Crash in Moscow, world stock markets on the slide –
Since 24 February, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, we have found ourselves in a new surreal world of horror. Fear is spreading among the population. After the constant media coverage of the Corona crisis with its often one-sided reporting, there is now only the constant media coverage of the war in Ukraine. The sanctions will not only damage Russia, but also Germany and the EU. There is now even a threat of recession. Putin has damaged Russia more than he thought with his Ukraine war. But how can he get out of this mess? There has already been a crash on the Moscow stock exchange. Trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange has been suspended. Will a crash on the world’s stock exchanges follow? And even more drastically: Will a Ukraine war turn into a 3rd world war?
Investors and the population are now very unsettled and in fear. But panic is also spreading among politicians. Far-reaching decisions are being made now that will be regretted later. Stock prices fell sharply on the world’s stock exchanges last week in Europe, but not in the USA. Commodities such as oil, gas, nickel, aluminium and wheat are going through the roof and causing inflation to rise sharply. The central banks must and will raise interest rates, but first the FED Andreas Männicke gives his assessments of the background to the Ukraine war, but also of future opportunities and risks in this unfriendly environment, also in his stock market letter EAST STOCK TRENDS (www.eaststock.de) and in his new EastStockTV video, episode 194 at www.YouTube.com .
After the Corona Madness now comes the War Madness
What no one and did not expect became a cruel and bitter reality on 21 and especially on 44 February. After the Corona madness, now comes the war madness in Ukraine. From 24 February, that is, after the start of the Ukraine war, which is contrary to international law, we are indeed in a different world, also in a different financial world. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the siege and rocket fire on the capital Kiev were not expected and caught the West unprepared. The shock is deep-seated and politicians are panicking about the mega-armament programme.
Despite the preceding turbo-diplomacy with Biden/Macron/Scholz, Putin recognised the separatist-occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent republics on 21 February, which set the avalanche rolling. They asked Putin for help, whereupon Putin decided to attack the whole of Ukraine, for which I have no sympathy. The resulting suffering and deaths in Ukraine, too, but above all the shelling of civilians, cannot be justified by anything and is reprehensible.
Putin’s campaign also in his own country
Putin’s new media law, according to which the dissemination of so-called fake news is punishable by 15 years, is also incomprehensible and reprehensible. What constitutes fake news is then decided by Putin at his own discretion. In Russia, the word war cannot be used, it is “only” a necessary special military action by special forces to denazify Russia and protect the Russian population in Eastern Ukraine. Its soldiers and tanks are “peacekeeping troops§. What a farce. Anyone who reports otherwise faces a long prison sentence. Protests in the streets are nipped in the bud by banning demonstrations and imprisoning demonstrators. This is not acceptable!
Freedom of the press, freedom of opinion and freedom of assembly are foreign words for Putin.
The Western media have already stopped reporting from abroad. This means that the already endangered freedom of opinion and freedom of the press in Russia has now come to a complete standstill. But I also consider it wrong that RT and Sputnik have been banned from spreading their views in Germany. In a war – and elsewhere – there is always propaganda and an information war. This is also a dangerous development on both sides.
But one-sided reporting also in Western media
However, I also criticise the reporting here, which – similar to the Corona crisis – is very one-sided. Even old videos and photos are used to report on the war in Ukraine. What is the point? The live images that sometimes reach us are bad enough, and so are the refugee flows of women and children. There is also one-sided reporting in this country and has been for years as far as Russia is concerned, which disappoints me.
Everything that Putin said or is reported or claimed by Russian media is unreflectively classified as “propaganda” often without doing own research “on the ground” with interviews of affected and separatists “on the ground”. The fair and independent journalist should conduct unbiased research, preferably “on the ground” with many interlocutors. The late journalist Scholl-Latour remains the role model.
Always double standards: Are the US wars the good wars and the Russian wars the bad wars?
One thing is clear: the Ukraine war is illegal under international law and cannot be justified by anything. All help for the fleeing population is now appropriate. The Ukrainian refugees are rightly being welcomed with warm hands. But was that always the case with the refugees from Iraq and Syria? It is also reprehensible when peace-loving Russian-Germans are now attacked verbally or even violently, or when Russian shops here are pelted with paint. But Russians also had a hard time opening shops or being treated with respect in Western Ukraine. They were discriminated against. The Russian truck drivers stranded here also deserve help and support.
What complicity does the West have in the Ukraine war?
But we should all ask ourselves what complicity we have in this mad act by Putin and why we condemn the many wars of the USA/NATO in Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Jenem (by the USA and Saudi Arabia), which are contrary to international law, as well as the supply of weapons from Germany to Saudi Arabia in the same way. Why doesn’t the USA get sanctions when it wages wars and drone wars against terrorists in violation of international law – partly starting from German soil – where many civilians have also died and drones have destroyed houses. An air strike can never be conducted so cleanly that only military installations are destroyed, as Putin wants to make us believe. The collateral damage to the peaceful population is enormous. Every war is always also murder of the civilian population and the worst crime against humanity, not only the Ukraine war, which is in no way intended to justify the Ukraine war.
Will sanctions bring about a change in Putin’s behaviour or a third world war?
At the moment, however, I am missing the critical distance and self-reflection of the media and some politicians. I don’t think that arming the German military to the tune of €100 billion is the right way to go, especially since they wouldn’t do any good at all if nuclear bombs were used. Certainly, Germany’s defence readiness must be restored, which was not there before. But where did the €50 billion end up before. Russia cut defence spending from $80 billion to $60 billion between 2016 and 2020. In the USA, ten times that amount is spent on it.
There were already similar panic reactions after the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, with the result that the nuclear power plants that we now urgently need were closed. That too was not very far-sighted and rational, but full of panic and emotion. The mega-armament policy is just as unwise and unhelpful now, although an efficient European army has long been a sensible thing to do, also to make us more independent of the USA.
Why is Putin waging the Ukraine war and could it have been avoided?
To answer this important question, one must at least try to delve into Putin’s world of thought and familiarise oneself with his arguments. Incidentally, this is also important if one wants to prevent a 3rd world war, which no one wants and no one will survive if nuclear bombs are actually used, which I believe is possible. Incidentally, nuclear bombs should basically be banned worldwide, as should cluster bombs. Anyone who possesses them would have to go to prison. They also serve as a deterrent, but nowadays you can’t rule the world with conventional means anyway. But unfortunately we have not yet reached the point where some nations believe they can manage without a nuclear deterrent. Instead of disarming heavily, we are now rearming worldwide, which I think is a mistake. All that money would be better spent elsewhere.
How good it would have been to use the €100 billion for education or to eliminate the personnel shortage in the nursing sector, but also to build preventive hospitals, so as not to always use or abuse the alibi argument of avoiding the overloading of hospitals in the fight against Corona. By the way: Allegedly, the USA has laboratories in Ukraine as well as in Georgia for the development and testing of biological weapons. This is only a rumour, but the investigative journalists should investigate this thesis on the spot, because such a thing would threaten the entire world population.
Are Putin’s arguments far-fetched and untrue?
So what prompted Putin to launch this war, the invasion of Ukraine, which I never thought was possible, because it would damage himself and his country too much and because he was aware of the consequences? How did Putin’s behaviour change from a cooperative partner to an enemy and war leader? In 2001, Putin still made a blazing speech to the German parliament in German, which thrilled all politicians. He spoke of a strategic partnership with Germany and the plan for a free economic zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok. In the years that followed, relations with Europe were peaceful and cooperative. The Moscow stock exchange rose by 3000 percent from 1999 to 2016. But then Putin kept reminding us that he did not want NATO to expand eastwards, as this had been agreed verbally in 1990 between the foreign ministers from Russia, the USA and Germany involved. Unfortunately, however, this was not laid down in writing as a treaty at that time, when Russia also agreed to the reunification of East and West Germany, for which we should still be grateful to Gorbachev and thus to Russia.
Do US geostrategists and advisers determine US foreign policy?
In 1997, L. Brzezinski’s book “The Grad Chessboard” was published, describing in detail how the USA could not only maintain its world domination but expand it in Euro-Asia. First, according to the US plan, the Eastern European countries were to gradually come into the EU and then into NATO, which is what happened. But the most important puzzle in the US chess game is Ukraine, which should enter the EU and NATO so that Russia is weakened and is not the dominant and dominant nation in Euroasia. The head of the US think tank Stratfor Goerge Friedman wrote the book “The New Century” in 2009. He said, “A Russian-German alliance must therefore be prevented at all costs.” The US was afraid of what the now hated former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder always wanted, namely a strong Germany and a strong Russia in strategic partnership, because this could hinder US domination of the world.
USA’s geostrategic chess games worked to perfection
Now the long-term strategic chess games of the USA seem to be working out, but on the back and to the disadvantage of the EU, Germany and Ukraine and in favour of the USA. Putin, of course, knew the geopolitical goals of the US and felt more and more cornered The last “red line” for him was Ukraine as a strategically important buffer state from a security point of view – similar to Belarus, which he does not want to give up. He sees it as a necessary “defensive action” from his point of view.
Why US missile defence systems on Romanian soil?
A major provocation by Putin was the setting up of US missile bases in Romania, which are also to take place in Poland. Possibly Putin will now position missile bases and military in Cuba and South America as “compensation”. Inconceivable for Putin was and is the thought that in future the missiles will be positioned not only in Poland but also on Ukrainian soil. The US missiles were originally to be directed only against Iran, with US sanctions against Iran now to be lifted. Why then do we need US missile bases on Romanian soil? Now we are even supposed to get gas and oil from the former enemy Iran, if Russia will no longer supply it. What a farce!
NATO considers Russia and China as enemies
Since the annexation of Crimea, Russia has been regarded as an enemy by NATO together with China, which makes a difference as a possible strategic partner, which was also once under discussion. Putin wanted to make a common security policy together with the EU, also against terrorists, but nothing ever came of it. After the annexation of Crimea, Russia was already partially isolated. Now, however, they are being completely isolated and also excluded from all sporting and cultural events, which is probably not entirely unimportant to Putin.
What does the isolation of Russia lead to?
Russia was no longer invited to the G8 meetings but was still invited to the G20 meetings, where Putin was quite lonely even at dinner tables. For a long time, the NATO-Russia Council no longer met and threads of talks that used to exist between Russia and the USA were broken off, which was very dangerous even then. Putin felt humiliated and misunderstood. He was disappointed by the US obedience of the EU and Germany, for which the so-called “transatlanticists” were mainly to blame. Now, however, he is even more isolated and it is hard to imagine that he will ever again be accepted and respected as an interlocutor in world politics in the West.
It is also about a new world order in cooperation with China.
Putin always sought recognition and respect in the West, but he never got it. He was the lonely voice in the wilderness that no one could or wanted to hear. Now he is even more isolated and has been driven completely into the hands of China, which could have been avoided, but which is now also very dangerous, because China and Russia are very big military powers that also have nuclear weapons and will act together to break the world domination of the USA. This is also about a new world order, where Russia also wants to have a say. Nine countries worldwide have nuclear bombs: besides the USA and Russia, these are Great Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. Together, these countries had more than 13,000 nuclear warheads in their arsenals in 2021, according to Sipri. If they were to be used. it would mean the destruction of the world.
Who can stop Putin?
Now politicians with a sense of proportion and great diplomatic skills and tact are needed to avoid a 3rd world war. Whether Erdogan is the right person. remains to be seen. If Putin has a strategic goal, he wants to achieve it. Putin wants the Minsk process to be implemented. His minimum demands are a constitutional amendment allowing the Autonomous Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk and a guarantee that Crimea will not be attacked militarily by Ukraine.
Germany can now enter a severe recession
There is nothing in the German government that could make Putin change his ways. Even tighter sanctions like an oil embargo will certainly only harden the situation and weaken Germany, which could fall into a severe recession. Macron has not been able to do anything either so far. After the phone call with Putin only says: frustrated: “Everything is getting worse” in the worry that Odessa will be attacked soon. To make matters worse, China could also attack Taiwan soon, which would increase the danger of a third world war, where China would then wage war primarily together with Russia against the USA or NATO – a horror scenario that at least half of humanity would not survive if nuclear weapons were also used.
EU wanted to cooperate with Ukraine militarily as well
The EU has failed to become a strong entity, even though they now speak with one voice on sanctions against Russia, although Hungary and Austria are certainly not very happy with this development. The Ukraine war could have been prevented if Putin had been more involved in the negotiations at the EU Association Treaty in 2013 and if Putin had been treated more with respect beforehand. In the EU Association Treaty in 2013 there were also clauses on military cooperation that should have been discussed with Putin, as well as customs issues, which did not happen.
Maidan demonstrations ended violently under the influence of Nazis and unknown snipers
After the then acting ex-president Viktor Yanukovych broke off negotiations with the EU because he considered them premature, the initially peaceful Maidan demonstrations began. The demonstrations were very much supported by the USA, allegedly even with 5 billion. US dollars from George Soros and others. However, they did not end peacefully, but violently. The use of 100 snipers at the end, who shot at both demonstrators and police, causing chaos, is still unclear. Foreign mercenaries are suspected, but this is uncertain.
After the Maidan came a coup and a government formation with Nazis
Ex-president Yanukovych previously negotiated a deal with Steinmeier and the French foreign minister that included new elections, which was signed but not honoured, after there were death threats to Yanukovych and a violent escalation in the demonstrations, he fled to Russia. Afterwards, there was a non-constitutional government formation, i.e. a coup, where armed and violent Nazi supporters played a decisive role. 4 ministerial posts were filled by the Svoboda Party, with Nazi collaborator and war criminal Stefan Bandera considered a hero and role model. The supporters of the Svoboda Party hate Jews and Russians and they want to destroy them with all their might and violence. Now Selinski himself is a Jew and he must have had every effort beforehand to keep the Azov Battalion and the Nazis in the country in check. The Azov regiment had been fighting in eastern Ukraine for 8 years as a spearhead.
Were civilians also deliberately shot at in eastern Ukraine?
It consists of volunteers, but it is under the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior. It has been fighting in eastern Ukraine for years, and Putin warns that civilians are also being deliberately shot at there, which should be checked. There are reports that the Azov regiment also shelled hospitals, kindergartens and schools. Putin, however, should and must provide valid evidence for this and name witnesses. Some eastern Ukrainians, but not all in eastern Ukraine, classify the current war as a liberation, although they are also being shelled by Russians, as in Mariupol and Kharkiv.
Minsk process never implemented
Putin repeatedly urged that the Minsk process be implemented peacefully. This should have been done years ago, but nationalists were against it. According to this, the constitution was to be changed and Luhansk and Donetsk were to be given special status. In addition, free elections were to take place. However, these never took place because of the unclear security situation. However, direct talks and negotiations with the separatist leaders never took place, meaning that a great opportunity for a peaceful solution was missed, for which Selinskyi is not entirely blameless.
Luhansk and Donetsk were economically dependent on Russia’s help
Since 1990, all kinds of countries separated peacefully, such as Czechia/Slovakia and ex-Yugoslavia, but the Soviet Union also fell apart. Why was and is it not possible to peacefully separate eastern and western Ukraine in such a way that they can continue to cooperate economically, but grant special status to eastern Ukraine? Eastern Ukraine, which lived mainly from mining, has suffered economically for 8 years from the self-imposed separation. There were simply no goods arriving from Western Ukraine. Water supply and electricity were also a problem. Schooling continued under very adverse conditions.
Problems in creating and maintaining humanitarian corridors
Now, however, fighting is going on in many places in Ukraine, which is a war that is illegal under international law, where war crimes such as the shelling of civilians are also taking place. The flow of refugees is also the result of the war, for which Putin alone is responsible, with all the misery that goes with it. It remains to be seen whether at least the humanitarian corridors in Mariupol and Kharkiv will be respected. So far it has been impossible to evacuate the population. Most refugees are stranded in Poland, which is now hosting more than 1 million Ukrainians for the second time since 2015, which deserves much credit. Now Putin is to be tried as a war criminal at the UN’s highest court in The Hague. The big question is how to get Putin to bring about a ceasefire that will be respected. Also, the big question is how to continue after the ceasefire for Putin, who still enjoys great support in his own country. A few oligarchs have had the courage to criticise the Ukraine war, but there are still too few for an internal uprising.
Crash on the Moscow Stock Exchange, Suspension of Trading and Fall of the Ruble
There was a crash on the Moscow Stock Exchange and the rouble plummeted by almost 50 per cent from 85 to 162 EUR/RUB similar to what happened after the Crimean crisis in 2014/15. Trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange was suspended. ADR/GDR are also suspended on the London Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange. It is doubtful whether the ADR/GDR will be reintroduced for trading at a later date. But then many institutional investors (funds) and private investors would lose a lot of money. Theoretically, it would be possible to exchange them for original shares via Russian brokers. Before trading was suspended, the Moscow stock exchange had already fallen by 42 per cent. After the new start of trading, it will probably fall further, with the threat of “margin calls” on the oligarchs, because oligarchs often deposit their securities as collateral for loans. But trading in Russian bonds has also been suspended.
DAX in free fall, Wall Street (still) relatively stable
But not only the Moscow stock exchange collapsed, but almost all stock exchanges, including those in Eastern Europe. The DAX has already fallen by almost 20 percent since the beginning of the year until 7 March. Wall Street remained the most stable, which is characteristic. The Dow Jones Industrial Index fell “only” 10 percent since the beginning of the year. Germany and Europe are to be weakened and bleed, and the USA can even profit from this because now, after the ban on the Nordic Pipeline, more and more liquefied gas is to be bought from the USA. But Germany also wants to import oil and gas from Iran, fertilisers (phosphate) are to come from Morocco and others.
Exploding commodity prices fuel inflation
Dangerous for the already too high inflation is the explosion of commodities, especially oil, gas, wheat and nickel (+78 percent on 7 March alone). The question is whether enough nickel can be imported to make the whole €100 billion upgrade possible if Norilsk Nickel fails as a supplier. Gold also rose on 1983 US dollarsUnue not as much as the commodities mentioned above, which disappoints gold supporters. But gold rose much more in Euro terms to 1822 Euro/ounce, which still means a plus of 18 percent in 1 year. However, gold has risen by 553 percent(!) since 2000, making it one of the best financial investments in the world, along with some cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin fell sharply in the last few days from 45,000 to 38,000 USD/BTC and is thus only down 26 percent in 1 year, but Ethereum is still at 2577 USD/ETH and thus up 41 percent in 1 year.
New opportunities in Eastern Europe after the crash
Crash prices are also buying prices again at some point after some time of calming down, provided the shares are tradable at all. There are now many opportunities in Eastern Europe (without Moscow for the time being) even after the heavy price losses. Therefore, order now a trial subscription (3 issues by e-mail for only 15 €) of the monthly stock letter EAST STOCK TRENDS (EST) with another Ukraine/Kazakhstan/Russia special as well as with a lot of background information and new investment suggestions such as with the “Stock of the Month” and lucrative certificates at www.eaststock.de, there under Stock Letter.
Interview notes: The last TV interview with Andreas Männicke on Aktionärs TV was on 27.02.22 and the last radio interview was on 23.02.21 on Börsen Radio Networks. Regular interviews are now also available in the Sunday Talk with Rainer Hahn. You can now download the interviews at www.eaststock.de under the heading “Interviews”, as well as the EastStockTV video of the same name, episode 194. By the way: have you already subscribed to the EastStockTV YouTube channel?