Stratfor: Russia Examines Its Options for Responding to Ukraine

March 18th, 2014
in aa syndication, stratfor

By George Friedman, Founder and Chairman, Stratfor

The fall of the Ukrainian government and its replacement with one that appears to be oriented toward the West represents a major defeat for the Russian Federation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia accepted the reality that the former Eastern European satellite states would be absorbed into the Western economic and political systems. Moscow claims to have been assured that former Soviet republics would be left as a neutral buffer zone and not absorbed. Washington and others have disputed that this was promised. In any case, it was rendered meaningless when the Baltic states were admitted to NATO and the European Union. The result was that NATO, which had been almost 1,000 miles from St. Petersburg, was now less than approximately 100 miles away.

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February 2014 Industrial Production Improves

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The headlines say seasonally adjusted Industrial Production (IP) improved in February. Econintersect‘s analysis using the unadjusted data concurs – but adds that the downward revision of the previous months makes this data set less good than what appears at first glance.

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March 2014 Empire State Survey Slightly Improves, Internals Mixed

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The Empire State Manufacturing Survey marginally improved and remains in expansion territory in March 2014. Key internals are mixed. This is a rather soft report for an economy in expansion.

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How Many Workers Are Missing? 5 million? 10 million?

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A post The Vast Majority of the 5.8 Million Missing Workers Are Under Age 55 got me thinking. This post uses participation rates, and contrary to popular opinion shows the majority of missing workers from the workforce are under 55 years old. This post can be summed up with their graph:

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