Monthly Archives: September 2022

Bar Fights, Game Theory, And Why Putin Can’t Get a Face Saving Exit. Russian “Mobilization” Changes Nothing

Putin has just doubled down on his “madman” negotiating strategy.  The problem – for Putin especially – is that strategy gives him low odds for a face-saving negotiated outcome.  In bar fight terms, the madman eventually ends up getting kicked … Continue reading

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Lazy Consensus Likely Wrong. Ukraine War Ends in Months, Not Years. Russia’s Gas/Oil Embargo Ends With It.

I keep running into a lazy consensus around Ukraine – a long, grinding war prosecuted by implacable, iron-fisted Putin pressing crushing energy sanctions until…? The end game is usually hand-waving about “negotiations” that largely assumes Ukrainian capitulation.  If those ill-examined … Continue reading

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The Ukraine End Game – Keep It Frozen Past Putin’s Sell-By Date…

Ukraine will end up with a “frozen conflict” one way or the other.  The only question is how frozen for how long?   Framed that way, the Ukraine’s diplomatic/political end game is obvious.  A conflict frozen long enough to outlast … Continue reading

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Is the Job Vacancy Debate (Beveridge Curve) Off-Target Because The Data Is Skewed by a Move Online? Likely Yes.

Unfilled jobs – the “vacancy rate” – has gotten a lot of attention in the inflation debate. But that debate ignores an obvious discontinuity in the underlying data series. The data have definitely changed drastically around COVID. Some of that … Continue reading

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A Lazy Consensus Is Likely Wrong. The Shock Waves Will Be Big. Why Ukraine Matters.

Why am I so focused on Ukraine?  Partly because it is fascinating.  But more because it is so important to a lot of really important trends. If the cut-off Russian forces don’t hold around Kherson, the shock waves of that … Continue reading

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Kherson is Putin’s Stalingrad. Time is Not On His Side.

A friend asked me to update my Ukraine thoughts yesterday.  It turned out I had a lot to think through, so here goes with my apologies.  A lot of people believe that time is on Putin’s side.  That argument is … Continue reading

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