Everywhere you turn there’s chatter about the ongoing US economic sanctions against Russia. The Russian Central Bank, Russian banks, Russian companies, Russian oligarchs — and anyone caught helping them — have seen their fortunes entangled since Moscow invaded Ukraine just over a year ago.
From Davos to Aspen, American Treasury officials tout the unprecedented scale and scope of this powerful economic weapon.
And why not? The effort has been impressive. The US government task forces have beached scores of yachts, grounded planes, blocked hundreds of millions of dollars of central bank assets and cut Russian financial institutions off from the global SWIFT financial system.
Sanctions are an ancient game: in 432 B.C., Athens crushed its rival — Megara — by banning their traders from Athenian marketplaces.
For the US government in the 21st century,…