World View: Wall Street Goes Parabolic on Russian Troop Pullback

This morning's key headlines from

  • Wall Street goes parabolic on Russian troop pullback
  • While gaining in Ukraine, Putin now goes after Moldova
  • Russia Today anchor Abby Martin criticizes Russia in Ukraine
  • Spam of the Day - from Ukraine, with Love and Care

Wall Street goes parabolic on Russian troop pullback

Early on Tuesday morning (ET), Russian troops along the border with Ukraine were recalled to barracks. That set Wall Street stock futures rising. Then, a few hours later, Russia's president Vladimir Putin gave a news conference saying that Russia had no intention of invading Ukraine. That sent stocks parabolic, with a 228 point surge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. According to Friday's Wall Street Journal, the S&P 500 Price/Earnings index (stock valuations) on Friday (March 4) morning was 17.87, which is astronomically high by historical standards.

Here are some things that bubble-happy investors presumably didn't pay attention to:

  • Russian troops continue to mobilize in Crimea.
  • In his press conference, Putin shook his finger and said that Russia reserves the right to use military force at any time to protect Russians.
  • Many people believe Putin's conquest of Crimea is a fait accompli, in that Crimea is now completely under control of Russia.
  • Russian troops in Crimea fired warning shots at Ukrainian troops during a shouting match.
  • In an apparently show of power, Russia's military test-fired an intercontinental missile in Central Asia, near the border with Kazakhstan.
Putin said that there were no Russian troops in Crimea, which is absurd.

The rest of the day was filled with tough talk from Western leaders, including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Very little has changed since yesterday. Nobody has fired a shot yet, but even an accidental "incident" could occur at any time and spiral into a military conflict. FxStreet and BBC

While gaining in Ukraine, Putin now goes after Moldova

Russia's president Vladimir Putin used the 2008 invasion to prevent Georgia from joining Nato, and with the recent invasion of Crimea, Putin has prevented Ukraine from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union. Now Putin is trying to prevent one more former Soviet republic from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union -- Moldova.

Moldova is a small country on the western boundary of Ukraine, while Russia is along the eastern boundary. The Moldovan government has been pro-European since 2009, and they're prepared to sign an Association Agreement with the EU in August. Putin has been using money and persuasion, funding anti-Europe referendums, pointing out the hardships borne by countries in the European Union. Putin has convinced Moldova's population to begin to turn against integration with Europe, with only 44% now favoring it.

Russia is particularly focusing on the breakaway republic of Transnistria, a region in the form of a strip of land along the border of Ukraine, which strongly favors Russia, and has a similar role to that of Crimea. Transnistria separated from Moldova in 1992 in a civil war, and Russia has been subsidizing the region with $30 million per year. Spiegel

Russia Today anchor Abby Martin criticizes Russia in Ukraine

At the end of her Monday tv broadcast on Russia Today's program "Breaking the Set," American-born RT anchor Abby Martin criticized RT's "misinformation" on the Ukraine crisis, and made an editorial comment criticizing Russia's military intervention in Ukraine:

"Just because I work here, for RT, doesn't mean I don't have editorial independence and I can't stress enough how strongly I am against any military intervention in sovereign nations' affairs. What Russia did is wrong.

I will not sit here and apologize or defend military aggression. Furthermore, the coverage I've seen of Ukraine has been truly disappointing from all sides of the media spectrum, and ripe with disinformation.

All we can do now is hope for a peaceful outcome for a terrible situation, and prevent another full-blown cold war between multiple superpowers. Until then, I'll keep telling the truth as I see it. ...

I don’t know as much as I should about Ukraine’s history or the cultural dynamics of the region, but what I do know is that military intervention is never the answer."

As far as we know, Martin still has her job, and has not been sent to a hard labor camp in Siberia. RT issued a statement that Martin is free to express her own opinion, but not on the air. The statement said there will be no reprimand, but she'll be sent to Crimea "to give her an opportunity to make up her own mind from the epicenter of the story." Mashable

Spam of the Day - from Ukraine, with Love and Care

Here's a spam message that I received last week:

Good antibiotics made with love and care. In our online store http://iucxuvwabzjyp.[redacted].ua

The ".ua" suffix means that the web address is from Ukraine. I wonder whether the "love and care" is being done by Russians or Ukrainians?

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