Watching the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” on a long-haul flight last week, I was reminded that brinkmanship was the way Freddie Mercury lived his life — not only his bisexual love life, but also his musical life. It was brinkmanship that led to the release of “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a single. The movie casts Mike Myers as a stereotypical record label executive. “What on earth is it about?” Ray Foster rants incredulously.
My wife and I went to see the movie Green Book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend it. I won’t bother recounting the story; that’s easy to find on line. Instead I want to remark on a line in the movie.
Any reset with Russia must first assess whether Russia’s policy interests are reconcilable with the interests of the U.S. and NATO. For President Putin and Russian elites, the collapse of the Soviet Union was the worst calamity of the 20th century. Russians have always felt a deep-seated and occasionally real sense of vulnerability from the West. For many Russians, the security dilemma is very real.
Any reset with Putin’s increasingly illiberal and expansionist Russia is a triumph of hope over experience. Unrealistic realists underestimate the importance of ideology and regime type in assessing Russia’s calculus of its ambitions and interest.
[Subscription Required] In March of 1951, a year into the Korean War, the US Treasury offered long-term notes at 2 3/4 per cent in exchange for short-term notes at 2 1/2 per cent. According to a narrative written half a century later by the Richmond Fed, the Federal Reserve supported the price of the long-term notes, but: only up to a limited volume it had agreed on with the Treasury.