Euro Area GDP Nowcasts, Pre-NordStream Indefinite Shutdown

Natural gas futures surge as Gazprom announces shutdown. What were nowcasts indicating before this announcement? Nowcasts from Banca d’Italia via CEPR, Cascaldi-Garcia et al., and Woloszko/OECD.

First, natural gas prices for Europe.

Source: TradingEconomics accessed 9/6.

While the surge is not large relative to previous ones, this announcement resolves some uncertainty regarding whether the shutdown would persist. Any forecasts conditioned on re-opening would need to be re-evaluated. (Although the small jump in the price can be taken as meaning an indefinite shutdown had been pretty much priced in already).

On the other hand, the nowcasts rely on data already observed, ahead of the quarterly GDP release, and at higher frequency.

Figure 1: Top panel, Euro Area 19 GDP in millions Ch.2010Euros, quarterly rate (blue line), nowcast as of 9/2 (red square). Bottom panel, Euro Coin GDP growth, % quarterly rate (blue line), as of 9/5. CEPR defined recession dates shaded gray. Red dashed line at expanded Russian invasion of Ukraine. Source: Banca d’Italia, Cascaldi-Garcia, et al., CEPR, and author’s calculations.

Note that the Q3 nowcast of 9/2 was for 0.1% q/q growth, while the euro coin 9/5 reading was 0.23% (0.4% and 0.9% annualized rate, respectively), both pretty close to zero.


Figure 2: OECD Weekly Tracker for Euro Area (blue), for OECD (tan), both in %, for data thru week ending 8/27. Red dashed line at expanded Russian invasion of Ukraine. Source: Woloszko/OECD

The Weekly Tracker reading of 1.6 for the Euro Area is interpretable as a y/y growth rate of 1.6% for year ending 8/27 (2.4 for OECD as a whole indicates 2.4%).

IMF evaluation of the impact of the shutoff, from three working papers, discussed here.





105 thoughts on “Euro Area GDP Nowcasts, Pre-NordStream Indefinite Shutdown

    1. pgl

      Trump was wise? Ah Rick – EVERYONE is laughing at you. Of course your “wise” President was Putin’s pet poodle.

        1. Moses Herzog

          Which President/poodle are you referring to Stryker?? I’m only asking because, Stryker, you’re so GODDAMNED dumb,

        2. pgl

          Ever heard of Art of the Deal? Wilbur Ross had cooked up some scheme to profit off of selling US natural gas to the Germans. Hey Rick – for a PH.D. you sure are dumb.

        3. Barkley Rosser

          Actually, Rick, what Trump told the Germans in that UN speech in which he was laughed at was not to do the Nordstream II deal. They ignored him as a total stinking hypocrite who was insulting their leader.

          But, quiet Joe Biden, who operated behind the scenes while mending fences with the German leadership got them in fact to cancel Nordstream II just shortly before Putin invaded Ukraine.

          It is totally hilarious that Trampscheiss are bragging about this failed and embarrassing speech by Tramp that failed totally to achieve anything, while it was his successor, Biden, who got them to do what he so loudly and stupidly demanded from them.

          1. CoRev

            Barkley, this is what that totally stinking hypocrite actually said at the UN: “Reliance on a single foreign supplier can leave a nation vulnerable to extortion and intimidation. That is why we congratulate European states, such as Poland, for leading the construction of a Baltic pipeline so that nations are not dependent on Russia to meet their energy needs. Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course.”

            Remember the hypocrisy of these words: “Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course.”

            Prescient? Yes! Was he wrong? NO!!!! Are you Trump hating dolts wrong? Absolutely.

            Where’s that list of SUCCESSFUL Biden policies which you liberals proudly show us? I’ve been waiting for weeks.

            What’s truly hilarious is the lack of recognition of the results from following green policies right before our eyes in the EU. Inflation Reduction Act? Pshaw!

          2. baffling

            natural gas provides about 27% of germany’s energy mix. about half of that natural gas comes from Russia.
            “Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course.”
            this is hyperbole. Germany does have a diversity of energy sources, as it should. covid, what you are arguing is that Germany should have a priori stopped importing from Russia. considering the maga and trump affinity towards Putin and Russian, that seems to be a really odd position for you to have taken. what would the energy cost be in Germany if they did not access cheap natural gas for some of their energy? this policy would have driven energy prices in Germany even higher. that is the policy endorsed by covid, higher energy prices.

          3. CoRev

            Baffled is so clueless he thinks: “what would the energy cost be in Germany if they did not access cheap natural gas for some of their energy? this policy would have driven energy prices in Germany even higher. that is the policy endorsed by covid, higher energy prices.”

            Even before Russia reduced gas flow to Germany and the W. EU countries, Germany’s electricity prices were already near the highest in the entire region. These extreme prices were largely due to its pursuit of Net Zero carbon goals.

            We’ve been warning Germany for decades about reliance on Russian energy. Just as we have been warning about the impacts, economic and social, of the Net Zero world the climate/environmental ideologues want. What is obvious is that Biden and folks like Baffled and 2slugs wish the US to follow the same paths as Germany. Why do they want the US to choose between maintaining Net Zero goals and still maintain a solid economy? The EU is a Petri dish for these Net Zero economic impacts. Keep watching their successes.

          4. baffling

            “Even before Russia reduced gas flow to Germany and the W. EU countries, Germany’s electricity prices were already near the highest in the entire region. ”
            covid, you have been advocating taking Russian natural gas offline. nobody should buy from them. well great, because they are bad. and you and your people have been warning us for decades (sure). but that takes a significant amount of natural gas out of the market. you really think the result is going to be cheaper and more abundant natural gas for the rest of Europe? seriously, where in the world did you get your economics education?

          5. CoRev

            Baffled again lives up to their name: “covid, you have been advocating taking Russian natural gas offline.” NO, show me where I have. I have been advocating for not relying on renewables for electricity generation over the readily available cleaner LOCAL thermal sources. Y’ano, like nuclear, coals and even locally produced gas. Don’t close them without a true cost benefit study and successful exploratory example. Doing so is just incredibly stupid.

            You say, but, but. the climate??? Don’cha no!?

            Enjoy your cup of ideology.

          6. baffling

            corev, Germany does not produce much natural gas. so if you take away the Russian source, you will increase demand on natural gas from the rest of Europe. that will create an increase in natural gas prices, and subsequently an increase in electricity prices, for Germany and the rest of Europe. that is the policy you are advocating covid. and if you are going to build new infrastructure, you are not going to build it out based on energy sources that are not sustainable in the long run. that is why private investment is not going into those old technologies.

            once again covid, you seem to have a very poor grasp of economics.

          7. CoRev

            Baffled again show his ignorance: “corev, Germany does not produce much natural gas. ” WOW! Germany essentially outlawed fracking in 2016, so how can the amount of produced natural gas increase in Germany?

            A problem which was created by its own political leaders. What’s worse? Not accepting the need to continue to produce electricity stably, or closing those plants producing stable electricity for UNSTABLE wind and solar renewables?

            Adding unstable renewables to a grid always raises the price for that grid. Only adding renewables requires building new infrastructure, while maintaining the thermal backups the thing you renewables advocates always conveniently forget.

            Hope you enjoy that cup of ideology.

          8. baffling

            “WOW! Germany essentially outlawed fracking in 2016, so how can the amount of produced natural gas increase in Germany?”


            well, domestic production of natural gas in germany has been declining since 2004. your concern about outlawing fracking in 2016 means absolutely nothing corev. germany does not have much in terms of natural gas reserves to drill, so it simply does not pursue those reserves. they are not economical. but of course, economics is something beyond covid’s comprehension. try again. and next time, please look at the data first.

          9. CoRev

            Baffled says: “well, domestic production of natural gas in germany has been declining since 2004.”

            The Green/Environmental/Climate Change Part ruled during that significant reduction of gas production. They have been a significant political force in German politics for decades: “In 1998, the Greens entered into a federal coalition with the Social Democrats; Joschka Fischer became the country’s high-profile foreign minister and deputy chancellor. A key moment for the Greens came in a 1999 vote on the German participation in military missions in Kosovo, in which Joschka Fischer convinced the delegates at a party conference to give up on their pacifist agenda.


            The coalition of the Greens and Social Democrats was defeated in the 2005 parliamentary elections, sending the Green party back to the opposition benches.”

            Envious liberals here are chasing the same FAILED policies. How can anyone be so blind to ignore what has happened in the EU and here the past 2 years?

            Enjoy that cup of ideology.

          10. baffling

            covid, Germany barely breaks the top 50 in terms of natural gas reserves. that is why they have so little domestic production. it has nothing to do with ideology. it has everything to do with limited natural supply. North Sea natural gas is becoming depleted. there is little future for natural gas in Europe on an economic basis. again, your basic misunderstanding of economics is astounding.

    2. pgl

      I actually listened to your “very wise” clown and it seems he had two main themes: (1) excusing his attempts to undermine NATO (first link of yours); and (2) drill baby drill (your second link). Yea – I was laughing at this clown too.

      Then again THE RICK is opposed to the Brits importing cheese from France so an anti-trade tirade is just your style.

      1. Rick Stryker


        You weren’t listening any more than Germany was. Trump’s point to Germany and NATO was why are NATO countries spending all that money to defend Europe against Russian attack when Germany makes itself strategically vulnerable by buying significant amounts of gas from Russia. In any conflict, Germany will be exposed to being cut off by Russia, which will damage the entire European economy. And Trump’s warning just came true.

        1. Moses Herzog

          You’re so afraid, aren’t you Stryker, that Germany will cut off Russian pipeline gas, and there might be a HAPPY or an AGREEABLE [ to Europe ] ending??

        2. pgl

          Someone else using your name to brag how the Brits are producing all those different types of cheeses – eh? Was that Rick the Ph.D. or Rick the porn star?

    3. Macroduck

      Some wise and not so ise presidents have warned against dependence on Russian natural gas.

      Obama did:

      Bush Jr. did:

      And we can safely assume Hillary Clinton would uave as president, because she did as Secretary of State:

      In fact, that may have been one of Putin’s motives in meddling in the 2016 election to get Trump into the White House:

      So “once” upon a time is simply wrong. More like every time, and by far wiser presidents than Trump.

      Funny how Ricky has such strong views, but knows so little.

      1. Macroduck

        Chancellor Merkel, and a lot of other German and European politcians, argud that trade integration – as represented by German purchases of Russian natural gas – would promote peace.

        That view was simplistic. First, it ignored that Russia wanted the Nord Stream pipelines in part to avoid shipping gas through neighboring countries, among them Ukraine. So while the pipelines led to increased integration of Russia and Germany, they led to a reduced integration of Ukraine and Russia. Apparently, integration works both was when it comes to peace. And oh, by the way, Russia’s goal in circumventing Ukraine’s pipelines was not simply commercial. It was also meant to reduce Ukraine’s leverage over Russia in case of conflict. Ta Da! It worked! Russia hasn’t attacked Germany, but has attacked Ukraine.

        The other detail which works to undermine the “integration => peace” argument is that the evidence is strongest for contiguous countries. Ukraine and Russia are contiguous. Germany and Russia are not. So de-integrating Ukraine while integrating Germany with Russia was not an obvious net gain for peace.

        For a heavily industrialized country like Germany, the prospect of easy access to gas seems to have been just too sparkly-shiny. The integration argument was convenient, but not entirely coherent. Merkel and company went for it anyway.

        1. Ulenspiegel

          “Chancellor Merkel, and a lot of other German and European politcians, argud that trade integration – as represented by German purchases of Russian natural gas – would promote peace.

          That view was simplistic. First, it ignored that Russia wanted the Nord Stream pipelines in part to avoid shipping gas through neighboring countries, among them Ukraine. So while the pipelines led to increased integration of Russia and Germany, they led to a reduced integration of Ukraine and Russia. ”

          Sorry, you work with a castrated time line and produce a useless simplification of the issue:

          The problem of secure NG supply for Germany and central Europe predates Merkel by many years and you have to understand that in the past it was Ukraine and to a lesser extent Poland who used surface NG pipelines on their territories as weapon. There is a reason that many international companies were interested in NS1 and NS2. And it was also not very helpfull that various US governments used Polish and (very corrupt) Ukrainian governments to gain influence in respect to the pipeline operations.

          There never was an ideal solution, esp. whren you also consider ecological arguments, it was always a seach for the lesser of two evils.

          1. Macroduck

            Ulenspiegel, you arrogant twit,

            My point was about Nord Stream. Yours was about natural gas in general. You clearly got your knicker is a twist, but you didn’t manage to contradict my point. You just changed the subject and the period in question and the made like you scored points. If you’d like, we can push the analysis back to WWII and Germany’s killing of large numbers of any population that stood between it and oil. Don’t know what good that would do, but you semto thing that’s the game we’re playi g. But the point about Nord Stream stands.

            Every story starts someplace. Your little feelings got hurt by my choice of beginning, so you got nasty. That or your grasp of English is iffy – did you mean “truncated”? I’m happy to scrap with you, if you feel up to it.

          2. CoRev

            MD, you arrogant angry twit! Ulie did not contradict nor refute your points, but did expand on them. What’s wrong with YOU?

          3. pgl

            September 8, 2022 at 4:22 am
            MD, you arrogant angry twit!

            I’m sorry CoRev but SNL is not inviting you to do their news skits. After all the correct line is’ Jane your Ignorant slut’.

            Stick to chasing your own tail!

        2. pgl

          “Chancellor Merkel, and a lot of other German and European politcians, argud that trade integration – as represented by German purchases of Russian natural gas – would promote peace.”

          Conservative economist Milton Friedman used to make similar arguments. And he actually wrote a Nobel Prize. And unlike Pepperdine pretend PhD. Rick Stryker, Friedman advocated free trade for all of Europe including the Brits buying cheese from France.

        3. CoRev

          MD, at l4ast you recognize that the EU energy conundrum is self made. Past decisions to defer drilling/fracking existing local sources, buy from Russia, and closing existing generation stations chasing zero carbon unicorns are coming home to accentuate their affect to destabilize a stable electric grid and readily available energy. The current US administration is following the same path to end with similar results.

          At least you liberals will feel better about yourselves to the detriment of the rest of the thinking (not feeling) populace around the world. The economics, the shortages, the inflation is all on your crazy, unsupported, illogical and untested policies.

          For everyone’s’ sake do a real cost benefit analysis instead of the half a$$ed incomplete and unduly weighted attempts you keep espousing.

          1. pgl

            I wonder if Rick Stryker resents your attempt to be his BFF. Drill baby drill in Europe? Lord – you are beyond dumb.

          2. pgl

            Hey CoRev – when you stop chasing your own tail, check out the latest from Kevin Drum. Gasoline prices are way down and he is giving credit to Biden. Oh wait – we never see your pathetic barking over at Kevin’s comment box. Why not? Are you scared his smart readers will mock you?

          3. Macroduck

            Oh, look! It’s CoVid the Clown, back to lying about other people’s views, I see.

            So here’s what happened –

            Transcontinental shipment of Siberian gas to Western Europe was initiated in 1973. That followed on oil pipeline shipments, which first reached reached Germany in 1963. The first pipeline through Ukraine to Western Europe was completed in 1984. The first Nord Stream 1 pipeline was completed in 2011. Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and again in 2022. Then, you started your usual distortions about what happened, what other peoples views are, and how much you know about how tyings work and what the future will bring.

            This is all just history; it’s on the record.

            Now, you’ve pulled the same trick as Ulenspiegel, but with your own twist. You’ve picked the starting point that suits you. You’ve decided to give Russia a pass on attacking Ukraine and focus on European energy policy. So, balancing geopolitical risk against economic development, or killing thousands and ruining lives – which shall we blame most?

            CoVid blames balancing – completely, apparently. Anyone who blames Russia gets the old “at last you realize” when they mention European energy policy.

            I keep telling you losers, this ain’t faux news. Weird accusations and bombastic, unsupported nonsense doesn’t sell outside your little bubble.

            Oh, and I’m waiting to see your attempt at a cost-benefit analysis. You keep urging others to do them, but never seem quite up to the task yourself. Come on, we could all use a laugh.

          4. 2slugbaits

            CoRev Huh? So your recommendation is to increase one’s dependence on fossil fuels in order resist Putin’s blackmail? Have you thought this through? It doesn’t sound like it.

          5. CoRev

            MD, being an angry twit doesn’t change analysis: “Oh, and I’m waiting to see your attempt at a cost-benefit analysis. You keep urging others to do them, but never seem quite up to the task yourself. Come on, we could all use a laugh.” I don’t have to do an analysis. It’s already been done:

            “The private benefit of carbon is large and, in most cases, much larger than the social cost of carbon….
            The private benefits of carbon are, really, the benefits of abundant and reliable energy – or rather, the benefits of the services provided by energy, such as warm homes, cooked food, travel and travel and transport, information and communication, and so on. ”

            The table on page 6 shows the differences between” the social cost of carbon ($10/tCO2, $100/tCO2) (the externality that you ideologues like to quote) compared to the the private benefit of carbon, in 2010 US dollars per tonne of carbon dioxide” (Average 382-440 388-442 499-544)

            Yup, quite a difference The laughter is not from but aimed at you.

            BTW, there was a 2017 refutation of the series of Tol papers, although not the one I just cited.
            It was a meta-study of then existing papers compare do the Tol results. Unless read skeptically it appears to be a ?reasonable? study until realizing that their comparison of hypothetical future temperatures 3C and 6C are far from reasonable unless you are 2slugs and MF who believe we are near a tipping point to oblivion.

            Why choose a hypothetical future to compare studies made up of HISTORICAL costs/benefits? Why compare an apple to a hypothetical fruit? Because to compare the historical reality doesn’t support the patty line!

          6. pgl

            CoRev schools us with a study on the private benefits of coal which CoRev does not understand. Try this for starters

            The social cost of carbon is the damage done by emitting an additional tonne of carbon dioxide (Tol, 2011). Technically, the social cost of carbon is the net present value of the incremental future impact of climate due to a small change in emissions today. Like the price of energy, the social cost of carbon is a marginal concept – and the two are directly comparable. Indeed, the social cost of carbon is the climate incarnation of the Pigou tax (Pigou, 1920), which is conceptualized as the price correction needed, through a levy, so that private incentives (as measured by the price) are aligned with social objectives (as measured by Pigou tax) (Baumol, 1972)

            Yes even Pigou got the point CoRev denies over 100 years ago. Now CoRev writes:

            The table on page 6 shows the differences between” the social cost of carbon ($10/tCO2, $100/tCO2) (the externality that you ideologues like to quote) compared to the the private benefit of carbon, in 2010 US dollars per tonne of carbon dioxide” (Average 382-440 388-442 499-544)

            Wait – where we not talking about coal? The table shows its private benefits are much less than that $100/tCO2/ The table was showing various private benefit estimates – not the net benefits considering the social costs that CoRev routinely denies. But read the report for yourself as no one should ever CoRev’s misrepresentations.

          7. pgl

            CoRev provides a link to an NBER paper by Nordhaus and Moffat but his comment misrepresents what the authors said (go figure):

            “The first is a review of studies that estimate the global economic impacts of climate change using a systematic research synthesis (SRS). In this review, we attempt to replicate the impact estimates provided by Tol (2009, 2014) and find a large number of errors and estimates that could not be replicated. The study provides revised estimates for a total of 36 usable estimates from 27 studies. A second part of the study performs a statistical analysis. While the different specifications provide alternative estimates of the damage function, there were no large discrepancies among specifications.”

            So CoRev provides us with something Tol provided that had “a large number of errors” as somehow the gospel truth. Of course CoRev cannot be bothered to honestly note what even Tol said.

            Again read the NBER paper for yourselves as once again CoRev misrepresents his own links.

          8. CoRev

            Ole Bark bark strikes again: “CoRev schools us with a study on the private benefits of coal which CoRev does not understand.” Coal??? How does this dolt even get to this conclusion? He obviously did not read the paper.

            Later, he goes on about the Nordhaus (NBER) paper which claimed errors in the Tol paper(s). What’s hilarious is neither Bark, bark nor Nordhaus refuted Tol’s finding: “The private benefit of carbon is large and, in most cases, much larger than the social cost of carbon…” Indeed, Nordhaus never even came close to providing evidence the subject was even considered. From the NBER paper: ,,,the estimated impact is -2.04 (± 2.21) % of income at 3 °C warming and -8.06 (± 2.43) % of income at 6 °C warming.”

            As I already pointed out estimates for 3 °C and 6 °C are just pure unsupported conjecture (unsupported except by models which are truly horrible).

            Some people are just scary in their blind following of green ideologies. We have an EU energy catastrophe unfolding due to the blind following of similar green policies, and yet the blind ideologues have no clue what caused it.

            @ Rick Striker, ~ 2 years ago I had a heart attack leading to a quad by-pass operation. I’m well now.

          9. Barkley Rosser


            You are really losing it here. You are calling pgl “Ole Bark.”

            Sorry, I have not weighed in on this. Tol sees some economic gains in near term in parts of the world for some further limited warming, but then it turns sharply negative in most of the world after another degree or so. And pgl is right that Tol’s estimates are contested.

      2. Ivan

        Exactly, even a child could see the problem but not until we made Biden president was it solved. Germany had a huge benefit from the arrangement and was willing to take the risk – indeed free market capitalism demanded that they should. Now they will have to quickly adapt, but when all is said and done, they will likely come out ahead. They had 2 decades of competitive advantages to build their industrial powerhouse.

      3. Rick Stryker


        I’m aware of that. If you watched the video, so is Trump, who pointed out that previous Presidents had made the same points as he did. But Trump also pointed out that previous Presidents didn’t do anything about it. Before Trump, it was all politics in which Obama and Bush pretended to be worried about the problem and the EU pretended to care. Hilary Clinton made speeches to investment banks for $$$ telling them what they wanted to hear—the U.S. would be building pipelines and supplying Europe instead of Russia, with lucrative financing opportunities available for friends of Bill and Hilary.

        Unlike Obama, who allegedly told the EU something behind closed doors that was repeated second hand to reporters, or Bush, who just told reporters, or Hilary, who told investment banks, Trump confronted the EU on camera. He said that Germany is a “captive” of Russia. He warned that that must change or the U.S. would be forced to re-examine its defense commitments. There was no B.S., no politics, just straight foreign policy talk because a wise president knows this issue of European dependence on Russian gas is too strategically important for politics and B.S.: it’s an issue that fundamentally threatens NATO. Before, the U.S could talk vaguely about shipping more gas to Europe and the Europeans would say they support that. Then no one has to do anything. By confronting them directly, Trump smoked out the real European position.

        The NATO minister represented the real European position when he replied to Trump, essentially saying, “Yes you will defend us, because we’re stronger together than apart, and NATO countries can differ on strategic policies. We will continue to buy gas from Russia and you’ll continue to defend us. That’s the way it is and the way it will always be.” That’s what the Europeans really believe and they have no reason to think otherwise, knowing full well that Obama, Bush, and Hilary in no way ever meant what they said. Trump also smoked them out when they sneered at him—at that time the Germans in no way took the Russian energy threat seriously. Trump, wise President that he is, showed the world the truth.

        1. baffling

          dick striker, trump did nothing different than the other presidents. he was all talk. no action on his part. trump did not disclose anything that others had not already disclosed. he just did it in his own boorish manner. there was no “smoking” out of positions. what a silly argument you are making in a brazen attempt to heap praise upon your dear leader. who lost his election in a landslide.

        2. AndrewG

          Trump called Europe America’s “foe”, called NATO “obsolete” and threatened to not honor NATO commitments if Europe were attacked.

          But no, let’s pretend Trump was “right” and was doing and saying all of this for Europe’s benefit.

          And do ignore all the “Russia, Russia, Russia” stuff – it’ll hurt your feelings bigly, especially the part where the Trump campaign got help from Russia and then tried to cover it up. Also ignore Michael Flynn, his firing after only three weeks on the job as NSA advisor, his plea bargain with the FBI, his pardon by Trump, and his suggestion that Trump overturn the Constitution because he didn’t like how the 2020 election played out (more hurt feelings).

        3. pgl

          ‘But Trump also pointed out that previous Presidents didn’t do anything about it.’

          Trump didn’t do anything either troll.


          Ah yes – Ricky boy gets all flustered so he turns to profane language. I guess that is what we should expect from a porn star.

        4. Macroduck

          Funny, you claim to have been aware, but you only mentioned you orange idol. “Once” upon a time, you said – word have meaning. Why did you pretend only Trump warned against dependence on Russian gas? Dishonesty becomes such a habit after a while.

          And, like those other presidents, Trunp didn’t do anything about it – nothing effective, that is. Europe was as dependent on Russian gas when he left office as when he entered. Trump is a carnival barker, a loud-mouth. He didn’t change the situation any more than better men who held the presidency before him.

        5. 2slugbaits

          Rick Stryker Trump’s position was one of cognitive dissonance. To the extent that Putin only wanted to make money off gas sales to Europe, then shutting off the pipelines wouldn’t make any economic sense because he’d be cutting his revenue stream. The only way that Putin could exert leverage against Europe would be if he wanted to use natural gas as a strategic weapon. But using natural gas as a strategic weapon would require an extreme need for that kind of strategic leverage. And some kind of land war on European soil is really the only plausible case for going to such an extreme. Which of course is exactly what Putin did. It’s only because Putin miscalculated in Ukraine that he has had to resort to using natural gas as leverage against Europe. But Trump never believed Putin would start a land war. In fact, Trump resisted DoD arguments to establish forward support activities in Poland, the Baltic states and Romania. It’s only because DoD, counting on Trump’s limited attention span, went ahead and quietly built up those NATO forward support activities without his approval. Trump’s cognitive dissonance was in warning Europe about its potential vulnerability to Russian blackmail while at the same time pooh-poohing the very possibility of Putin launching a ground war that would force him to use natural gas as a lever against NATO.

        6. Barkley Rosser

          What Trump did that was different from the other presidents was get openly laughed at in the UN, something no other president ever had happen. The Germans saw him for the worthless hypocrite he is.

          It was Biden in the end who talked them out of NS II, behind the scenes and just before Putin invaded Ukraine. But somehow that does not get reported on FoxNews, does it?

    4. Barkley Rosser


      This is just pathetic partisan hypocrisy for Fox News addicts.

      Every US presidenr from Carter on has warned them. Most did so behind the scenes and not in a UN GA speech that was laughed at, and a few minutes after T became the first US president ever to be laughed at by 100 national leaders for making ridiculous claims in a UN speech. T had no cred, having been trashing Merkeo on NATO and other things, and it looking like all he wanted to do was have Germany switch to buying more expensive US LNG. I mean, more America First!

    5. Ivan

      Yes Obama did tell Germany to not pursue the policy of trying to integrate Russia and make its economy dependent on Europe. Trump destroyed that US objective by rumbling about getting US out of NATO. Because of Trump, the “lets be friends” approach looked more realistic and the “lets be enemies” less. Trump did “say the words” on natural gas but in such an idiotic and commandeering way that he must have known it would have the opposite effect. Biden is the one who actually got it done – Germany is no longer and never will be dependent on natural gas from Russia. Job done Biden!

    6. baffling

      rick, that same president kneecapped ukraine defense capabilities, and tried to destroy nato. opening the door for russian invasion of ukraine.

      by the way, rick how do you feel about an ex president selling nuclear secrets to foreign adversaries? have you signed on to his legal defense team yet?

        1. CoRev

          Evidence, evidence, evidence of Trump considering selling US secrets let alone ever doing so. But we do know that Obama & Hillary sold much of our uranium production to Russia. Investigations later showed large amounts of Russian donations going to the Clinton foundation. At least here there was a record r\tracking the donations. Unlike the current unsubstantiated conjecture.

          The of course we have the Biden/Ukraine history: “Son of a B!each he got fired” Biden claimed Ukraine would not get a $1B loan guarantee unless they fired Skokin. How much $$ did he receive from his son’s peddling of influence? Before and after being elected?

  1. pgl

    Macroduck provided us with a Yalie report on how the Russian economy is suffering. I quoted part of this report noting how utterly corrupt Gazprom is. Since the invasion of Ukraine, Gazprom stock price has fallen. That may a good thing given who owns this tainted company.

  2. pgl

    “Our work shows that in some of the most-affected countries in Central and Eastern Europe—Hungary, the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic—there is a risk of shortages of as much as 40 percent of gas consumption and of gross domestic product shrinking by up to 6 percent. The impacts, however, could be mitigated by securing alternative supplies and energy sources, easing infrastructure bottlenecks, encouraging energy savings while protecting vulnerable households, and expanding solidarity agreements to share gas across countries.”

    The natural gas market is not quite as global as say the world oil market due to the high cost of transportation but EU nations can still import more natural gas from places such as the US.

    1. pgl

      In light of the barking dog chasing its own tail (CoRev) and his usual STUPID drill baby drill garbage, let’s note how little natural gas is being produced by EU nations. Norway is the only nation that is even remotely producing a significant amount of natural gas.

      Just imagine had Mitt Romney became President and he went searching for conservative economic advice from our Usual Suspects. Like natural gas in Germany – any shred of intelligence from this crew just ain’t there.

  3. pgl

    Cowboy for Trump got the 14th Amendment treatment!

    A New Mexico county commissioner became the first public official to lose their job for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol when a state judge on Tuesday ruled that the Republican violated the U.S. Constitution by engaging in an insurrection.

    State District Court Judge Francis Mathew wrote in his decision that Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, founder of a group called “Cowboys for Trump,” violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when he took part in the riot that left four people dead and 100 police officers injured, disqualifying him from holding local, state or federal office.

    On Jan. 6, Griffin joined thousands of people at the Capitol. He breached security barriers outside of the building and eventually assumed a leadership role in the mob and egged on the violence, Mathew said in his ruling.

    Griffin “incited, encouraged and helped normalize the violence,” Mathew wrote. Griffin’s actions were “overt acts in support of the insurrection.”

    Griffin is the first elected official to be removed from office for their involvement in the riot. The ruling also marks the first time a judge has ruled that the incident was an insurrection and the first time since 1869 that a judge has removed a public official under Section 3.

    1. Rick Stryker


      Griffin represented himself in that case and didn’t make all the arguments he could have. Most of these Section 3 lawsuits have failed. No politician that matters and certainly not Trump will be barred from office by section 3.

      1. Macroduck

        Little Rickie, this ain’t the MAGA carnival. Nobody here gets giddy over performance of manly-man certainty.

        Here outside the bubble, where people actually care about facts, pretending doesn’t cut it. I will admit, though, that your manly-man way of pretending to know stuff really is CUTE! Acting like you know who will and who won’t be found to have committed insurrection with absolute, square-jawed certainty, by god! even though you don’t have a clue.

        But never mind. We all know you’re willing to make up a “because”, that the “because” will be as half-baked as your original unsupported declaration and that it will be delivered with the same ridiculous, manly-man certainty. So funny.

        1. Rick Stryker


          Yes, I’m pretty confident that unless someone is convicted of violating 18 USC 2381 or 2383, these section 3 lawsuits are not going to accomplish much, other than annoy local voters. The legal barriers are too great. But go right ahead. Local voters love it when Leftist special interest groups come in from the outside with outside financing and start lawsuits that tell the local voters who they can and can’t vote for. Really endears them to the Democratic Party.

          1. AndrewG

            Does calling him that strengthen your argument? Or are there other reasons? I’m not judging, just curious.

          2. pgl

            1/6 was a rebellion. And Trump is a traitor. Gee Ricky boy – did you get your little law codes from Wikipedia again? I guess you are too cheap for Westlaw.

          3. Macroduck

            Your level of confidence is irrelevant. You aren’t expert in these matters – obviously not. Just “Go MAGA” wrapped in a pretense of knowledge.

          4. Rick Stryker


            I wonder how confident you are. How about this? If within one years time, neither Trump nor any member of Congress is barred from elective office by section 3 for Jan 6 related activities, then you issue a public and contrite apology to me on Econbrowser. But if either Trump or some member of Congress is barred from elective office for any Jan 6 related reason by a section 3 suit, then I’ll publicly apologize on this forum.

            Alternatively, I’m willing to bet you $1000 in Bitcoin. We would have to agree on someone both trustworthy and technically savvy to hold the crypto. If you are so sure I don’t know what I’m talking about, why not make some money?

          5. pgl

            Rick Stryker
            September 7, 2022 at 3:36 pm

            Whew! A $1000 bet in Bitcoin over something entirely irrelevant. Rick is just a brave boy for someone using a fake name. How would someone with a fake name be held responsible for this stupid bet if he lost?

            Hey Rick – maybe you could pay up in French cheese!

          6. Rick Stryker


            I guess I’ll have to add crypto to the long list of subjects—British cheese, law, and of course economics—you know nothing about.

            I proposed using Bitcoin just so that people who want to maintain anonymity can make an enforceable bet.

            Here’s how it would work. We have to agree on a “special master” someone who is public that we can trust to hold the crypto and adjudicate the bet. That could be Steven Kopits or Barkley.

            The special master would establish a public Bitcoin blockchain address and publish it in the comments. Each bettor would buy $1000 of Bitcoin on a pre-agreed day on an exchange, fixing the amount of Bitcoin to be wagered. Each bettor would have 3 days then to establish a Bitcoin blockchain address, transfer the Bitcoin from the exchange to that address, and then transfer the Bitcoin from that address to the address published by the special master. The special master would then announce in the comments that the bets have been laid. In this way, no bettor has to reveal his identity and the special master holds the bets.

            One year from now, the special master decides who won and transfers both bets to the blockchain address of the winner. The winner can then transfer the Bitcoin to an exchange and sell for fiat. Or there could be a committee that decides who won, with the role of the special master to enforce the committee’s decision.

            Easy for Macrod!*k to say I’m too confident, but how confident is he? Not very I think we’ll see. So I’m happy to open this up. If this appeals to you pg13 or any other of you gents such as Menzie, Moses, or Baffled etc, feel free to get in on the action. Let’s find out if I really understand the legal issue I claim to understand.

            I’ll be pleased to take your money.

          7. Baffling

            As presented, most betting folks probably would not take such a wager, at least with even odds. Fundamentally, one side needs one very specific outcome to win. And the other side wins with any other outcome. If you get no takers, its because nobody considers it an even bet. I for one am not relying on a section 3 outcome. There are better bets that will result in a trump conviction. Heart disease will probably get him first. But it is illuminating that after 150 years, it took a maga supporter to achieve section 3 status. Bravo.

          8. pgl

            Rick Stryker
            September 8, 2022 at 10:29 am

            More incoherent babbling but there is a key term here that I don’t Ricky boy understands. Trust. No one trusts you. Not even Princeton Steve and certainly not Barkley.

            Look even the dumbest troll here knows you have zero integrity. So why would anyone be foolish enough to engage in any economic transaction with you. No – even Trump has more business integrity than the RICK.

            Stick to the porn star business as it is the only way you will ever make any money.

          9. baffling

            rick, I already stated I would not make a section 3 bet.

            but as I said, the terms themselves are poor. if trump walks out the front door and gets hit by a truck in the next year, I lose just as well. and if he gets tagged for a section 3 one year and a day later, I also lose.

            just not interested.

            trump is more likely to be convicted of misdemeanors or felonies.

          10. Rick Stryker


            You just showed that you don’t have the slightest clue about how Bitcoin works. I outlined a protocol in which the bettors can remain anonymous and don’t have to trust each other. If I fail to send my bet to the special master within 3 days or I don’t send the correct amount, then there is no bet. That should be obvious.

            I really wonder what you do know. You have no idea how Bitcoin works. You think a finite difference is an instantaneous change. You claim to be a cheese lover but are unaware of the renaissance in British artisanal cheese.

            My working hypothesis on you is that you are a failed academic who bounced around different schools and then went into private industry. It’s a very common pattern. But I can’t figure what you would have done to get paid, given that you don’t seem to know anything, unless you went into some kind of B.S. consulting role. I don’t believe you could have survived as a private sector economist.

            Moses, I know you think you know who this guy is, but you must have the wrong guy. No way this guy has a PhD in anything.

          11. Rick Stryker


            The reason you don’t want to give me the odds at which you would find the bet acceptable is that the odds would show you think Trump or a member of Congress being prevented from holding office as a result of section 3 is an unlikely event, just like I do. That’s why Macrod!*k and pg13 won’t take the bet too.

            This is a win-win for me. If any of you take the bet, I take your money. And if none of you take the bet, I smoke out the dishonesty of the left wing commenters on this blog.

          12. baffling

            rick, you did not smoke me out of any position. i have not made the section 3 argument. and as I said, the wager as presented makes it illogical to take. trump and his band of merry misfits are far more likely to succumb to another negative outcome before a section 3 could occur. putting a one year limit makes the wager even worse. all you are trying to do is bully and berate somebody into taking a wager that has been created by you to significant advantage, and then crow about it. pretty juvenile in my opinion.

      2. pgl

        Gee Ricky pooh – you could have represented him pro bono. Then again – he would have ended up being sentenced to 40 years in prison if he hired someone as incompetent as you are.

  4. Gregory Bott

    Europe’s going to be under heavy gun to make a deal with Iran. With the notable progress in August, reaching a deal in the next couple of weeks will be pressing. Considering Iran’s poorly made “drones” Russia got, consider it sorta of a nod.

    Governments are intervening in Nat Gas pricing and well, what the market says is going to mean little soon enough.

  5. pgl

    The stock price for Gazprom has taken a hit since the invasion of Ukraine. Oh but wait – Putin has a plan. Have sells to China invoiced in Yuan or Rubles rather than Euros. I doubt that will send the stock price of Gazprom soaring but we have not heard from Pepperdine Ph.D. Rick Stryker on this “very wise” currency move.

  6. ltr

    September 6, 2022

    German industrial orders slide for sixth straight month

    German industrial orders slumped for the sixth consecutive month in July, official data showed Tuesday, raising the prospect of a recession in Europe’s largest economy.

    New orders dipped by 1.1 percent from a month prior, the federal statistics agency Destatis said in a statement.

    The contraction was at 13.6 percent compared to a year ago, when orders were at a particularly strong level.

    Germany’s export-oriented industry has been hammered by the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has exacerbated supply chain woes and sent energy prices soaring.

    “Shrinking order books add to current recession fears. With surging energy prices and fading new orders, the outlook for the German industry is anything but rosy,” said ING economist Carsten Brzeski.

    Demand shrank both domestically and in Europe, with German orders slumping 4.5 percent and those from the eurozone dropping 6.4 percent in July….

    1. Ulenspiegel

      “Shrinking order books add to current recession fears. With surging energy prices and fading new orders, the outlook for the German industry is anything but rosy,” said ING economist Carsten Brzeski.”

      If you have order books full with 6-8 months of full production and at the same time issues with workforce and supply of materials and precursors, the lower orders are not a real issue. Output in the next two years is determined by other factors.

    2. Ivan

      German industry has a lot of adjustment to do. They had the perfect set up with piping in extremely cheep Russian natural gas helping to make them more competitive on the world market. Now they have to adjust to paying more for energy (not less) than their competitors on the world market. US could be the winner if we can figure out how to open our borders to more working age immigrants.

      1. Macroduck

        Not that it matters to this discussion, but Germany’s built in current account surplus – necessary to pay for unification – was the mirror image of Greece’s deficit. Germany could have been more generous during the Greek crisis. Germany’s higher cost of production now will probably mean a smaller current account surplus. Wonder what the adjustment will look like in deficit countries like Greece?

        Coincidentally, Greece is just about as reliant on Russian gas as Germany. Or was until a pipeline with Bulgaria was completed in July. Don’t know how much difference that will make.

  7. pgl

    Putin may think he is manly man but it is clear he is delusional:

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow will press on with its military action in Ukraine until reaching its goals and mocked Western attempts to drive Russia into a corner with sanctions. Putin told an annual economic forum in the far-eastern port city of Vladivostok that that Russia has strengthened its sovereignty in the face of Western sanctions, which he said bordered on an aggression. “Russia has resisted the economic, financial and technological aggression of the West,” Putin said. “I’m sure that we haven’t lost anything and we won’t lose anything. The most important gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty, it’s an inevitable result of what’s going one.” The Russian leader said that the economic and financial situation in Russia has stabilized, consumer prices inflation has slowed down and unemployment has remained low. “There has been a certain polarization in the world and inside the country, but I view it as a positive thing,” he added. “Everything unnecessary, harmful, everything that has prevented us from going forward will be rejected and we will gain development tempo because development can only be based on sovereignty.”

  8. Ivan

    I think the real surprise was how long they continued to send at least some gas to the German storage tanks. Gazprom had failed to fill their German storage facilities up until the invasion, but then continued to deliver some natural gas to Germany after that. Makes no sense from a military strategic view – but the company has other needs as a business. After oil/gas executives have been dying left and right I think they are now on the same page – Putins page. However, Germany already have stocked up enough to be able to handle the coming winter without having to shut down industry (unless they have an unusually cold winter).

    1. pgl

      Since Gazprom is a publicly traded company (albeit with significant ownership by corrupt Russian oligarchs) we can follow its stock price as well as other releases of relevant financial data.

    2. CoRev

      Ivan, do you have a quote for this: ” Germany already have stocked up enough to be able to handle the coming winter without having to shut down industry (unless they have an unusually cold winter).” I have read that the current ~84% gas stored in Germany will be enough for 3 months consumption and not all of Winter.

      1. Ivan

        Yes 3 month consumption as in “this much is in storage tanks” = “this much was previously consumed in 3 months”.

        However at this point (in contrast to last year) a very substantial amount of natural gas is being delivered from other sources than Russia. So the need to draw from storage to compensate for lack of Russian supply is a much smaller. Also a substantial amount of electricity that used to be made from natural gas has been switched to other energy sources (including coal and nuclear). Finally the German population has been pretty good at reducing use of energy and will be even better if the going gets tough. So when you make calculations on total use/need and deficits based on last years numbers you end up with an excessively pessimistic view.

        However, the German government need to retain a pessimistic/crisis narrative in order to keep the country on an energy/gas saving spree. So they are not advertising how well they are really doing when all reduction/replacement parameters are updated and taken into account.

        1. baffling

          barring a very cold winter, i would imagine that germany will be able to conserve energy appropriately through the winter season. they have had many months to prepare for what is to come. i think the people of germany understand what is at stake, and are willing to make some uncomfortable sacrifices. this will help keep the battlefield well east of the german border. there is still quite a bit of natural gas flowing to germany from nonrussian sources. they are more diversified than some let on. there is a difference between having some rationing, and having no fuel. the no fuel case is a low probability event.

          1. pgl

            3 months inventory plus maybe a little conservation. And of course Germany is capable of buying more natural gas from other sources. Oh wait – CoRev is assuming Germany will not buy any new natural gas from anyone else. YEA – he is THAT STUPID.

    3. Ivan

      I think that what got Putin to suddenly give unscheduled flying lessons to Gazprom executives, was that they had assured him that Germany would slowly fall behind their goals for % filled storage tanks as we progressed towards winter. But instead it turned out they now are a month ahead of schedule for filling their storage tanks. So instead of the promised slow squeeze on Germany, Putin got a slow slip away – in part because Gazprom had continued a reduced delivery in the past 6 months.

  9. ltr

    November 1, 2022

    Cumulative Number of Child COVID-19 Cases

    Over 14.5 million children are reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic according to available state reports; over 343,000 of these cases have been added in the past 4 weeks. Approximately 6.65 million reported cases have been added in 2022.

    14,539,261 total child COVID-19 cases reported, and children represented 18.4% (14,539,261 / 78,948,024) of all cases

    Overall rate: 19,317 cases per 100,000 children in the population

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    Children’s Hospital Association

    1. baffling

      what does this have to do with the post? ltr, you are so rude with the constant posting of unrelated links. it is never-ending. get your own blog, rather than rudely hijacking prof. chinn’s blog. you are like a bully wanting to dominate the conversation.

  10. ltr

    September 7, 2022

    Chinese mainland records 380 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 380 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with 323 attributed to local transmissions and 57 from overseas, data from the National Health Commission showed on Wednesday.

    A total of 1,315 asymptomatic cases were also recorded on Tuesday, and 24,868 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    The cumulative number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland is 245,747, with the death toll from COVID-19 standing at 5,226.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      ltr: This is a post on European economic activity. Please try to at least comment on that subject. There are enough China related posts that you could put those comments where they are most appropriate.

      1. baffling

        its the same post. daily. repeated incessantly. propaganda. somebody is trying to earn their salary i guess.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Yes, we even got the famous 4 per million deaths number we have never seen before. Hey, ltr, how many Nobel Prizes has the PRC gotten compated to the 400 the US has gotten?

  11. baffling

    there is a sudden rise in the natural gas price data, before the july marking on the chart. looks to be june 13. there was a large explosion at the freeport lng plant in texas on june 8, which shut down 20% of our lng capacity. this date marked a change in natural gas prices in the usa. since natural gas exports were reduced (as lng), natural gas prices dropped in the usa. i am assuming the spike seen on the data is the result of this loss of usa export (and european import) of lng, driving european gas prices even higher over the next couple of months. it looks like it may be early 2023 before the freeport lng gets back online in a large way. any thoughts on the freeport lng event on natural gas prices in europe? anybody follow those numbers closely?

    1. Anonymous

      We don’t hear a lot about this (suspected sabotage?) event in Freeport. But I think you got it nailed with respect to the effects on our LNG exports and the associated effects on US and European natural gas prices.

      1. baffling

        authorities are fairly certain it was not sabotage. they were doing maintenance on the system this year. fairly certain the failure came from an over-pressurized system. most of these petro-chemical explosions are not sabotage, but user error. there is nothing to suggest this event was any different. a real sabotage event would have targeted a different part of the system, with more lasting shutdown effects.

  12. Willie

    Other producers are going to be very happy that Russia has proven itself to be completely unreliable. Europe will buy natural gas from Africa in higher volumes now. They don’t have LNG capabilities yet, but they will, and that will make Russia irrelevant for a while. Ukraine has some natural gas reserves to sell when this is over as well. For now, Russia’s pipelines are nearly all leading west, which means selling to China and the rest of Asia is far more expensive than selling to Europe, so there’s that problem for them. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the Russian Federation dissolve into component parts fairly soon. The historic Dutch of Muscovy will be about all that’s left of what we now consider Russia if that happens. There will be a variety of enormous, mostly unpopulated countries in central and northeast Asia when that happens. The Cossacks and others may end up with their own small states as well. Why not? Nuclear weapons are going to be the wild card in the deck.

    As usual, this is pure speculation on my part, with nothing beyond speculation to back it up.

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