Day: March 21, 2022

Background Briefing: March 21, 2022


A Case for More Sanctions On Putin For the Death and Destruction he is Inflicting on Ukraine

We begin with the economic consequences of the devastation and death being inflicted on Ukraine by Putin and speak with a former Finance Minister of Ukraine Natalie Jaresko, who has had a distinguished international career in public service and private industry, with over 25 years of successful management experience in government and business. She served as Minister of Finance of Ukraine from 2014 to 2016 and previously served in the US State Department and as chief of the Economic Section of the US Embassy in Ukraine from 1992-95 where she was responsible for building a new economic relationship between the United States and newly-independent Ukraine. We assess the damage, death and destruction Putin is raining down on the civilian population and how, even if others below Putin in the Russian government, intelligence services and the military might want a ceasefire and peace agreement, it is unlikely as long as Putin is in power. 


The Role of Religion in Russia’s War Against Ukraine

Then we examine the role of religion in Russia’s war against Ukraine following the recent split between the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches and the cutting of ties by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2018 with Bartholomew the First of Constantinople, the head of the world’s Eastern Orthodox Christians. Joining us is John Burgess, who teaches at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. A Fulbright Scholar to Russia in 2011 and again in 2018 to 2019, he has traveled extensively within Russia, lived in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and made pilgrimage to some of Russian Orthodoxy’s most important monasteries, parishes, and holy sites.  He is the author of a number of books including Holy Rus’: The Rebirth of Orthodoxy in the New Russia.


Can the Autocracies Work Around the Dollar as the Global Reserve Currency?

Then finally we look into the extent to which the confiscation of Russia’s $630 billion in reserves by the Biden Administration might undermine the U.S. advantage of having the dollar as the global reserve currency as others around the world consider the safety of their deposits and holdings. Joining us is Matthew Klein, the founder and publisher of The Overshoot, a premium subscription research service focused on the global economy, financial markets, and public policy. He was previously the Economics Commentator at Barron’s, and has also written for the Financial Times, Bloomberg View, and the Economist. He is the co-author of Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace, and we discuss his latest articles at the Overshoot, “Mapping Banks’ Russian and Ukrainian Exposures” and “The Implications of Unrestricted Financial Warfare.”