Jeff Sonnenfeld’s Bombshell About the Russian Economy

My pal Jeff Hummel despatched me a hyperlink to a modern 28-minute interview that DW Information did late previous thirty day period with Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of the Yale School of Administration. Jeff requested me to examine it. I come across it highly credible.

The huge base line: Russia’s economic climate is in the tank and the cause numerous of us have imagined otherwise is that Putin pretty much would make up the quantities.

Here are some highlights:

2:00: Rosstat, Russia’s official agency that estimates GDP, said that the economy contracted by only 2.1{515baef3fee8ea94d67a98a2b336e0215adf67d225b0e21a4f5c9b13e8fbd502} in 2022.

2:14: The interviewer states that the IMF expects the Russian financial system to improve by .3{515baef3fee8ea94d67a98a2b336e0215adf67d225b0e21a4f5c9b13e8fbd502}.

3:00: Sonnenfeld suggests that the Planet Bank and some others get their facts from Rosstat. One small trouble is that Rosstat has experienced a modify of management 3 periods. Why? Sonnenfeld says it is because Putin is searching for lackeys (my word) who will condition the details he would like mentioned.

3:30: As a member of the IMF and the Planet Bank, Russia is demanded to post knowledge to the IMF and Planet Lender. “They are not publishing.” By the second quarter of 2022, Russia stopped submitting the information.

4:00: Putin wakes up in the morning and decides what the GDP should really be.

(My financial historian’s mind clicked in right here. I keep in mind reading through, in John Flynn’s book on FDR titled The Roosevelt Fantasy, that right after FDR took the U.S. off gold, he woke up in the morning and made a decision what the cost of gold would be. Here’s the appropriate section from that e book:

Thereafter each individual working day Morgenthau and Roosevelt fulfilled, with Jesse Jones, head of the RFC, existing, to deal with the rate of gold. They gathered all over Roosevelt’s mattress in the morning as he ate his eggs. Then “Henny-Penny” and Roosevelt made a decision the selling price of gold for that day. A single working day they wished to elevate the rate. Roosevelt settled the point. Make it 21 cents, he dominated. That is a blessed variety- a few situations seven. And so it was performed. That night time Morgenthau wrote in his diary: “If people today realized how we fixed the value of gold they would be frightened.”

Why do these points appear to materialize in the morning?

4:45: The Russian economic climate is in a tailspin.

5:40: Every single important industrial sector is down. The car sector is down 99{515baef3fee8ea94d67a98a2b336e0215adf67d225b0e21a4f5c9b13e8fbd502}.

6:30: The get the job done pressure is even a lot more of a government do the job pressure than it was just before the war. While Sonnenfeld does not say it explicitly, it is crystal clear that he understands that which is not excellent.

7:10: Thousands of refrigerators are remaining torn apart to harvest chips that can be made use of by the military services. [I had recently heard this from another friend who follows the Russian economy.]

9:45: Russia is dropping income on electrical power. He goes into this afterwards in depth soon after about the 19:20 place.

10:45: Ruble (not ruple—his pronunciation) is not currently being traded.

12:10: Yellen, Raimondo, and Blinken all say that Sonnenfeld’s team has knowledgeable them on this.

12:40: Companies that have pulled out of Russia.

16:14: Koch Industries has pulled out and gone from a quality of F to A.

17:30: Firms must not only settle for a decline but should really accept a comprehensive produce-down and “it won’t charge them a penny.” In scenario you think Sonnenfeld is pulling a Kramer (the Seinfeld character) and expressing they “write it off,” he’s not. What he’s having at, without the need of working with the time period, is sunk price. They understand that an asset that is valued on their books at $X is truly worth around . And by getting out, they avoid more losses.

18:14: Performing great and executing perfectly are not antithetical.

19:20: The economics of Russia’s oil provide. Why Russia is at very best breaking even.

20:30: Russia’s economic climate is smaller sized than that of Chile.

21:15: Russia can not attain back again its business in Western Europe even soon after all this is in excess of. Intriguing tale about liquefied natural gasoline. The market place will come via.

23:20: Putin just can’t offer normal gas to India and China for the reason that he does not have the pipelines he would will need.

25:25: The mayor of Moscow, until eventually he was silenced, admitted in April that hundreds of hundreds of idled employees “were in the streets with nothing to do.”

25:50: 3 million extremely sophisticated personnel have fled Russia. [DRH comment: Biden should allow a bunch of them in. They wouldn’t go on welfare and would help us.]

This is a single of the most informative movies I have noticed in months.

I have one particular problem, and it’s not about the fact of Sonnenfeld’s statements. I place a higher chance on the strategy that he’s proper.

No, the concern is that he seems to rejoice implicitly the destruction of the Russian economic climate. But Putin’s not suffering. It’s Joe Six-Pack, or possibly Sergei Vodka Bottle who’s struggling. Also, Sonnenfeld and I each agree that Vladimir Putin is an evil guy. What does an evil gentleman with nuclear weapons do when he’s likely down? That worries me.

Francis McGee

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