This series is designed to bring together a variety of shorter, readily available podcasts to introduce a topic from recent headlines and spark discussion.

The United States and its allies, in an effort to put heavy economic pressure on Putin to end the war in Ukraine, have imposed various types of sanctions on a wide range of Russian industries and influential individuals (oligarchs). As early as February 22, you started seeing “sanctions” in the headlines. In addition to the sanctions, many companies in the western world are closing their Russian operations, even if they are not required to do so under a specific sanction. (For more on this topic, see EconExtra: The Economic Impacts of War.)

Here are some 2-4 minute Marketplace podcasts that discuss these headlines.

2/25 Marketplace How do sanctions against Russian oligarchs actually work? 3/7 Marketplace What it means to cut off the Russian economy with sanctions 3/10 Marketplace Who are the Russian oligarchs who are being sanctioned, and how did they become so rich?

Here are some relevant Marketplace Minute podcasts.

2/25 Morning briefing US sanctions target Russian trade and banks, which are now outside the SWIFT system. 2/28 Morning briefing The world’s sanctions take effect: the ruble drops 30%. 3/1 Morning briefing The Russian Visa and Mastercard credit cards no longer work. 3/2 Morning briefing Several major US companies announce they are shutting down or withdrawing from Russia. 3/3 Morning Briefing US Sanctions Against Russian Oil. 3/8 Morning Briefing Russia Seeks Sanctions Solutions: Cryptocurrency and a Replacement for SWIFT. 3/10 Morning Briefing Sony and Nintendo stop selling consoles in Russia and join many other companies to cut ties with Russia. 3/14 Afternoon Citigroup is the last (and largest) bank to pull out of Russia. 3/15 Morning Briefing Oil, copper, aluminum and zinc prices are falling amid fears of supply over the ease of war – and nickel is trading again.


Decide how much time you want to spend on this activity and select podcasts to give students background information.

Then have students address these discussion questions. This can be done individually, in groups or as a class.

What are the intended effects of sanctions against Russia? How do they harm the Russian economy? How hard is it to impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs? What do you think is the desired outcome of these sanctions? Give some examples of how companies struggle with the sometimes conflicting goals of maximizing revenue/profit and maintaining a positive public image when deciding what to do with their Russian operations. How successful do you think Russia will be in circumventing the sanctions? Why would a certain country want to help them? How can their economy change if they are cut off from much of their trading partners?

About the Authors

Ren Makino

Ren has been working part-time at NGPF since 2014, where he did an internship through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team after graduating in 2020 to work full-time with a focus on teacher onboarding. He is also the editor of the NGPF podcast and makes it accessible to educators on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. In his spare time, he enjoys trying coffee from different roasters around the world and trying out new brewing methods, although personal finance gurus tend to warn against buying a cup of joe.

Beth Tallman

Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an MBA in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her early career in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint abroad. She took advantage of an involuntary divorce to try teaching high school math, something she’d always dreamed of. When fate intervened again, Beth seized the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop a curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now devotes her time to writing about personal finance and financial education, conducts workshops for students, and develops financial curricula and educational content. She is also treasurer of the Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.

This post Classroom Podcasts: Sanctions, Sanctions, and More Sanctions

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