Economics/Class Relations

Putin’s never-ending war

October 6, 2023 • 5 min read
with Dan DeFrancesco
Happy Friday! David Beckham: famous footballer, fashion icon … future presidential debate moderator? Some fans are pushing for that after watching him artfully call out his wife, Victoria, for claiming she comes from a working-class family.

In today’s big story, we’re looking at how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s long-term plan for the war in Ukraine could be coming to fruition.

What’s on deck:
But first, the war rages on.


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The big story
Putin’s long game

Russia is no stranger to bloody conflicts in difficult conditions, from its defense against Napoleon’s invasion to the Soviet Union’s battle on the eastern front in World War II.


In many ways, Russia’s military conquests have been about outlasting its opponents.


That could be the case with its invasion of Ukraine, as cracks have begun to show in Western support.


Insider’s Tom Porter analyzed how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bet that support for Ukraine from Western allies will weaken might be bearing fruit.


The West still largely favors Ukraine, but political support among some Western allies is wavering.


That’s the case in the US, where a new multibillion-dollar aid package to Ukraine has been the center of a congressional dispute that led to the historic removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House.


If Ukraine’s Western allies tightened the purse strings, it wouldn’t necessarily result in a Russian sweep of Ukraine. Instead, Russia might be able to slowly claw back more territory.


Russia could retake enough ground to turn Ukraine into a failed state, throwing the entire region into chaos, Tom told me.

Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
To be sure, Russia still has a long way to go toward securing any type of victory.


The Pentagon has billions of dollars of pre-approved aid available. And while there are signs of shifting sentiment over assistance for Ukraine, things could change quickly.


A Russian attack on a major city could reinvigorate support, Tom said. Recently, Ukrainian officials said dozens of people died after a Russian missile struck a grocery store and café.


Russia, meanwhile, has its issues. The country is only a few months removed from a failed coup, and its forces appear to be stretched thin. Further complicating things has been the success of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.


But the US economy is fragile, with a new Bloomberg model showing a better-than-50% chance that a recession starts this year. And one major financial executive has warned of the risks of the ongoing war.


JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called the invasion of Ukraine “an inflection point for the free democratic world” during a recent interview. The conflict and US-China tensions pose significant risks to the global economy.


“We’ve dealt with inflation before, we’ve dealt with deficits before, we’ve dealt with recessions before,” he said. “We haven’t really seen something like this pretty much since World War II. There is no playbook.”

3 things in


🔔 Before the opening bell: US stock futures dip slightly lower as investors brace for nonfarm payrolls report.

Greenwich Economic Forum
1. Ray Dalio sounds off on Treasury yields, diversified portfolios, and AI. The billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates said we could see the 10-year Treasury yield climb even higher. On AI, Dalio said it’s important to distinguish between those inventing with the tech versus those leveraging it to find efficiencies.


2. Here are some charts to show why everyone’s freaking out about bond yields. The talk of the town is bond prices wreaking havoc on the stock market. These four charts visualize how we got here in the first place.


3. Billionaire investor Howard Marks issues some warnings. The cofounder of OakTree Capital Management warned against making market forecasts, slammed the Fed’s near-zero interest rate policy, and speculated that corporate defaults will surge. Here are eight of his best quotes from a recent interview.

3 things in
(Gyula Bartos/Hungarian President’s Press Office/MTI via AP)
1. Exclusive: Elon Musk filed a custody suit against Grimes first. On September 7, he quietly sued Grimes to establish a relationship and access to his children. Grimes is also suing Musk and asking for physical custody of the three children they share.


2. Leaked memo: Amazon is making grocery deliveries for Prime members cheaper again. It’ll lower the free delivery threshold from $150 to $100, signaling Amazon’s continued ambitions in the grocery space.


3. The SEC is trying to force Elon Musk to sit down for an interview over his purchase of Twitter. The Securities and Exchange Commission asked a California court for help as part of an “ongoing nonpublic investigation” about whether Musk “violated various provisions of the federal securities laws.”

3 things in
Lindsey Wasson/Associated Press
1. Your boss might give you a raise just for showing up to the office. Most US CEOs said that they’d give raises, promotions, or better assignments to those who work at the office. It shows how frustrated CEOs are with remote work.


2. Goodbye, girlboss. It’s now the “snail girl era.” The term refers to women prioritizing self-care and happiness instead of working. It’s the latest example of workers pushing back on hustle culture and toxic workplaces.


3. Retailers are facing a self-checkout reckoning. They hoped to save big on labor costs with self-checkout. But now, companies seem to have realized that they still need real people to combat theft, check IDs, assist with purchases, and more.


In other news



What’s happening today
  • The New Yorker Festival kicks off. The 24th annual event includes musical performances, screenings, and live interviews. Speakers this year include Spike Lee, Misty Copeland, Paramore, Jelani Cobb, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
  • Look out for the Draconid meteor shower. The annual astronomical event will peak the night of October 8-9. It happens whenever Earth passes through debris from comet 21 P/ Giacobini-Zinner.
  • The women’s all-round final at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. It’s day seven of the competition, which is a major qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Simone Biles and Shilese Jones will represent the US in today’s event.


Crystal N./Yelp
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The Insider Today team

Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor and anchor, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York City. Annie Smith, associate producer, in London. Shona Ghosh, deputy executive editor, in London. Jack Sommers, senior editor, in London. Spriha Srivastava, UK bureau chief, in London.


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