Some Common Cents for March 7th 2014

This week, I have found the turmoil in the Ukraine and Crimea to be incredibly fascinating, probably more so than most people. After all, I have read a number of books about Russian history, specifically the later half of the 19th century up through the end of the Russian Civil War. A lot of it is brutal stuff, but there is one thread that seems to have permeated Russian history for, well, seemingly forever: miscalculations at critical times.

Getting into a war with Japan in 1904 was a colossal mistake; what, with your armaments industry quite literally 5,000 miles away across a one track railroad. Invading East Prussia without encrypting military intelligence and communiques in 1914 directly led to the destruction of 2 main army groups at the Battles of Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes. This, then, set the stage for the country’s inevitable defeat and ultimate regicide. The repeal of the New Economic Policy, suppression of the kulaks, forced collectivization of agriculture under Soviet methods, and continued export of grain for foreign currency in the face of famine set the stage for the Holomodor in the Ukraine. Stalin finished the job after that.  Read More…

The opinions expressed within this report are those of John Norris as of the initial publication of this blog. They are subject to change without notice, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oakworth Capital Bank, its directors, shareholders, and employees.