Russian sanctions result in a shortage of prized vacuum-tube guitar amps

Apr 13, 2022
Few factories make the tubes, valued for the sound quality they bring to amplifiers. A run on the market is driving up prices.
Todd Sharp holds a vacuum tube — what he says is key to high-quality sound from an amp.
Paige Pfleger/WPLN News

With Russia's "selective default," some investors see opportunity

Apr 11, 2022
Investing in Russian debt while it's cheap can pay dividends but comes with uncertainty and reputation risk.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, left, with President Vladimir Putin. Siluanov said Russia would sue if the West forces the country to default on its foreign debt.
Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

For Europe, quitting Russian coal will be easier than quitting Russian natural gas

Apr 5, 2022
Russia supplies more of the EU's oil and gas than it does coal.
A storage site for a coal-fired power plant in Duisburg, Germany, on April 5. The European Union recently banned imports of Russian coal.
Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

What another round of economic sanctions could entail

Apr 5, 2022
The Biden administration is considering secondary sanctions on Russia – and its supporters.
A man removes trash near the remains of a destroyed Russian armored personnel carrier in Borodianka, northwest of Kyiv, on Monday.
Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

Could the U.S. have weakened its financial clout by using it to sanction Russia?

Apr 4, 2022
Probably not, but Russia and China are likely to keep looking for ways to avoid U.S.-controlled financial infrastructure.
The U.S. has a lot of leverage in the global financial system — at least for now.
SSV-Photo/Getty Images

China walks a trade tightrope between Russia and the West

Mar 17, 2022
The Chinese government is opposed to sanctions against Russia and says it will continue to trade with it. But that is not easy in practice.
Though China relies on Russian oil, voluntary sanctions by Western companies could make it harder for China to get it. Above, a worker stands on pipes at an offshore oil in China's eastern Shandong province.
STR/AFP via Getty Images

If China aids Russia, what options would the U.S. have?

Mar 16, 2022
The U.S. could expand tariffs on Chinese goods — but that may raise prices for American consumers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Beijing on Feb. 4. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has promised consequences if China were to assist Russia in its war against Ukraine.
Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

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What would happen if Russia defaults on its debt?

Mar 15, 2022
"The long-term implications are severe," one expert says, and can scare away foreign investors.
Russia's economic isolationism may largely insulate global markets should Russia default on its debts.
AFP via Getty Images

Russia wakes up to big technological weaknesses

Mar 15, 2022
Russia's economy relies on imported tech, like aircraft parts and semiconductors. That leaves it vulnerable as sanctions multiply.
Sanctions on Russia have already hurt manufacturers there who rely on foreign tech, like computer chips shipped from the United States.
Josep Lago/AFP via Getty Images

Has the pandemic made the U.S. less vulnerable to oil price spikes?

Mar 8, 2022
Biden's ban on Russian oil may raise already high fuel prices. Though recessions followed past runups, this time may be different.
High oil prices may not affect the U.S. like they used to. We produce a lot of the commodity ourselves, and many households are flush with savings.
David Ryder/Getty Images