The scapegoat problem: What’s missing in the gasoline price debate

Every time the prices at the gas stations are way up, there is (at least here in Germany) the same discussion.  That discussion goes along with the following question: Are the oil companies taking advantage of their customers, charging extra high prices to maximise their profits? The correct answer to this question is probably: Of … Continue reading The scapegoat problem: What’s missing in the gasoline price debate

Little more than hot air: What will change if natural gas is paid in rubles

Putin is demanding payment in rubles for its natural gas exports. However, the contracts are denominated in euros and dollars. One would think that Putin would benefit from a change towards the ruble (why else would he act that way). But that's not the case at all. Let's compare the two payment methods.  Method 1 is the … Continue reading Little more than hot air: What will change if natural gas is paid in rubles

Why Putin is popular in Russia

From our Western point of view, it is somewhat incomprehensible why the Russian president (probably) continues to have great support in his country. Putin oppresses his people, but the majority doesn't seem to mind. How can that be? A single chart provides an explanation. It shows purchasing power per person over time in Russia.  At … Continue reading Why Putin is popular in Russia

What’s the problem with rising prices?

Inflation is back. After many years of low inflation rates, prices have recently risen in much of the world.  The chart below shows the inflation rate of the G20 countries compared to the same month a year ago (I took the chart from here).   In this post, I would like to answer the following question: Is this rising inflation … Continue reading What’s the problem with rising prices?