UnNews:Kudlow: Let's all boycott Russia

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24 March 2014

Larry Kudlow

Mr. Kudlow left to the reader the question of who would be crippled by the crippling boycott.

NEW YORK CITY -- TV economist Larry Kudlow suggested that the West should respond to Russia's invasion of the Crimea with a crippling trade embargo.

Russia entered the Crimea last week — illegally, according to Ukraine's President, who was illegally installed by mobs last month, replacing the one illegally elected under a constitution the voters didn't ratify either. Barack Obama insisted that Vladimir Putin obey the law — and he sent John Kerry to find out what that might be.

In symbols, an embargo is where O punishes P by preventing trade between Q and R. Kudlow said a boycott could have crippling effects on Russia, and no effects at all on its trade partners. He proposed that Russian celebrities be barred from visiting America, and from eating at any KFC in the world. "The ruble will go to heck, and Putin's popularity will eventually plummet." He said Britain must act in solidarity with the U.S.; otherwise, the Russians would simply change their travel plans and eat chips or curry in the U.K. He conceded that Russia might sell its Treasuries and foreign currencies, driving up interest rates in the West and throwing people out of work, but said, "no big deal," as his contract with CNBC extends to the year 2050. Isolating foreign bad actors for decades is a staple of U.S. foreign policy, which recently led to regime change through old age in Cuba.

Obama had already sanctioned Putin's cabinet. Taking a page from the Bush playbook, Obama explained, "If you don't pull out of the Crimea, I'll cut myself. There; it's your decision." Though solidly behind the rich, Kudlow proposed that the sanctions be extended from policy-makers to oligarchs, who would bring pressure on Putin. Russian-owned basketball teams like the Brooklyn Nets should be stripped of draft picks, he said, and Russian-language broadcasts moved to the upper-three-digit area on cable systems. "That'll teach him."

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Other popular ideas include sending $1,000 million in aid to Ukraine, to show American faith that the Red Army won't just snap that up, too. But reinvigorating the American natural gas business is stalled, as the U.S. is well along in converting its industrial machine to run on sunbeams and pixie dust.

Kudlow scoffed at the idea that a coercive response to a military invasion might lead to war. After all, Putin has said the Russian troops on the border don't want any other pieces of Ukraine, and in any case, U.S. defense guarantees got Ukraine to store all its nuclear weapons safely inside Russia.

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