Kudlow: We need to stop financing Putin’s wars and dreams

“A Rogue Russia Tries to Reset the World Order.” That’s the title of a brilliant op-ed piece by Walter Russell Mead in Friday’s Wall Street Journal.  

Mr. Mead will be a guest on this show a bit later, but he also writes, “He (Putin) aims to topple the U.S. from its global position, break the post-Cold War world order, cripple the European Union and defeat NATO.” 

I think this is very realistic thinking by Professor Mead. He offers a seldom-seen clarity on the Putin-Russia upheaval. My thought? The best way to slow down Putin or even stop him is to end his means of war finance. Historically, money plays a huge role with dictators. 


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin gives comments to the media after a ceremony to sign a declaration on allied cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan at Moscow’s Kremlin. (Mikhail KlimentyevTASS via Getty Images / Getty Images)

In Putin’s case, for example, there’s a correlation between high oil prices and bad Russian behavior. In March of 2014, when WTI crude was at $99 per barrel and Obama was in office, Putin reclaimed the Crimea. But during the next couple of years, as the U.S. fracking revolution developed beyond all expectations, despite opposition from the Obama administration, a huge increase in oil supplies knocked down the price to as low as $27 in early 2016. Nobody heard from…

Read more…