“Cornered Putin Problem” — A Sobering New Assessment
Author: Greg Valliere
March 4, 2022
IN A CHILLING ARTICLE THIS MORNING, three veteran New York Times reporters contend that U.S. intelligence agencies are concerned that Putin may seek to expand the war.
INTELLIGENCE EXPERTS WORRY that the increasingly erratic Russian dictator could consider action ranging from indiscriminate shelling of Ukrainian cities to compensate for the early mistakes made by his invading force, to cyberattacks directed at the American financial system, to more nuclear threats and perhaps moves to take the war beyond Ukraine’s borders,” the Times authors contend.
THE U.S. ASSESSMENT of Putin “is linked to an urgent re-examination by intelligence agencies of the Russian leader’s mental state, and whether his ambitions and appetite for risk have been altered by two years of Covid isolation,” the authors say.
THIS IS LABELED THE “CORNERED PUTIN PROBLEM” by intelligence experts who think enormous new sanctions — with the potential to crush the Russian economy — have infuriated Putin to the extent that he will “double down.” He surely must be aware that the global hero is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, while Putin is a despised pariah.
AND PUTIN ALSO MUST BE AWARE that his military has performed well below expectations, as Russian casualties mount, still another reason to be furious. And a threat to assassinate him — discussed by Western leaders in private — was broadcast last night by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was indiscreet as usual.
THUS THE WEEKEND BEGINS with even more uncertainty and pessimism about civilian atrocities condoned by the unstable Putin, who plausibly could escalate the war in coming days. Putin isn’t ready for a truce yet; he’s apparently too furious at signs of weakness by the Russian military.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
©2023 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.