How about this? (conspiracy theory)

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Some time not long ago, USA Europe and Russia owners had a meeting and decided to make a plan on the future of the world. European leaders wanted to make Euro the reserve currency and more stronger in the future and they are willing to sacrifice whatever USA or Russia needs, so someone from USA said ok we going to step away from Dollar as reserve currency by making a big S&P crash and making trillions for ourselves. Europeans were happy with the deal and then Putin asked what about us and they replied well what would u like and he replied: Ukraine... what your thoughts about my crazy ideas?
Too unified. The problem with thinking about "The Powers That Be" is that they are unified within any definable group. There are *always* different factions. A Minor Faction is in control of each Major Faction at any one time. It normally takes a while to piece together who the Minor factions are, but history has a way of making it pretty clear.

From roughly 1990 through 2008, the "Globalist" factions were in control of the major powers. Russia was a wreck (end of Communism), the USA was going into full World Trade mode and the EU was formed. If you want to call it at the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, that's probably the "cleanest" starting point.

That all ended in 2008. The defining event probably should be when Treasury Secretary Paulson brought all of the Major Bank heads to his office and forced TARP on them. (Appears to have been October 13, 2008) This was the Lexington/Concorde event for a complete break up of Factional Peace among the major Powers.

In the process, the US Federal Reserve would proceed to bail out the EU to the tune of $10+ Trillion USD. The Euro has failed. It couldn't withstand an event of this magnitude. The ECB has neither the power nor ability to solve the problem. The "Europe" project's death was sealed when they could no longer bribe countries to follow along. Which is why it switched to operating like a Racket. There's a reason the PIIGS are made to suffer.

Into this, the USA elects the weakest President since the 1800s. Obama is nothing more than a Chicago Machine politician. He's only capable of running graft systems and inflicting pain on those who doesn't follow along. He's corrupted what little bit of competence was left within *any* Federal Government Department. Thus, into this, the Factions competed for even more influence, and they got it on the cheap.

Treasury is completely captured by the Banks. (This was the response to the Paulson meeting) All of the regulators are now captured by all of the industries. It's competitive bidding for influence. Pharma & Insurance "won" (not really, but that's another issue); Coal lost; Solar "won". Everyone else gets it up the ass.

During all of this, the Fed, which actually does operate more like quixotic overlords, is the true power in Washington. They now control most of the EU Central Banks and they're a preferred weapon of Foreign Policy. But, as I said, Obama is weak and incompetent at leadership. (Getting elected, he's really good at that)

Into this comes Putin. Putin is an old KGB hand. And the KGB were & still *are* very good at there job. When no one is there to stand up against you, just take what you want. Who's going to stop him? Economic sanctions never hurt the Leadership. (e.g. North Korea) And they'll eventually fall. The sanctions have hurt the German Leadership more than Russian Leadership. Sure, being a Russian got suddenly worse, but Russian Leadership hasn't cared much about the peasants in 1000 years.

So, Putin takes the part of Ukraine the Russians know they can control (see: Afghanistan, counter-example) and is content to leave it at that. None of the rest of it is worth the trouble, especially given the logistical issues of an actual Military Campaign. (Look up Russian Conscript Cycle if you want to research more information)

This puts us in the Liminal State of Faction battles. Big things are in the future. China is going through its own Faction battle. 100+ years of Central Banking is in the process of failing again and we have to attempt to work out a life in this. Thus, the best advice I can give: Get rid of your Debt and get your Teeth fixed. (Notes from the previous Argentina Default pointed out that Dentistry is the hardest thing to come by when SHTF.)
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