą. Moskwa (Rosja). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pravda newspaper front page (around 1950s). Th...

Pravda newspaper front page (around 1950s). The head article title says: From the Soviet Leadership (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A cartoon from Ukrayinska Pravda

A cartoon from Ukrayinska Pravda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the most popular story in Russia’s leading newspaper, Pravda. It’s worth a read. Check it out!

via Can rating agencies ruin Russian economy? – English

Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev is trying to re-assure the Russian people who are looking at a hard as well as cold winter. For those without any training in economics, the argument seems plausible. Certainly, the levels of debt cited for Russia is low compared in Western countries who are in financial difficulties with debt up to the eyeballs.

The reality is that a significant number of major Russian businesses have foreign currency loans that are repayable in the short-term. Meanwhile, the Ruble has suffered devaluation from fears about sanctions. Russia has enormous natural resources for which the West is desperate but politics is impacting trade. Future development requires leading technology from the West and this is restricted because of sanctions.

I think that it is true that the man or woman on Russia’s streets will not directly see any affect from a Western rating agency downgrade. However, the Ruble will continue to depreciate and Russia’s businesses will struggle to secure foreign funding, technology, and scarce resources. Sanctions will mean less and less choice in Russia’s shops, with increasing prices.

In the end, I suspect that the Russian Government will continue to press their political interests. Rating agencies will be ignored and the Russian people will face increased hardship but this is not new.