They did so just three weeks ago and there wasnt necessarily a tangible outcome of those talks. Do we expect something different today? Well, i i dont know that we expect something different, but clearly vladimir putin wants to talk to joe biden personally about assurances over nato. I think that is the key for the russians and on the biden side he basically has to do no harm right so, and it seems you know. Obviously, the president has put economic sanctions on the table, but is use of force just something thats, not even in the cards. I dont think the use of force on the part of the united states is in in the game here, but what uh? I think vladimir putin is may try to do is is to create a split among the nato allies. That is the key for him and anything he can do to sort of sow dissent among uh the nato participants. He will try to do uh. What is putins ultimate aim here? You know: weve had a lot of really great bloomberg opinion pieces over the last few weeks because of the uh anniversary of the breakup of the ussr. Is he trying to enlarge the territory of russia? Well, thats sort of the conventional wisdom that yes, vladimir putin, would very much like to see a return of the dominance that it had. You know two decades ago. I dont think that thats really a practical uh outcome for his actions, but he does want to keep the west off balance and hes a master at it.
He uh he has an outsized influence on the political happenings in europe. Uh, given the size of his uh. His economy and his military and his uh energy supplies – you know here in the west we kind of frame, nordstrom 2 is leverage that maybe germany has against russia, but it really feels like russia has all the leverage here since were dependent on the gas yeah, and You know with record natural gas prices, spinning through europe, uh and and the gas supplies that russia holds are key to keeping europe on an even keel. So i i would say that definitely putin has the distinct advantage on the energy side, but at the same time he needs those dollars that he gets uh from that that energy, those energy exports to keep his economy flowing. So it works both ways. Man. How much does the biden administration have to think about other adversaries when dealing with russia, in that you have russia and territorial issues kind of over ukraine, and you also look at an adversary like china and the south china sea yeah. Taiwan is a really big issue. Thats still something that the biden administration has received some criticism over that there doesnt seem to be a cohesive policy, foreign policy with china and with russia, and then theres also iran, which is getting closer and closer to a nuclear weapon. And he has to deal with that as well. Well, in talking about cohesion and foreign policy, the president campaigned on bringing america back to the table on a global stage.
Is there a sense that he really has had success in doing so almost one year into his presidency? I think its been spotty. We all remember the the the snafu over the submarine in australia that ticked off our french allies so much. That was not a good step forward and he has to sort of recapture the high ground in terms of foreign policy. This may be a chance for him to do it, but well see i mean after these discussions you usually get readouts from both sides. Russia usually reads out before the u.s, so this may be just a battle of you know: interpretation of what actually happens on this call right. Well, we cant forget about the disastrous withdrawal of u.s troops from afghanistan, either leaving so many allies there stranded in terms of his domestic agenda. Hes had some stumbling blocks as well. President biden assured us that, with his i think, 37 years experience as a parliamentarian, he would be able to snake his way through this difficult maze. It doesnt look so good now marty, but can we expect to build back better package at the beginning of next year? Well, i mean, if you listen to vice president harris and others. They are still determined to get some sort of build back better bill through congress and it is still possible uh, it probably will be scaled back and you know bloomberg opinion had a column. The other day that said that mitt romney may actually be a key person in this debate.
He advanced the bill to make the child credit permanent, which was supported by both sides of some in the gop and the democrats, so maybe thats an avenue they should explore to try and get something through yeah. I always think of the um line from the clinton campaign, its the economy stupid. I cant remember if that was jimmy, carville or or his wife, mary matlin, but um the economy is still humming along marty. You know its interesting because we talked with muhammad yunus from um from gallup, and he points out that congress and the presidents ratings are bouncing along lows here, but as long as things are going well, how are they shaping up? How is their um shot at success? Shaping up for the midterms? Well, you know. I still think that if you look at the polling, inflation is certainly one of the key things on on peoples minds. Even if the economy is humming and the stock stock market is near records. Theyre not associating that with joe biden. His poll numbers are pretty bad.