Loose Ends (237)

Today in anti-Semitism: Pro-Hamas demonstrators are blocking the Oakland Bay Bridge:

Chaser—Iowahawk wins Twitter for today:

But we have worthy runner-up:

Joe Biden told us our sanctions on Russia would cripple Russia’s economy. But it appears Russia’s fiscal outlook is actually better than . . . the United States:

Russia’s Fiscal Gap Shrinks Again Despite Growing Cost of War

Russia’s budget deficit, aided by an increase in oil and gas revenue, shrank for the third straight month despite rising expenditures due to the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.

The fiscal gap narrowed to 1.2 trillion rubles ($13 billion), or just 0.7% of Russia’s gross domestic product, at the end of October, Finance Ministry data showed. An increase in oil and gas revenue allowed Russia to cope better than forecast under the budget law, which targeted the deficit at 2% of GDP.

And Russia is running a trade surplus, if you can believe RT:

Russia set for $75 billion surplus – Bloomberg

Russia’s current account surplus has increased sharply, propping up the national currency as energy exports recovered despite pressure from Western sanctions, the country’s central bank reported on Tuesday.

The current account, which measures the difference between money coming into the country through trade, investment and transfers against outflowing funds, amounted to $53.8 billion for the first ten months of the year, the regulator’s data showed.

The October surplus exceeded $11 billion for the second consecutive month after reaching its highest level this year in September. The central bank revised its current account projection for the full year up from $45 billion to $60 billion on the back of soaring oil prices.

Guess whose fiscal picture is not prospering:

German Coalition in Disarray Over Budget Black Hole

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s financial planning has been thrown into disarray by yesterday’s Constitutional Court ruling that struck down the transfer of €60 billion into an off-budget fund for tackling climate change. As well as threatening initiatives like the rollout of heat pumps or the expansion of hydrogen infrastructure and stoking tensions in the ruling coalition, it may also mean the end of most of the special funds that have enabled both federal and regional governments to circumvent borrowing restrictions. Overall, it could put about about €770 billion of state spending at risk, we’ve been told. One exception is the €100 billion fund to bolster the nation’s armed forces, which got written into the constitution. Scholz has pledged a swift budget overhaul, but the court judgment is likely to lay bare the decision-making tensions and escalate the fighting in an already weak coalition.

But remember, according to The Economist, the greatest threat to the world right now is . . . the Orange Man:

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