Close to the ground

Thursday. The weekend is in sight.

Tchaikovsky has been cancelled. That should help, right?

Those leased aircraft that Russian airlines were supposed to return by the end of this month? Looks like they’re going to keep them. The leasing companies that own the planes are not happy. There’s a lot of money at stake and the downstream effects on investors, insurance companies and the airline sector as a whole will be enormous. After 9/11 the aviation insurance payout was about $1.8 billion. This war could cost ten times that. Meanwhile, the planes stolen by Russia may end up being grounded anyway since the parts required for day-to-day maintenance are under sanction and it turns out that China won’t help with replacements.

Inflation is up and so are gas prices. Maybe it isn’t such a bad idea to suspend gas taxes for a while. It could be a non-inflationary Biden stimulus initiative and it would make people very happy. Even just in Massachusetts, the state coffers are full, so the timing would be good.

There are some signs that Putin may be softening (or not) which raises the question: Will the West be able to pivot on this huge economic assault before Russia is ruined? Is the damage even repairable at this point? (For one thing, no one will be leasing airplanes to Russian airlines for a long, long time.) Much of the effort to support Ukraine was spontaneous and decentralized. How will we wind it down when the time comes? If we’re wondering about Putin’s end game, we should also be thinking about our own.

And when an 82 year-old gamer had trouble competing with younger players online, she decided that she needed an a new game to level the playing field. So she built one.

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