Weekly Wrap: Who's feeling those sanctions

US-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-POLITICS

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew(Seated-L) and Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak(Seated-R) speak before signing a loan agreement between the two countries during ceremonies April 14, 2014 at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC.

 

 

Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew said American companies will be paying a little bit of a price for the sanctions  imposed on Russia.

“Visa has already said that the sanctions are likely having an effect on its performance. The other likely culprits are Boeing or Exxon [or] Morgan Stanley. There are a number of major U.S. companies that have complained about both sanctions that already exist and ones that appear to currently be on the table, because they could hurt their business as well,” said Catherine Rampell, columnist for the Washington Post.

Rating agencies have also laid out numerous warnings for the Russians, but to no avail, according to Sudeep Reddy from the Wall Street Journal:

“We’ve seen warnings for weeks and months and they haven’t really made that much of a difference. The sanctions so far have barely scratched the surface. There are a lot of things that could be placed on the Russian economy to force the hand on some of the leaders there at least to get them thinking a lot harder about what’s being done… But the question here is how much pain do you end up with on regular Russians, and regular Ukrainians, and regular Europeans, and ultimately regular Americans in all of this?”

Lew also mentioned that things are still rough out there for a lot of people in this economy, but the American economy is bouncing back. Furthermore, the consumer confidence number out today even revealed that consumers are feeling better than they’ve felt since the beginning of the Great Recession.

“If you breakdown those confidence numbers… you can sort of look at the different components of the survey and say, okay, [this is] where people are feeling a little bit better and [this] where are they still kind of pessimistic," Rampell said. "The places where people seemed to be a little bit more optimistic were places like job prospects. People say they’ve experienced income gains, they perceive inflation to be low. They basically think that their current financial status is... a little bit better than it had been,” says Rampell.

Although the economy is getting better, Reddy says it’s not moving fast enough: “…We’re improving, it’s just not filtering through across the spectrum as quickly as it needs to for us to feel like this is a real recovery.”

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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