from The Great Debate:

What is the best way for the U.S. to counter Russia’s natural gas threats?

By Leslie Palti-Guzman
November 6, 2014

General view of Bogorechanske gas storage facility in Ivano-Frankivsk region near Ukraines western borders

After last week’s gas agreement between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union -- which made clear Russia’s energy dominance over Europe -- some have asked whether the U.S. could use its gas reserves as a “geopolitical weapon” to “stand up to Russian aggression,” as U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner said in a statement earlier this year.

from MacroScope:

Anaemic growth at best

By Mike Peacock
November 5, 2014

Lithuanian 1 euro coins are pictured in the Lithuanian Mint in Vilnius

Service sector PMI surveys for euro zone member states offer the last piece in the economic data jigsaw for the European Central Bank to ponder before its policy decision on Thursday.

from The Great Debate:

Putin’s already paying dearly for Ukraine – and looks willing to sacrifice much more

By William E. Pomeranz
August 12, 2014

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin has adopted a “go it alone” approach throughout the Ukraine crisis and regularly describes his country as “independent” and nonaligned. But Moscow is not as isolated as Putin makes out. The fact that he cannot see this reality -- or chooses to ignore it -- has produced a series of decisions that has seriously undermined Russia’s global role.

from Breakingviews:

Gazprom/Ukraine dispute is proxy for Putin’s whims

June 16, 2014

By Pierre Briançon 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from MacroScope:

Common cause for Washington and Tehran in Iraq?

By Mike Peacock
June 16, 2014

Iraq is going up in flames and there appears to be no question of the West putting boots back on the ground in contrast to 2003 when the United States and Britain invaded to topple Saddam Hussein and set in train a decade of chaos that has now exploded again.

from MacroScope:

Why EU elections can matter

By Mike Peacock
May 19, 2014

Some interesting action over the weekend: in a foretaste of this week’s EU elections, Greece's leftist, anti-bailout Syriza party performed strongly in the first round of local elections on Sunday, capitalizing on voter anger at ongoing government austerity policies.

from MacroScope:

Ukraine inching back to the brink

By Mike Peacock
April 8, 2014

Pro-Moscow protesters in eastern Ukraine took up arms in one city and declared a separatist republic in another yesterday and the new build-up of tensions continues this morning.

from Global Investing:

Ukraine and the IMF: a sense of deja vu

April 1, 2014

The West has just agreed to stump up a load of cash for Ukraine but there is a distinct sense of deja vu around it all.

from Global Investing:

Oil falls. So does the Russian stock market

May 4, 2012

Russian equities have had their worst week since early-December, with losses of over 6 percent. But don't look too far for the reason -- world crude futures have fallen to three-month lows around $114 a barrel on worries that U.S. and world economic growth may not be picking up after all.  They too have fallen 6 percent so far this week. Check out the following graphics showing how Russian stocks and its currency move in lock-step with oil prices:

from Global Investing:

In defence of co-investing with the state

May 3, 2012

It's hard to avoid state-run companies if you are investing in emerging markets -- after all they make up a third of the main EM equity index, run by MSCI. But should one be avoiding shares in these firms?