Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Steven Tian on the Russian Economy presented by Worth
Immediately following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, about a dozen businesses cut ties with the nation in a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine. The United States and our NATO allies swiftly imposed severe sanctions against Russia, as well as against Russian business leaders, politicians, and Vladimir Putin himself.
Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his team, sparked by the volunteered withdrawal from private businesses, began reporting on those 12 companies, leading to a frenzy of other companies exiting Russia or claiming to. The list Professor Sonnenfeld and his team created grew to 75, then 500, and is now at 1300 companies, with 1100 of those no longer conducting business with Russia in some form.
Recently, there’s been much public speculation about whether government sanctions and exited businesses are enough to dissuade Putin and the Russian people. Putin has been vocal that these disturbances have had no consequences on his economy. This disinformation has created confusion as to the actual state of the Russian economy, creating doubt as to whether the sanctions are working.
Professor Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean and Lester Crown professor at Yale School of Management, made it his mission to accurately research and report on the list of companies and the effect their withdrawal has had. To aid him, Professor Sonnenfeld leaned on Steven Tian. Steven is the director of research at Yale School of Management’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute, an institution that Professor Sonnenfeld is also the founder and CEO of.
Jeffrey and Steven continue to dispel these myths with their powerful research on national media, at the White House, and at the Washington Foreign Press Center Briefing on “The Economic Impact of Sanctions on Russia.”
Jeffrey, a long-time friend of mine, and Steven, a recent friend, discuss and share their experiences here.