The mainstream press cheerfully reported that inflation seems to be ‘levelling off’ That was after January numbers were adjusted upwards, leaving February — still in double digits — looking less awful. Breitbart: ‘Producer Prices Rise 10% for Second Straight Month’:
‘The Department of Labor said its Producer Price Index rose 0.8 percent in February compared with a month earlier. That’s a slowdown from the 1.2 percent month-over-month rise in January, revised up from one percent.’
The stock market roared its approval — with the Dow up almost 600 points yesterday. The US will wage its sanctions war against Russia…not against inflation.
Our subject this week has been the elite’s curious obsession with the Russo-Ukrainian war…and how it connects to the US’s inflationary decline.
Here at the Letter, we have no interest in criticising US foreign policy. It is obviously asinine; we won’t waste our time.
And please don’t waste your time imagining that we are Russian assets ourselves. We are not an agent for the Russian Federation now, nor have we ever been. We’ve never met Mr Putin, and we won’t be giving out any Russian propaganda…at least until the cheque from him clears.
In the meantime, we connect the dots without prejudice. And they lead us to a fuller picture, not only of what is ahead for US inflation…but what is wrong with the ‘liberal world order’ that the US is so eager to promote. But we’ll get to that next week.
Today, we look at the many things that the US sanctions against Russia and military aid to Ukraine will not achieve.
A not-to-do list
They will not protect the US; it is in no way in danger. (Though, it puts itself in danger by confronting Moscow.)
They will not protect our families; they are far, far out of harm’s way.
They will not make us richer; Americans will almost certainly end up poorer.
They will not establish the principle of sovereign independence or the sanctity of borders. Americans don’t care about other countries’ independence; US forces have invaded 70 different countries since its own independence.
They will not save lives; the more aid to Ukrainians, the longer it will take for them to work out a compromise with the Russians…and the more people will die.
Then what? What are we fighting for?
We will answer that question more fully on Friday. For today, we turn to the rock-em, sock-em world of internet chatter for sarcasm and cynicism:
‘The Democrats asked for $10 billion in aid to send to Ukraine. The Republicans upped it to $12 billion. We need all patriots to get on board and up the aid. Why did the Democrats ask for less? Did Putin buy them off? We need to get behind our favorite neo-con war hawks like Lindsay Graham, Mark Rubio and Tom Cotton. Those who don’t are isolationists and Putin apologists. Now is the time for the only thing Republicans and Democrats agree on, foreign policy adventures and WAR!
‘You are either with us, or with the Russians. Anyone trying to understand this conflict, seek out different perspectives, understand the history of the region, seek information counter to the Western media narrative (just listen to the “fact checkers” and shut up) is obviously a Putin stooge who supports the invasion. Anyone sending links to this email chain that questions the logic of trying to start World War 3 (That crazy right wing fanatic Tucker Carlson, being against conflict with a nuclear power, would almost mistake him for an anti-war hippie) and advocates for a diplomatic solution should be automatically put on a list of potential Russian infiltrators.’
Russia, Russia, Russia! Putin, Putin, Putin! And here comes the money! From the same thread:
‘Did anyone note the House passage of the one point five trillion funding bill noticed at 12:30am today for a 1:30am committee vote approved at 2:30am? Almost 3,000 pages of spending to be passed today without prior notice to the balance of Congress. Let’s pass it so we can find out what’s in it! That seems to work out for us pretty well doesn’t it?’
Another ‘Putin stooge’ has his say:
‘Any time there is a crisis such as this, it is a good time for Congress to pass giant spending packages. That is where there is money to be made, where friends can be rewarded, where cash flows can circle back, and political favors can be curried. This is what Congress lives for.’
Pentagon pay day
The Washington elite spent years trying to tag Russia — which has an economy about the size of the Greater New York City area — as a mortal enemy. US meddling in Ukraine politics (including Lindsay Graham’s star performance in Kyiv, when he promised US backing in a fight with Putin) goaded the Kremlin to action.
And now comes the pay day. Here’s The Jerusalem Post: ‘Arms Sales to Europe Skyrocket as Tensions with Russia Reach an All-time High’.
And here’s National Defense Strategy stating the obvious: ‘Next US defense budget will get a boost due to Ukraine invasion: Pentagon comptroller’:
‘A wild card for the months ahead is the trajectory of the war in Ukraine, as the Defense Department may need additional money for FY22 and FY23 if Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin orders further troop deployments to Eastern Europe.’
Whatever it is, the price of defence stocks has gone way up undercover this new threat. Last November, a share of Lockheed Martin would have set you back US$326. Yesterday, it was US$444.
Meanwhile, prices rise…and time runs out.
More to come…
For The Daily Reckoning Australia