Will the economic shocks of war spark a global recession?

The economic costs mount. The burden that the economies of the rest of the world will have to bear is nothing to the burden carried by the Ukrainian people. But as the violent movements of the past few days on the markets show – the oil price reached $130 a barrel yesterday – there will be grave economic disruption in the coming months.

How grave? This is such a fast-moving story that any commentary can only be a snapshot at a moment in time. However, the best way to gauge the impact of what is happening is to separate the various forces at work and then see how each might affect us all.

Start with energy, because that is the way Russia most directly affects the world economy. There will be some sort of embargo on Russian exports. We have had Shell stopping buying Russian oil and gas, and President Biden is expected to announce an embargo today. The UK announced a ban too. Germany’s position, and that of the EU, is unclear despite a plea from…

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