From yesterday’s press briefing, via the WSJ:
The White House on Tuesday defended U.S. sanctions against Russia amid criticism that they weren’t effective, and made a rare foray into personal investment decisions.
“I wouldn’t, if I were you, invest in Russian equities right now—unless you’re going short,” President Barack Obama’s chief spokesman, Jay Carney, said Tuesday when pressed whether Russia was shrugging off U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. sanctions, enacted Monday, froze the assets of seven Russians and four Ukrainians and prohibits Americans from doing business with any of those named. The Russian ruble and stock markets in Russia and Europe, which had been weighed down by the Ukrainian crisis, rallied over the past several days as investors determined the U.S. and European Union sanctions against Russia were more mild than expected and as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he didn’t want further confrontation with Ukraine.
The White House usually declines to comment about swings in the financial markets, and tries to avoid saying anything to spook investors. But Mr. Carney said he thinks the U.S. and European Sanctions, combined with Russia’s own actions in Ukraine, will harm Russia’s economy.
“I think the ruble has lost value. And I think that the long-term effect of actions taken by the Russian government, in clear violation of the United Nations charter, in clear violation of its treaty commitments, that are destabilizing and illegal, will have an impact on their economy all by themselves,” Mr. Carney said.
It’s legal for him to do this? The rest here.