Well, once again, Vladimir Putin and Russia are in the news and doing the most. The recent invasion of Ukraine, which has already claimed dozens of lives, has put the world on alarm and what’s even more disturbing is that we possibly have not seen the worst yet. Whether we want to admit it or not, this crisis will directly impact us. I will attempt to explain the ways how.
Pain at the Pump
Russia is an energy monolith, a major producer of oil and natural gas; second to only the U.S.. All this drama will force an already limited supply to be more limited, with JPMorgan predicting oil prices to “easily” jump to $120 a barrel, which will result in gas prices increasing in our world. The national average price for a gallon stands at a seven-year high of $3.54. We might be in a time where we’ll start, as Katt Williams once joked, having to make life decisions when getting gasoline.
Food and Home
Russia is also the world’s largest exporter of wheat, while Ukraine is a significant exporter of both wheat and corn. This hypothetically can cause some issues with food production, which ultimately could produce a shortage. Those who keep a close watch on their thermostats and lights the higher oil and natural gas prices will also cause an increase in home heating and electricity bills.
The world’s financial markets are all taking a hit, and if you log into your Robinhood account, your investments are indeed down significantly since the invasion started. Our 401K accounts are linked to the stock market, so now isn’t a good time to look at your retirement nest egg. However, Don’t Panic!
We are still in a recovery period economically because of the pandemic that caused many to be unemployed. The increase in oil prices will also put a dent in the GDP. Though the dent would not be significant, with it only causing a decrease by one percent, it does not help our current state as the country tries to climb out of this hole.
We’ve all been plagued on our timelines with the periodic “bots” and even in the past few years with the interference that put “45” in the White House for those four horrific years that we won’t talk about. Saying all of this to say that Russian cyber influence is real, and it’s scary to think that we have not seen the boundaries of Putin’s petty. A significant cyberattack can directly impact everything in our day-to-day lives, most notably our financial system.
Possible U.S. Involvement
The most obvious concern is that we can be seeing the birth of World War III, especially if Uncle Joe decides not to sit still and get involved. This can be Afghanistan, the Gulf War, and Vietnam all rolled into one regarding how catastrophic something like this could be, and, as we’ve seen in the past, Vladimir wants all the smoke and ashes too and is not afraid to let it be known.