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Someone Still Wants World War III

Portfolio Armor's Photo
by Portfolio Armor
Thursday, May 05, 2022 - 12:38
A partially destroyed building in Borodyanka, Ukraine.
War damage in Borodyanka, Ukraine. (Алесь Усцінаў/Pexels). 

A Glidepath To World War III

The premise of my last post was that the West (and the United States, in particular) has been on a glidepath to World War III with Russia, and that news of the Supreme Court's impending decision to overturn Roe v. Wade might save us from it. 

Evidence that we've been on a glidepath to direct war with Russia includes President Biden's recent request for a whopping $33 billion in assistance to Ukraine. To put that number in perspective, it's roughly ten times America's annual aid to Israel. Other evidence includes ubiquitous pro-war propaganda with mysterious funding, maximalist demands by Western leaders, 

And a U.S. Congressman drafting a de facto declaration of war with Russia. 

Derailing The Pro-War Social Contagion

Since part of what's been fueling the pro-war furor has been a social contagion, 

My hope was that the Roe v. Wade news might get us off that glidepath to World War III by becoming the new "Current Thing". 

Unfortunately, "Officials" Still Want World War III

Two New York Times articles serve as a double-tap on this topic. First, there was this article questioning why President Putin has been showing "some restraint" (emphasis mine): 

Then there is the question of why Russia hasn’t hit back harder against the West. The Kremlin narrative is of an existential war with NATO being fought on Ukrainian soil, but Russia is the one taking military losses while the West keeps a safe distance and supplies weapons that kill Russian soldiers.

A lot of people in this town are asking why they haven’t retaliated yet,” said Samuel Charap, a former U.S. State Department official in Washington and a Russia analyst with the RAND Corporation. “It seems low probability that the U.S. and its allies will experience no blowback from having put this many Russian soldiers in their graves.

If that article asked why Russia hasn't retaliated yet against the West, the second article seems like it's asking Russia to do so.

What other reason could there be for "senior American officials" to leak this to the Times? If the goal were simply to "weaken Russia"--which, we should pause to note, is not the same as simply defending Ukraine or trying to end the war--that would explain helping Ukrainians kill Russian generals, but it wouldn't explain leaking information about that to the most important newspaper in America. The only explanation for that would seem to be to provoke retaliation by Russia, which hawks can then use to argue for expanding the current proxy war against Russia, or even fighting Russia directly. 

Still Not Out of the Woods

So, we're still not out of the woods as far as avoiding World War III, and we're still saddled with inflation and shortages due in part to the war in Ukraine and in particular the West's sanctions on Russia in response to it. With that macro picture in mind, I shared this hedged portfolio in my previous post. 

Screen capture via Portfolio Armor on 5/2/2022.

A quick update on that: Two of the underlying securities in that hedged portfolio appeared in our top ten names on Monday, the ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas ETF (BOIL), and the Teucrium Corn Fund (CORN). CORN is down a little over 1% since while BOIL is up nearly 23% as natural gas hit new highs in the U.S. 

 

If you decide to buy any of these names, but especially the leveraged ETF BOIL, I suggest you consider hedging. You can use the Portfolio Armor website or iPhone app to scan for optimal hedges to get the level of protection you want at the lowest possible cost. 

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