Using the Economic Weapon Against Russia

Global interconnectedness could be Moscow's Achilles's heel.


As parents know, every new gizmo a kid gets provides useful leverage over their behavior. A bit too much sass mouth? The iPod goes on sabbatical. Same works for nations as they connect more to the global economy. As geopolitics guru Tom Barnett writes:

You want the connectivity, and then you let the market express its displeasure. So yes, by all means, remove your money from Russian companies and make them feel some pain. Without the nerve pathways, the signal isn't sent.

Zbigniew Brzezinski thinks he knows just what goodie to take away:

It is premature to specify what precise measures the West should adopt. But Russia must be made to understand that it is in danger of becoming ostracized internationally. This should be a matter of considerable concern to Russia's new business elite, who are increasingly vulnerable to global financial pressure. Russia's powerful oligarchs have hundreds of billions of dollars in western bank accounts. They would stand to lose a great deal in the event of a Cold War-style standoff that could conceivably result, at some stage, in the West's freezing of such holdings.

global economy

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