The last few months have seen U.K. stock markets rising and falling on the basis of the news coming in from the reporters in the Ukraine. Putin moves his troops to the borders of the Ukraine and down go the markets. The Western diplomats organise a peace meeting and back up they go. Pro-Russian demonstrators seize Ukrainian government buildings and they go down again. Western economic sanctions are imposed on Russia and wealthy Russians and back up the markets go. All of this is broadcast in Hollywood style by the media and as a viewer I can only believe that the next steps must lead towards another Syrian situation.
Yesterday I met up for breakfast with an old English acquaintance who has recently built up a manufacturing business in the Western part of the Ukraine. Naturally I opened up by saying how sorry I was for him with all the troubles in the country and did he feel safe working and living there? Well, he didn`t quite say what troubles, he just said that what he views on the BBC television bears no resemblance to what is happening on the ground. Yes, in the eastern part of the Ukraine there are problems but that is a long way away from the bulk of Ukraine and did I realise that the Ukraine is bigger than France? No, I did not. Apparently the people in the East are ethnic Russians and have never liked the people in the West and vice- versa. In his view the people on both sides will be very happy for the country to be annexed. As far as he is concerned it is business as usual and the Western part of the country is working on uninterrupted and looking forward to playing a full role in Europe.
That leaves me with lots of questions. Is this all just politics? What does the USA have to gain by getting involved? Just how much pressure is applied by the “Arms Industry” to cause further disruption to maintain their sales? Is Putin trying to put the old Soviet Union back together by starting with Crimea and Eastern Ukraine? Why is the media allowed to create the news rather than reporting on the news.
I guess I am not going to get any of these questions answered anytime soon. The markets will continue to cycle up and down so in true Saltydog investment tradition I am going to continue to keep the bulk of my money safe in cash and bonds until this is all settles down.