Mark Mills, City Journal
By Emil Avdaliani, March 15, 2020
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Though analysts tend to portray Russia’s foreign policy as truly global (that is, independent of Europe, the US, and China), the country is plainly tilting toward Asia. The Russian political elite does its best to hide this development, but the country is accumulating more interests and freedom to act in Asia than in Europe or anywhere else.
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by David R. Henderson via Defining Ideas
OPEC, the United States, and the rules
Russia: Ruble Falls 7%. The Ruble reached a four-year low on Monday following a breakup of talks between Saudi Arabia and Russia over proposed cuts in oil production. In response, Russia’s central bank announced it will be suspending foreign-currency purchases for 30 days to “increase the predictability of actions of monetary authorities under the conditions of significant changes on global oil markets.” The collapse in oil price could cause a deficit for the economy this year and the ruble drop could cause inflation. Bloomberg RFE/RL
The global coronavirus outbreak and falling oil prices could spell a massive economic slowdown for oil-producing countries in the Middle East.
Russia’s decision to break off from the Saudis in the OPEC-plus agreement has some merits.
2020 is shaping up to be Iraq’s most difficult year since 2003, when the US launched its shock-and-awe campaign to bring down longtime dictator Saddam Hussein. Michael Rubin took to the National Interest to argue that last week’s plunge in oil prices completes Iraq’s perfect storm. The Iraqi government has suffered three strikes: a constitutional crisis, coronavirus, and now a plunge in oil prices. Iraqis are resilient, but they will now pay the price for their leaders’ populism. It is time for the US to reengage diplomatically and economically to help Iraq reform its political and economic system toward the stability and prosperity the new generation of Iraqis deserve. Read here.
What’s to blame for the sudden drop in oil prices? Saudi Arabia? Coronavirus? Too much supply? In a new "In 60 Seconds" video, Karen Young explains that low global growth coupled with a disruption in Chinese economic activity and a failed OPEC+ strategy has left us with too much oil in the market. As the Saudis sell the oil at a discount with few buyers, the result is an oil dump. The good news is we have plenty of oil. The bad news is we need the global economy, especially the Chinese economy, to pick up demand. Watch the video here.