Streetwise Professor

December 8, 2014

VVP: Not Getting His Kicks On Brent $66

Filed under: Economics,Energy,Music,Politics,Punk,Russia — The Professor @ 9:19 pm

Brent traded with a 66 handle for most of today. I am sure that Putin was not getting his kicks on Brent 66.

But no worries. It didn’t stay there long: it’s now trading at a 65 handle.

Going down, down, down, in a ring of fire.

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  1. And the flames went higher…

    Comment by Highgamma — December 8, 2014 @ 9:27 pm

  2. I think it’s criminal to highlight Social Distortion’s version of Ring of Fire instead of the one true rendition

    Comment by Sam — December 8, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

  3. A joke doing the rounds of our offices this week:

    Q. What have Putin, the Rouble, and the oil price got in common?
    A. Soon they’ll all be 63.

    Comment by Tim Newman — December 9, 2014 @ 6:26 am

  4. And VVP keeps looking more and more detached from reality.

    Comment by Blackshoe — December 9, 2014 @ 8:48 am

  5. Speaking of ring of fire –

    Here is “life” in the Luhansk and Donetsk republics, including soviet-style denunciations, a convenient method to get rid of people one doesn’t like, or to acquire a neighbor’s property.

    People can be detained – or worse – for trivial reasons like being out without a passport, or for no reason at all. On Nov 28 Oleksandr Polivanov from Naholno-Tarasivna in the Luhansk oblast and a friend were drinking beer in a bar. In the argument that arose because some local ‘Cossack’s’ and another armed and drunk militant thought the young men should be ‘at the front’, Polivanov was shot in the stomach and died soon after in hospital.

    Said Ismagilov, Mufti of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Ukraine and himself from Donetsk writes that it’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry. A distant relative from Donetsk told him that she had been at the market and bought up some items to last a while. The bag ended up very big and the vendor whispered to her that she shouldn’t risk buying so much food – “in DPR” [the so-called Donetsk people’s republic] “they don’t eat so much”. They transferred the products into several bags, but that didn’t help and when she got near her apartment block she was met by the old ladies “who are the main fans of the ‘Russian world’. The woman had to endure a grilling about where she’d got the money, what she’d bought, etc. There was no question of not answering since these women are notorious for their swift ‘denunciations’.

    That intrepid shopper got away lightly. People have been ‘arrested’ for criticizing DPR leaders like Denis Pushilin or Pavel Gubarev. Any suggestion of support for Ukrainian unity can get a person into trouble. According to civic activist Anna Mokousova, the use of denunciations on a wide scale began in June. You don’t like your neighbour so ring the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic [LPR] hot line and tell them that he or she is ‘for Ukraine”. There was also a new wave of militants, more like armed fighters, she says, who would drive to specific addresses and without any explanation take people away.

    Comment by elmer — December 9, 2014 @ 10:06 am

  6. @ Elmer – sounds like Lenin’s definition of freedom of speech – you have the right to say anything as long as you understand I have the right to shoot you for it. Add to that the good old wreckers and saboteurs motifs and you have the sovok dystopia write small: what a collection of sadistic, murderous clowns.

    Comment by sotos — December 9, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

  7. @sotos – which reminds me of the old sovok joke (which it should not given that people are being killed, but it happened)

    An American is standing in front of the Kremlin with a sovok, and says “in America, we have freedom of speech – I can stand in front of the White House and yell at the top of my lungs that the president of the US is an asshole, and nothing will happen to me.”

    To which the sovok replies: “we, too, have freedom of speech – I can stand in front of the Kremlin and yell at the top of my lungs that the president of the US is an asshole – and nothing will happen to me.”

    False equivalence still permeates the Kremlinoids, and all of their trolls, among other logical fallacies.

    In the meantime, real people die.

    Comment by elmer — December 9, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

  8. Its okay guys. Russians are exchanging their hard currency for limited amount of Western goods at “cheap prices” so its all good.

    Comment by d — December 9, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

  9. Word has it that it has become almost impossible to buy a car in Russia now: terrified that the Rouble is about to collapse again, everyone with spare cash is putting it into the most valuable asset they can afford (which is a car), and nobody wants to sell a valuable asset for potentially worthless Roubles.

    Comment by Tim Newman — December 10, 2014 @ 7:31 am

  10. well, SWP, since you referred to music – it’s dangerous to be a musician with the “wrong politics” in Putler’s Kremlinoid Rasha


    Some of the country’s most popular musicians have taken stands against the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    And those who oppose Russian involvement have been facing a backlash from the authorities.

    The veteran band Televizor is a case in point.

    The band got its start in the 1980s, when the Soviet Union still existed and when St. Petersburg was still known as Leningrad.

    The group has been taunting the powers that be for 30 years, and they’re still at it, rocking packed houses at clubs in St. Petersburg.

    Front man Mikhail Borzykin says today’s environment for dissident musicians feels much like it did in the waning days of the Soviet Union.

    He opposes Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its involvement in the separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine.

    But because of intense anti-Ukrainian propaganda in the state-run Russian media, Borzykin says it feels like the country is in the grip of “Kremlin-made paranoia.”

    “It’s annoying that people I’ve known for 30 years are suddenly shouting “Crimea is ours!,” he says.

    “They go to Finland or Spain for a good weekend, but when you talk to them, they say ‘I hate this West!'”

    Televizor recently performed in Kiev with two Ukrainian bands.

    He says there were a number of other Russian bands on the bill, but at the last minute, all refused to go, because of fears that Russian authorities would crack down on them.

    Borzykin says that no one has tried to arrest him, but “sometimes they try to prohibit some songs. ”

    “For example, a month ago, a chief of one club asked us not to play some songs, because he was asked by the regional authority not to do.
    Otherwise, the club will be closed.”

    He says the authorities threatened to put special agents in the clubs to videotape performances and report objectionable material.

    “We’re really back in the Cold War times, in the totalitarian times,” says music critic Artemy Troitsky, “so it’s not surprising at all that things like that are happening.”

    Troisky notes that some of Russia’s most popular rock stars have had problems getting work because of their politics.


    Makarevich was portrayed as a fascist sympathizer in a TV documentary called Thirteen Friends of the Junta, produced by a pro-Kremlin TV channel.

    The narrator says “Andrei Makarevich is a trophy for the Ukrainian Army, which can boast that Russian musicians also support the junta.”

    The junta is what pro-Kremlin media call the Ukrainian government, in an effort to portray it as illegitimate.

    Since then, Makarevich says nearly 30 of his planned concerts across Russia have been canceled, on one pretext or another.

    Other popular Russian bands that have performed in Ukraine, or opposed the war in eastern Ukraine have gotten the same treatment.

    Troitsky, the rock critic, says it’s a simple matter for the authorities to put pressure on local concert promoters.

    “They make phone calls and say, ‘What are you doing? Are you crazy or what? You are doing concerts by those traitors of the nation, by the people who support fascists in the Ukraine.'”

    Comment by elmer — December 10, 2014 @ 9:04 am

  11. Seeing as the original post included a link to a cover of a Johnny Cash song, here is Johnny Cash doing a cover of another song that is highly appropriate for the occasion:

    Comment by JDonn — December 10, 2014 @ 11:57 am

  12. Here is another one that maybe even more perfect:

    Comment by JDonn — December 10, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

  13. @Tim & d-Some prices are definitely going up. (No puns for those of you with dirty minds!) Russian prostitutes indexing to the dollar. How unpatriotic!

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 10, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

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