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PODCAST: U.S. sanctions won't hurt Russia

US Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd R) stands beside a barricade at the Shrine of the Fallen in Kiev on March 4, 2014. Kerry arrived in Kiev Tuesday for talks with Ukraine's new interim government, amid an escalating crisis in Crimea. His visit came as the United States said it would provide $1 billion to financially-stricken Ukraine as part of an international loan. With the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea under near complete control by pro-Russian forces, US officials said Moscow could face sanctions within days.

The Obama administration is threatening Russia with economic sanctions if it continues with its military action in Ukraine. But Russia’s main exports are oil and gas, and the United States, which imports about $30 billion of goods, or less than 1 percent of the Russian economy, isn’t a big customer.

When President Obama releases his 2015 budget proposal today, he's expected to include a call for $56 billion in new spending. Part of it would expand pre-kindergarden and Head Start programs by tying their budgets to increased defense spending. But like the rest of his budget proposals, this one will face an uphill battle.

The Federal Reserve system sometimes gives the impression that it flies at 37,000 feet over the economy. But in New England, the Fed has recently been spotted closer to the ground, coordinating a program to funnel grants to distressed cities in Massachusetts. Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren joins Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to discuss the initiative, called the "Working Cities Challenge."

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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