A war shrouded in the fog of contradictory information

The “free world” is currently giving the impression of standing together as seldom before. Nevertheless, Russia is not isolated and the west’s many dependencies on her are not going away overnight.

In our video we take a look at what economic and political forces are at work and why military topics are returning to public discourse – hand-in-hand with a new consciousness of how valuable and in need of protection democracy is.

Analyses based on what we know on Day 36

© Vontobel, March 31, 1:00 p.m.

Video recording of a discussion between Dan Scott, Head Vontobel Multi Asset, and military expert Georg Häsler, Editor at Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ).


Summary of the main topics discussed

“The first casualty when war comes is truth”, Aeschylus told the Greek people 2,500 years ago. In the shadows thrown by the war in Ukraine, his statement may never have been so right and, at the same time, so wrong. Because details of a war have never been so numerous – or so instantaneously available as today via social media. Plus, there are so many contradictory versions that everyone must “cobble together” their own version of the “truth”.

That even comes over in the media’s coverage and reporting.


Georg Häsler, military expert and editor at NZZ

“There is no reliable information. Period.”

One minute, we are being informed about retreats or the formation of humanitarian corridors, the next, we learn that heavy fighting is taking place. Georg Häsler, editor at Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), is clear: “the media’s breaking news concept, according to which everything must be disseminated immediately, has reached its limits. We could even say it is increasing, rather than lifting, the fog surrounding this war. While the journalists reporting on the war in Iraq could be regarded as independent sources – even if they were strongly exposed to the US perspective – today it is difficult to contextualize details reliably”.


The huge effort it takes to try to get to the truth of the matter was made clear at the weekend in a report in the New York Times.

These examples show: the lack of clarity surrounding details of the war are making it more difficult to estimate the probability of various scenarios. For investors, it may therefore be helpful to compare current events with historical information.


Topics from an investment perspective

  • Why is this war in particular inflationary – and how decisive may the next interest rate moves by the Central Banks be?
  • How big is the threat of a recession in the global economy? And how big is this threat for the eurozone?
  • What adjustments has Vontobel already made to its investment strategy?


  • Questions from the live stream audience
    • What will it take for Putin to be able withdraw from Ukraine without losing face?
    • Why is the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons more likely than the use of strategic ballistic missiles?
    • From an energy-political viewpoint, what will be the impact of the recent distancing of the US from Saudi Arabia?
    • What’s the risk in connection with economic war?
    • Will India – like China – now turn into a significant player on the geopolitical stage?



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Watch background discussion