Nancy Sinatra on Ukraine’s Economic Relationships

Nikolai is still on vacation, now on the beach in [censored], drinking a… tall cup of coffee, yes, that’s it! A tall cup of coffee probably with a slight dash of Irish Bailey’s Cream. Filling in for him is the crazy guy from the swimming pool at the Kyiv Hilton.

Call it the Sinatra Family Reunion Week - right here on!

Ukraine’s economic situation while not particularly good is not so dire as most have made it out to be.

  • Ukraine has a total national debt of about $150 Billion, a ratio of about 85% relative to a GDP of $177 Billion for a population of over 40 million people.
  • Contrast with Greece with a national debt of close to $350 Billion, that’s 145% relative to a GDP of $242 Billion for a population of just over 11 million people.

It is fair to say that Greece has probably had better access to the EU market than Ukraine.  It is also fair to say Greece has not been at war recently.

Today is the sum of everything that’s led to it.    For Ukraine, this is the sum of a hundred years of being tied at Russia’s hip  – and all that entails.  Russia’s economy amounts to a GDP of roughly $2.1 Trillion.   There has not been a lot of competition in Ukraine’s economy - for the most part, you either work for a business that is owned by a Ukrainian or a Russian.  All of Ukraine’s Top 3 Telecoms are Russian-owned, for example.

These points are necessary to make and reiterate because it forces the question of where would Ukraine be if it had better access to the EU market’s GDP of $18.5 trillion?  Or the USA’s $16.8 trillion market?  Imagine both!

For as much effort that has and continues to go into preventing Greece from defaulting - the outlook for Ukraine deserves much more optimism than it is getting.  Consider that American International Group, probably known better as AIG, received a bailout for over $180 billion in the midst of the global financial crisis.  That, for one company - a bailout that exceeds Ukraine’s annual GDP.

If the “powers at be” were inclined to do that much then, it can be inferred that they would be willing to do “far less” to prevent Ukraine from default.  I phrase it that way because the main basis of Ukraine’s financial crisis involves the timing on about $18-20 billion of debt - or to put it another way, the same level of debt as one American city - Detroit.

I’d be the last person to say it is impossible, but it would be much, much more costly for everyone if Ukraine were to do so.

As for the music selection of the day… well, I apologize if anyone finds it offensive, but that was the United States back in the 60’s and it captures the heart of Ukraine’s economic relationships today.

These Boots were Made For Walking…

You keep saying you’ve got something for me.
something you call love, but confess.
You’ve been messin’ where you shouldn’t have been a messin’
and now someone else is gettin’ all your best.

You keep lying, when you oughta be truthin’
and you keep losin’ when you oughta not bet.
You keep samin’ when you oughta be changin’.
Now what’s right is right, but you ain’t been right yet.

You keep playin’ where you shouldn’t be playin
and you keep thinkin’ that you’ll never get burnt. Ha!
I just found me a brand new box of matches yeah
and what he knows you ain’t had time to learn.

These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do
one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.

Are you ready boots? Start walkin’!