VodkaPundit

Playing the Markets

Communism got kicked in the nads almost 20 years ago, but the Russians still don’t have a real handle on the capitalism thing. Read:

The flow of Russian natural gas to Europe dropped sharply Tuesday with six countries reporting a complete halt of shipments as Russia deepened its gas embargo of neighboring Ukraine.

Countries as far away as Italy and Germany warned of disruptions and the European Union called the sudden fuel cut-off to member countries “completely unacceptable.”

Putin needs cash to carry out his promises to quadruple Russia’s ICBM build-up over the next few years, as well as beefing up procurement of tanks and (what Russia so quaintly calls “modern”) airplanes. At the same time, they’re making less and less money off oil and gas sales. And now they’re not selling any gas at all? It’s almost as if they’re using manufactured uncertainty to drive up prices.

Wait — maybe they do get capitalism, after all.