(Image: Private Media)
(Image: Private Media)

In the next few months, the whole world will face the consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainians will see the worst of it, in the form of actual violence. For the rest of us, the consequences will manifest mostly in terms of economic impacts. Don’t just think in the abstract, of Alan Kohler pointing at a graph of bond yields. Economic impacts are real impacts. We’re talking about families with no bread. Pensioners with no heating as the last cold snaps of winter come through. Widespread suffering.

Pain will fall on normal people. Tens of millions of them, worldwide. But to see that pain, to understand whose children will be crying, who will die in a freezing apartment, we need to go to a meta level. We do need to look at charts of prices. As we do so, it’s vital to keep the real-world consequences in mind.

Bill shock

Disruption in the global economy manifests in price changes. The Russian ruble, for example, has fallen 5% against the US dollar. The Ukrainian hryvnia has fallen 5% too. But the most consequential change so far is in the price of gas. Gas matters a lot to Europe. They use it to heat their homes.