Is the crisis in Ukraine a geopolitical plot to humble the United States and its allies by crashing their financial markets?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Peter Cooper
Tuesday, 22 April 2014

What on earth is the crisis in Ukraine really all about? Those were not pro-Russian separatists in action in the Crimea. They are mainly Russian security forces. Now we see similar things happening in eastern Ukraine. What about the shooting at the weekend that is jeopardising the recent peace deal. Who did that?

If so what is Russia trying to achieve? Is bagging parts of the near bankrupt Ukraine for Russia such a prize? Could it not be that the real objective is to weaken its major global rivals by inducing another global financial crisis as more aggressive sanctions backfire?

New sanctions coming

Make no mistake that is what heavier sanctions on Russia would achieve. The S&P 500 would not be at its current levels. We would be living in a very different world. This would be a real life stress test for an overleveraged Western financial system inflated by five years of money printing.

Is that what Russian president Vladimir Putin has in mind? Teach the West a lesson by crashing its financial markets? If so then he has made a calculation that the impact would be assymetric with Russia coming out far less damaged than the Western powers, and therefore in an enhanced position in relative terms. Mr. Putin is no fool.

Still this would be quite a gamble. Russian stocks and the ruble have been big losers in the crisis thus far. If Russia invades eastern Ukraine at the ‘request’ of the local population – now on the receiving end of a powerful propaganda machine – more sanctions would be inevitable. Russian banks could be shut out of the dollar settlement system.

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