Elon Musk buying Twitter would be good news for Putin
Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In 60 Seconds.
Why is OPEC+ cutting oil production? Why is the US unhappy about it?
Well, unhappy about it because it's 2 million barrels a day off the markets, and that means higher oil prices. Why is OPEC+ cutting production? Higher oil prices. They used to say they liked 80, but now that it's been 90, 100 to 120 for a while. They like 90, 100, 120. So, they're pushing it up. I don't think it has anything to do with politics. I don't think it has anything to do with the midterm elections in the US. I think it has a lot to do with the Saudis and the Emirates and the Russians. Yes, part of OPEC+, they've got similar interests on this and they're still talking as a consequence, going to make life a little bit more difficult for the average consumer at the pump. That's what we're talking about. Big question is, do the Iranians still move ahead with an Iranian deal? I would say no, but by the way, they're the one country that you'd expect that would've recognized the annexation of the Ukrainian regions and the North Koreans did. The Iranians did not. Let's watch what happens over the next few days. It's an interesting one.
Will there be fallout from North Korea firing a missile over Japan?
Well, thankfully there won't be direct fallout as you ask because it's not a missile with an active warhead on it. And of course, they have done this before. They've fired through Japanese territory before a number of years ago. This wasn't aimed at Tokyo. This was through Hokkaido. It wasn't high. It was relatively low, so it freaked out the Japanese more. Again, the fact that the North Koreans are providing support to Russia right now, specifically selling them weaponry, also recognizing this fake annexation on the ground in Ukraine, there's clearly coordination there, that is really angering the international community, and it shows Kim Jong Un that he has a new friend in Putin who's looking for friends around the world right now. So, I think that's what we're talking about, but I don't see significant escalation on the back of this by the Japanese, by the Americans.
Finally, why is Elon Musk finally purchasing Twitter good news for Putin?
Well, first of all, I'm not convinced he's finally purchasing Twitter. Until it's done, let's not assume it's done. We've been there before. We've heard that before. If you read the actual letter that was sent to the judge from Elon's lawyers, there was definitely a caveat at the end that you could drive a truck through that. Well, if the deal doesn't come through, the deal doesn't come through for any reason. But if it does happen, is it good for Putin? Sure, to the extent that Elon Musk is interested in free speech and no restrictions, which means anyone can say anything, which probably also means that there's really no problem with a lot of Russian disinformation online, and will he really do a lot against bots? We'll see. I suspect that as a guy who specifically is interested in promoting Russian talking points on ending the Ukraine war, and that is really what we're talking about here, that opinion would be algorithmically a lot more supported than it is presently. Not that I'm privy to what algorithms are going on inside Twitter, but ownership clearly matters here. So, it'll be interesting. It is a piece of good news for Putin in an environment where there isn't much for him. On balance though, the guy is in real trouble, not Elon, Putin.