A Conversation on Media Narratives and Forecasting the Russo-Ukrainian Crisis with Maxim Lott

Note: This episode was recorded on 3/23/22.

In this podcast episode we spoke with Maxim Lott – the mind behind the Maximum Truth Substack and ElectionBettingOdds.com – to discuss the current military, political, and economic situation in Russia as it pertains to the Russo-Ukrainian War.

As a former journalist for organizations like ABC and Fox, Maxim has deep experience operating within  mainstream media companies. And as a result of his time working for those institutions, he has focused his career on providing alternatives to mainstream media narratives, including the current war in Ukraine.

Maxim has been covering (and forecasting) the war in Ukraine throughout March, providing nuanced perspectives on the crisis. From casting doubt on the severity of the current sanctions regime impacting the Russian economy, to sharing sentiment polls from Russian citizens, Maxim consistently provides interesting vantage points on this conflict. Maxim also spent time in Eastern Europe before our conversation, and talks about his experience in the region and how that has impacted his analysis.

Maxim (@MaximLott) is currently the Executive Producer of John Stossel’s Stossel TV, and enjoys using data to “answer questions the media ignore.”

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Note: This transcription was generated using Otter.ai and was only minimally edited. Parts may be confusing or not flow naturally, with spelling and word choices being incorrect.

Clay Graubard 00:00

Well, Maxim, welcome to the show. It's great to have you with us.

Maxim Lott 00:04

Thanks. Great to be here.

Clay Graubard 00:06

So you recently wrote a great article about Russia, Ukraine, including some forecasts on your substack Maxim truth.substack.com. We're going to talk to you about your forecast and the constraints that you're looking at when it comes to this conflict. But real quick, could you give our listeners a quick background in terms of who you are and your work forecasting Russia-Ukraine?

Maxim Lott 00:34

I've been a journalist for more than a decade. I've worked with John Stossel, an executive producer of his TV operation. I've worked at ABC and Fox, and one of my big side projects has been ElectionBettingOdds.com where we track the betting odds across multiple exchanges, and we aggregate them into one easy to understand number. If you go there right now you can see that Zelensky has a 91% chance of staying in office through April 22. So the betters are bullish on Ukrainians holding Kiev and him holding out. And then my latest thing is this maximumtruth.substack.com operation. Basically, it's data driven journalism. And my latest posts have been about Russia because I was in Russia for three weeks to three months, including when the war started. And so that gave me a little bit of insight into the way ordinary Russians are thinking about this, and I wanted to share that with people.

Clay Graubard 01:44

And before we talk about the conflict, did you make any forecasts before the invasion about whether Putin would have invaded Ukraine or anything like that?

Maxim Lott 01:56

Nothing public. Internally, I did not predict that they would do this kind of full scale invasion. I was predicting and emails, my friends and whatnot, I was predicting, they would do something small, just like they did in Georgia. And Crimea, because they had a successful track record with that they do a small incursion, which was wrong, they clearly thought they could do much more than that.

Clay Graubard 02:25

It would be great to sort of talk about your article, you know, you wrote about, I think, sort of like the the big part was the impact, or I think lack of impact on sanctions and torn in terms of Russian daily life, as well as your view on the military situation. So as our listeners are listening to this podcast, we are entering the fifth week of Russia's invasion. And so what is your sort of macro view of the situation? And when you're thinking about potential outcomes that this current stage of fighting can lead to? What do you think are the plausible scenarios? And then after that, we can talk about the forecast for each of those scenarios?

Maxim Lott 03:10

Yeah, I mean, still, there are a lot of things that could happen. You know, when I'm talking about this, I'm talking for like a western audience. And so I'm trying to share things that I think they might have, we might have blind spots to like, I think, Westerners would be surprised at the extent to which Russians do support this war, or even the ones who don't, many of them who don't support it, say, Well, I still understand why, like, why we did this. Of course, there are there are also some Russians who strongly oppose it. And you know, 1000s of people have been arrested protesting, so we shouldn't forget that either. But when you look at polls, if anything, most Russians tend to support the war, and I was in Russia for three months, and just talking with ordinary people there gave me the sense of polls are correct, you know, without that, I'd be like, well, who can trust these polls, even if they're done independently? Because people might not feel free to talk, but when you're one on one with someone in a bar, you can, I think you can get a pretty good sense. Many people there actually support the war. And they feel that Russians were being oppressed in Ukraine. They feel that the West was pushing Russia around. They feel all these things that Russia uses its justification. So it's just important to know it doesn't justify the war. But we should be aware that Russian public sentiment is not similar to Western public sentiment.

Andrew Eaddy 04:43

Something else you mentioned in that newsletter was also you know, providing a new sort of perspective on the current sanctions regime in Russia in trying to, you know, I think the media and a lot of you know, Twitter, you know, people seem to be very bullish on sanctions. and think that they're working in, you know, having a very sort of detrimental impact on the Russian economy and the people there. And you know, what you're saying is that if you're looking at some of these metrics, like the ruble to the dollar, or, you know, looking at how much GDP might decline relative to it, you might see in some other countries, even inflation, that, you know, some of these issues aren't as drastic as people are making them out to be. Could you speak a little bit about sort of your take on how these sanctions have progressed from the beginning of the conflict five weeks ago to today?

Maxim Lott 05:31

I mean, first off, I'll say I left Russia one week into the conflict on March 1. And at that time, you know, daily life was it was just almost totally normal. Like maybe some Western credit cards were being declined sometimes. But everyone's out on the streets, everyone's going to work. It was horrible. Now, after that, Western companies started to pull out McDonald's, closed IKEA clothes, lots of plate, Western places close. And, obviously notice that but still, this isn't, you know, when I talk with the people I met there and get updates from them. This it doesn't end your life to have McDonald's and IKEA closed, or at the Apple store close. So people are like, Yeah, you know, a bit of an inconvenience, but life goes on, people are still going to, you know, board games, meetups, they're still going go karting, they're still living life, they still go into work, they're still living life pretty normally. Now, that's not to say sanctions have had no effect. I read articles saying their tank production has stopped because they're missing a part that they used to import. That's, that's a real effect. But daily life goes on. And we should be aware of that. And people are ordinary Russians are not in hardship or, you know, struggling, it's just life.

Clay Graubard 06:59

You know, something that we've also thought about sanctions is not only Russia's ability to E evade the sanctions now. But even if hypothetically, the US manages to get China on its side to help to prevent Russia from skipping sanctions, which I think is, uh, unlikely to happen. But even if that were to happen, do you have a sense of what the Russian population blamed the regime? Or would they blame the West? Because, you know, we looked at polls when we were forecasting, and prior to the invasion, Russians primarily blame the west on the conflict. I think it was, like 60%, the last 14% blamed Ukraine and 14% blamed Russia or something. Even if sanctions sinkin Do you think it'll have the effect that people are expecting it to have in terms of creating friction between the population and the regime?

Maxim Lott 08:02

Yeah, that's a good question. That's hard to forecast. I think it depends partly on the nature of it. I mean, one thing, if you look at Russian media, they play up some of the more flashy sanctions that we have, whether it's like disinviting, a Russian from a chess tournament, or the from the Paralympics, things like that. And those things, I think it's pretty obvious that most Russians are like, just annoyed by it's like, you're you're just sticking it to the Russian people, and they're not going to be thrilled by that. So I'm sure they would blame the West, most Russians would blame the west or stuff like that. On the other hand, if suddenly, all their stores are empty of food, or something, or some basic necessity, you would, it gets a little less predictable, I would say. And obviously, they would somewhat blame the West, but maybe their own government starts to look pretty incompetent, too. So yeah, that's hard to say, Oh, one thing I will say, getting back to something Andrew said, like, yeah, we have estimates on what's gonna happen to Russian GDP, and inflation based on these sanctions. So it's a JP Morgan did an internal report that a friend in finance sent me and they project a 7% reduction in GDP this year in Russia, which is like, bad, that doesn't happen in any kind of normal environment, but it's also not the end of the world, you know, 7% reduction, it's worse, it's a little bit worse than our Great Recession of 2008. So, but it's just not the end of the world. They also project 17% inflation again, like, very bad, but still, you're not going to be starving in the street from 17% inflation.

Clay Graubard 09:56

And just on on that note, something that we've talked About in our newsletter is there's also, like in terms of Russia defaulting on its debt is very unlikely to happen because they have very little debt. And the only way that they would default is if they chose to default, which would be more signaling rather than a indication of the economic conditions. And there was also some other analysis that, you know, Russia has traditionally stuck to a very strict Western monetary policy. And given the exclusion that they're having right now, they might actually be able to run a more expansionary monetary policy and actually counteract some of the negative impacts of sanctions. And so, you know, it is like, you know, you've talked about this, we've talked about, I think a lot of people view this conflict as time. And the real question is, Can sanctions do enough damage fast enough? And I think the evidence that that's the case is not that strong right now. Would you agree with that?

Maxim Lott 11:00

Yeah, I would. Yeah, you know, based on all these numbers, and just talking to people there, my sense is that it's not strong enough to force them to change course, maybe it'll make them want to change course, and and to work out a deal, there's no doubt that it puts pressure on Russia towards a deal makes a deal more likely. That being said, it's not forcing them into a deal. So when we try to put probabilities on these things, you know, we should keep that in mind.

Andrew Eaddy 11:35

And also, I think something that's important when talking about sanctions, before we move on, is this idea of short term versus long term impact. How are you thinking about sort of the short the short term implications of the sanctions on Russia's economic viability, and you know, the popular happiness in the country versus long term? You know, if the sanctions were to hold? Maybe that's when we see some of the, you know, chinks in the armor of the Russian economy?

Maxim Lott 12:00

Yeah. So the short term stuff, it's kind of what I've been talking about what we can observe right now and ask people in Russia about, and again, it doesn't seem that bad, long term. First of all, I look at the JP Morgan, and other reports, too, which are in line with that. And they also suggest it's going to be bad, but not world ending. And that seems right. And when you go into the very long run, like two years, three years, it probably gets even less bad, because it just means that Okay, with this part that they need to make a tank for, they just build a factory for that. And they become entirely self reliant, which is less efficient, but they don't have to depend on other countries. So that's what will happen in the very long run. I talked with some Russians who were like, that's gonna be good, like we should be, we should be independent and building industry domestically.

Clay Graubard 12:59

It's kind of a clunky segue, but I'm speaking about long term impact of sanctions. Do you think there's any risk of D dollarization? As a as an impact of the sanctions? And I think related to that is, how are you viewing China's role within this conflict? Because, in some ways, right, like long term sanctions on Russia could help D dollarization, which would be in China's interest. And they obviously have a a larger role as well in the conflict.

Maxim Lott 13:34

Yeah, that's a good question. I've read that Saudi Arabia is considering pricing oil in Chinese yuan. And that would obviously be a step towards D dollarization. Which could be a problem considering how much debt the US holds. And they, they would have start having to pay more interest to to keep holding that death. So yeah, I think that could happen. That's all. That's another thing that it's just very hard to predict. But it seems like the sanctions are certainly pushing in that direction. We can say that with confidence.

Andrew Eaddy 14:14

Do you think? I guess how do you see China's priorities in this conflict? Like do you think that they have a real interest in, you know, Russia's well being? Do you think it's more of a security issue for them? So they're just trying to maintain stability in the region? Yeah. What do you think their goals are? And how's that going to translate into what their actions might be?

Maxim Lott 14:37

Well, they definitely don't care about Russia's well being. I think that's, I feel pretty certain about that regarding China. Anyway. Now, they are looking geopolitically at things like Okay, so we want to take Taiwan and 20 years or whatever timeframe they're looking at, and They are looking at if they if they were to join with the West completely cut off Russia, you know, force Russia back, they just lose in every way, which China probably might be able to do, given how much trade Russia has with China. What then happens if China wants to buck the world order and say go into Taiwan 20 years from now then the whole world's against China, that's the precedent. So I think they're, I think that's definitely something they're considering when they're not, you know, putting their full weight on Russia, or necessarily anyway, to end to end the war. And that's not a good motivation, we should be doing whatever we can to discourage them from invading other countries. But that's, that's where I see China there. I mean, on Taiwan, they're increasingly in the last couple years, they've been aggressive. They've been pushing, even like American groups, like they fun University Chinese language classes. They've been trying to force universities in the US to not talk about how Taiwan is a country. If companies like Marriot hotel list, Taiwan and their website like options list, you know, they they demand, they force Marriot to take it down, the companies always comply. So China has been getting increasingly aggressive with their pushing Taiwan as part of China thing. And so just that's how we know it's definitely on their mind when they're dealing with any foreign policy.

Clay Graubard 16:35

I think that's sort of how we've been viewing China's role throughout this. And I think one of the things that we've always touched on is, yeah, it's very, it's gonna be very difficult to convince China to side on the liberal world order, which we claim that they are a threat to, to support us to take down a strategic ally. So I think, actually, from that, we'd like to talk about the forecasts that you made in your article as global guessing. We do forecasts, too. And so how we've been viewing the Russo Ukrainian war, since Russia most recently invaded, was trying to view like this current stage of fighting. And so we mapped out like, what are the possible outcomes? And one is, there's a peace deal, you know, before key falls, or there isn't, and that the Russian government either collapses before then or it doesn't, thinking that if Russia is able to capture Kiev, that the rest of their collapses, probably more long term. And when it came to a peace deal, either, you know, there'd be a draw, the West slash Ukraine would surrender given to Russian native demands and territory, or Russia would surrender probably after facing substantial risk of facing internal collapse. And so that's sort of we mapped out the situation, and you sort of did a similar job. But before we hop into those specifically, I'm wondering, like, what constraints like, how did you view each actor and what they would want out of the conflict? And how did you use that to think about, you know, the relative likelihoods for each of these outcomes?

Maxim Lott 18:28

So yeah, I think our forecasts are relatively in line with each other. I think the most likely thing is a deal does get worked out, where Ukraine agrees to neutrality, and maybe does not agree to major territorial concessions. Maybe there are some I think that's most likely the next most likely thing. So I think that's like 60% chance. The next most likely thing like 20% chance, I think, is no deal gets worked out. Russia takes they've already taken a huge amount of southern and eastern Ukraine, which people don't focus on. But they've taken a huge swaths of that. They take a little bit more of that they trench in and they declare it independent and we basically have to Ukraine, we have Western Ukraine, eastern Ukraine. And, and maybe there's no peace deal. It just kind of like a stalemate, like there's been in the Donbass area for the last seven years or so. So those are kind of the two most likely scenarios. Then there are a bunch of other possibilities, though. There's Russia could collapse internally. I think that's only like five to 10% because the attitudes in Russia are very different from the last and so they're less likely to overthrow their leader Then we think there also the Ukrainians could shock everyone and start, you know, with the supplies from the West, just start pushing the Russians back everywhere they already are in Kiev a little bit. And, and in one other area. So it's possible 5% chance, I would say that the Ukrainians just start winning and pushing Russia back to Russia. On the other hand, I also give it a 5% chance now that Russia somehow gets their military together, or Ukrainian supply lines just collapse, and Russia just pushes through the whole thing. They take care of the they just start running through. So again, those are extremely unlikely, but I think they are possible. So that's kind of my layout of the probabilities. Yeah, I'm happy to bet people on them if they want.

Andrew Eaddy 20:52

What do you think the appetite is of the West for a situation like the second when you mentioned splitting Ukraine, into East Ukraine and West Ukraine, you haven't seen that sort of split recognize internationally since 2011, with Sudan? And that was, you know, voted on? Like, do you think that they would stomach that would that be acceptable?

Maxim Lott 21:15

Again, probably not. I think I think that I think the support for that in the West is pretty much zero. But then the, you know, it becomes a question of what are they going to do about if Russia is fully entrenched there. I mean, just like what happened in Donbass, with the Donetsk and Luhansk. area, there's been a stalemate there for eight years. And it's, the West doesn't like that. Ukraine doesn't like that. But that's the reality. So basically, we just see that again, on a larger scale. And that probably wouldn't be great for anyone, in general, like these regions, like the Donetsk People's Republic, you know, it's very poor, they don't have any trade. They don't have any, like international recognition that it kind of sucks to live there. So it's not a good solution. But that that could happen if there's just no peace deal worked out.

Clay Graubard 22:17

Yeah, that's something that Andrew and Andrew and I have tried to think about, like, what happens if there's a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine, but not a larger agreement between Russia, the US, the EU, probably China, as things are sort of heading. And so while the immediate conflict is has sort of been resolved, like there is sort of two levels to the Russia, Ukraine conflict that are forming, and so like the larger international one, would in some ways persist if the most extreme sanctions weren't taken off of Russia?

Maxim Lott 22:56

I mean, right now. Yeah, that that makes sense. And hopefully, the sanctions do push Russia to make a deal. And we avoid this kind of unrecognized perpetual stalemate war. I think one thing that's important for that to happen is for people in the West, I worry that there's a little bit of overly, you know, Russia is the devil. And, and the Lenski is like the, you know, a hero of the century. And Russia is in the wrong, obviously, for launching this invasion. But we can't demonize them to extend that we could never reach a deal with them. So that's kind of what I'm the error that I'm hoping people will as like.

Andrew Eaddy 23:53

Agreed, agreed. And something also that I think is kind of interesting. I think you might have also touched on your newsletter. I guess I'm just curious, why would you categorize what we're seeing today is, like a proxy war. I mean, when we're talking about these other levels of influence, and the fact that, you know, a deal ultimately will probably be decided not just by Russia and Ukraine, but by these other actors. Would you say this is, you know, a proxy war, maybe the first we've seen in a long time in Europe?

Maxim Lott 24:31

Yeah. Yeah. Certainly, from the west perspective, it seems like a proxy war where they're sending enormous amounts of weapons in there, but not actual troops. Sort of like I mean, right. For Russia, it's not obviously it's just a macro. Maybe almost the reverse of Vietnam, where you got US troops and Soviet support going in there. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, yeah, right. I mean, I guess it's not the first proxy war in the world in a long time you have like Yemen, where Iran is playing one of the proxy elements, but it's yeah.

Clay Graubard 25:14

Our forecast in many ways are similar in terms of thinking, even if our final outcome, I would say is different, I would say, and Andrew and I are definitely more pessimistic about a peace deal being reached. And in the short term, just given the constraints in terms of what each side would accept as a minimum peace deal. I would also say that we're a little bit non optimistic is not the right word to use. But I'm more bullish on Russia's chances and a larger conflict. Just given what what we've seen, and something we'll talk about, I think in a later newsletter, but a lot of attention is put on to the failure of, you know, capturing Keven three days or three weeks. But there's multiple ways you can view at that, that doesn't, I think, just credit the entire Russian military. But to focus on the peace deal, I'm wondering like, what do you think is the minimum deal that Ukraine would be willing to accept? And that Russia would be willing to accept that, you know, both sides would be comfortable, like, leaving the conflict behind?

Maxim Lott 26:33

Yeah, I mean, you know, this really depends how put upon each side feels. But I think perhaps like the modal most likely outcome of a peace deal, you could imagine, Ukraine, just Ukraine says we'll be neutral, no, NATO. None of this will only take Western weapons, if you know we're attacked. And meanwhile, Russia will give up all the new stuff that's taken. But they'll go back to their places they already had. And Ukraine, maybe they won't formally recognize it to save face, but something like that. I could imagine happening. But you guys, you might be right. I don't know, maybe people are just so entrenched, that it's not, it's not going to be worked out and just keep fighting. But that's kind of the most basic deal that I see as being possible.

Andrew Eaddy 27:34

One of the constraints that were discussed when we're thinking about this minimum peace deal, was the constraint of sort of Russian domestic opinion, and how that would have an impact on Putin's decision making. Do you think that they would support a peace deal? If it seems like Russia did not come out on top in terms of what they got? So like, if they didn't get like the Donbass region, for example, that'd be something that, you know, the Russian populace would be very upset about. They seem to be maybe even more neutral to this whole thing. So are they just not really a factor when we're thinking about what Russia needs? Like? How do you see the role of Russian Popular opinion?

Maxim Lott 28:17

My sense definitely, is that the Russian people will go along, if Putin says something's a win, and there's, you know, some way to justify it, like, okay, they're not gonna join NATO. And we're the, at least the places we already control, they already controlled of the Donbass that they're staying there and is staying in Crimea that they can he can call it a win. And most of the Patriotic Russians will say, Yeah, we want that's my sense of the kind of mood there.

Clay Graubard 28:53

Well before we finish up, Maxim, what are the the three things in this conflict that sort of like you're watching for in terms of viewing the situation? And in particular, is there anything that like, if you saw, you would fundamentally shift your like, your forecasts, your 25 would become 70% instead?

Maxim Lott 29:20

Yeah, well, first of all, by the way, I'm curious. You brought up that you think Russia has a better chances than they're often given in what large scale war? I'd be curious to hear more of your reasoning on that?

Clay Graubard 29:38

I think sort of part of it goes down to the way in which the conflict was started. I think it's been portrayed as you know, Russia tried for a shock and awe tactic when they started, whereas, how Andrew and I've have viewed it is more that it was The last the last like, ultimatum that that that Putin was given right, all throughout, you know, last year and in terms of Ukraine doing Minsk in terms of, you know, doing off NATO, like, look, we are going to invade, like, here's our invasion force, it's going to happen, are you going to surrender? Because the West has said that they're not going to intervene on your side. And then things didn't work out in that way. But we still seem casualties be roughly similar across the sides. Russia has more supply that they can pull out from they have stronger advantages. And, you know, I wouldn't be surprised this conflicts gonna take many months. And so I think a lot of the assumptions is that they failed on the short term, and therefore, that means something about the long term, whereas the reason why they failed in the short term could have been, you know, they were expecting a different political decision to happen within Ukraine. That didn't happen, and now they've had to prepare for an actual or what?

Andrew Eaddy 31:17

Yeah, no, I agree. I do have a question. I'm gonna bring it up afterwards.

Maxim Lott 31:24

That that's an interesting perspective employments, I wonder, though, when I read stuff, saying, you know, they've already lost like, 20% of their effective force. And like, I know, they have other soldiers in Russia, but maybe not trained soldiers. I saw they've already brought in their naval infantry from their North Sea Fleet, which I don't know, doesn't. I feel like if you're bringing in those guys, it's not not a great sign for your like, overall, it's, it seems like you're dipping into the bottom of the barrel there, not in terms of strength, but in terms of who you'd normally bring into, like, this kind of combat?

Clay Graubard 32:10

Yeah, I mean, I've definitely say it's, it's fair that we've been surprised, and a lot people been surprised at the effectiveness of the Ukrainian military, especially as it's, you know, funded and getting intelligence from the US and NATO Russia world. Yeah, like, I don't know how valuable like having us do your intel, and probably having the State Department do a lot of planning and war games with you to help out in terms of fighting capacity. But if you also think about like us, going into Iraq in 2003, that took us a month, for a country that's, you know, 1/3, the size, we had a much greater military power differential. And it's a much more concentrated country as well. And that still took us a month. And so, you know, Russia still more powerful. But the difference is less. It's a much bigger country with a more dispersed population, like Baghdad as a percentage of population is much bigger than Kivas. But But by, by, by contrast, you know, wars going on.

Maxim Lott 33:16

Yeah, well, to answer to answer your question, by the way, about what I'm looking at, first of all, I'm looking at the Russian advances in the south and the east, because they're still moving there. If we saw a situation where Ukraine started pushing them back there the way that is sort of happening in Kiev right now. You know, it seems to me like the Russians got to make a deal. On the other hand, if they keep advancing there, and maybe, at some point, start trenching in in places, it's looking like maybe they're saying we don't need a deal, we're just going to take eastern Ukraine. So I'm looking at the on the ground stuff there every day I refresh, you know, the latest maps about where their troop lines are, and they are still advancing there. And until that stops or reverses the kind of bloody deadlock scenarios still, unfortunately, has a good chance.

Andrew Eaddy 34:15

I do have one question. I know we're about to wrap up. But you know, you have this website election betting on Yeah, I was wondering how do you see the upcoming midterms? And generally speaking, just US domestic politics playing a role in this conflict. If this clay said it's going to go longer a few months, you know, it's going to bleed into that sort of heavy campaigning time. Do you think that then pressure will be on the us then to be more resolute about its stance, you know, either makes do something very definitive or then to step back or your How do you think that'll play out sort of this Russia Ukraine situation?

Maxim Lott 34:53

It's difficult to say there because it kind of goes both way. It's like the administration might gain points in terms of popularity by taking a really hardline stance against the evil Russians. But they may also gain points by ending the oil sanctions and bringing gas prices down a little bit. So, no, we can see they're definitely aware of that. And you can see they're negotiating hard with even Iran and Venezuela, because they're worried about where gas prices are going.

Andrew Eaddy 35:25

Other people won't pick up their phone calls.

Maxim Lott 35:29

Yeah, that's true, too. So that's hard to say. I mean, what we can say looking at the betting odds is that the Republicans have a pretty good shot, although it doesn't, it doesn't seem to change much during the war. Basically, Republicans have an 84% chance of retaking the house. They've got a 75% chance of retaking the Senate. But both of those are basically unchanged during the war. So, yeah, interesting.

Clay Graubard 36:01

Maybe all the betters are on the Russia, Ukraine markets, and they just forgot about Yeah, election. Well, maximum this, this has been, this has been great. Where can our listeners find you and any teasers about the next substack? Post any forecasts too?

Maxim Lott 36:20

Well, yeah, the main place to find me is maximum truth, that substack calm, and you can just enter your email there, you'll get all my posts. They're all three. And yeah, I mean, the next thing, I'll just be doing an update on the situation on the ground. Even since the last post Russia has advanced in the south of east which might make a peace deal a little bit less likely. And I also have more data. Beyond JP Morgan, I have many estimates from major banks about where Russia's GDP is going. And there are there maybe the average is a little higher than JP Morgan and like 9% or something, but it's in the ballpark. And so the addicts more data on that. Awesome.

Clay Graubard 37:08

Looking forward to it. Well, thank you so much for coming. All right. Have a good one.

Maxim Lott 37:15

You too. Have a good day.