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Video from China/Japan Presentation and DC Trip

I gave a presentation on China/Japan at the “Rethinking Seminar” at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.  My presentation was videotaped; video (both streaming and download), audio, and even cliff notes may be found here (by the way, make sure to take a look at other presentations on their website).  Also, I updated my slides […]

Randoms: Invitation to Presentation; Vodafone; Russia

I’ll cover a lot of random subjects, but let me start with an invitation.  I was invited to give a talk about China and Japan at my alma mater, the University of Colorado at Denver.  Here is the invite: We are pleased to invite you to an upcoming International Executive Roundtable on Thursday, April 15, […]

Dear Mr. Ex-KGB

I’ve received so many emails about the WSJ front page article in which the Russian expert, a professor and ex-KGB agent predicts that the US will falter and be split up into five zones (see map below, here is a link to the original article and here is a link to his video interview) and […]

Russia Wrestles With Ruble Collapse

Bad decisions when times were fat spell a rough road ahead for those who hold their savings in Russian currency.  It is amazing how things change in a few months. In September, Russia was on top of the world, the returning global power. Today, it is slipping into obscurity. If it did not have nuclear […]

Fly, Don’t Buy Airlines or Why Big Banks Make Dumb Loans

If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that people don’t learn. Recently, I talked to my cousin who is an executive with a Russian airline company. In our discussion he mentioned that his company just received semi-unsecured loans (all planes are leased so they are not used as a collateral) from western banks at 10% […]

Russia: We Don’t Need the West Anymore

Royal Dutch Shell‘s $7.5 billion sale to Gazprom may have been coerced by the Russian government. Vitaliy Katsenelson looks at the Sakhalin-2 sale and examines the long-term implications if Russia disregards Western investment. [I had a different title in mind for that article Russia: Screw the West, We Don’t Need Them Anymore, but my editor […]

Russian Thievery

The Russian government’s threat to suspend licenses for two giga-billion projects by TNK-BP, in part owned by BP (BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A), is not uncharacteristic of Russia and its very short term thinking. The Russian government argues that it is based on environmental concerns. Nothing, I repeat nothing, in Russia gets done based on environmental concerns. The government simply wants to muscle in on a larger stake in the projects.