Europe is on edge, trying to figure out what the crazies in Washington are going to do next. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Nearly five years after the Crimean crisis and subsequent western sanctions on Russia, Europe is increasingly “losing the appetite for punishing actions against Moscow,” writes Bloomberg in a new report suggesting investors are impatiently waiting for clarity on Russia as its economy enters bunker mode. Even willing European companies are now “starved of financing” on the mere threat of more punitive measures to come.
However, it’s precisely the psychological uncertainty of more looming US sanctions as lawmakers make continued threats over accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections that’s part of Washington’s arsenal. And when sanctions are handed down, it’s further the cloudy ambiguity in terms of what’s targeted when that produces a chilling effect: “The most effective sanctions are the ones that aren’t entirely clear, because the lack of clarity has a chilling effect on investment,” Frank Schauff, chief executive officer of the Association of European Businesses in Russia, told Bloomberg. He cited one sanctions law passed by Congress last year that has absurdly confusing language saying particular actions “will be in place for a long, long time.”