Russia and the Election

October 20, 2020 by Matt McCracken

This morning, CNBC posted an article titled, "Why Russia - and Putin - might be worried about a Biden presidency?"  The article points out several events that have not endeared Russia to the Democratic party.  

I think we may need to consider flipping this around..."Why a Biden Presidency - and all of the US - should be worried about Russia?"

Russia, as Sir Winston Churchill said, "is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma..."  Russia always has been and always will be a wildcard.  They will always act in what they perceive is their best interest.  But too often, they misunderstand their best interest (as all bureaucrats tend to do).  Russia like many semi-emerging economies has been devastated by the Covid Pandemic.  When you back a bear into a corner, beware!

In my opinion, Russia, along with Saudi Arabia, are the two scariest risks to our economy and our capital markets.  China gets a lot of press but they need us, Russia does not.   Russia's economy is a trainwreck which I think makes them more dangerous not less.  Someone once said, "when you have nothing left to lose, you lose it."  I have no idea if Russia will upset the markets but they are a risk I am going to keep an eye on.

I believe the currency markets are typically the first to know when a country is going rogue in the world market place.  The Ruble has fallen over 10% over the past several months so there doesn't appear to be anything on the imminent horizon.  But something we are watching.