The four new scourges — inflation, food shortages, fuel poverty and the fear of escalating war — are now spreading like the four horsemen of the apocalypse to almost every corner of the planet.

Behind them lie a tangle of causes, of which impossibly high energy prices — born of a staggering lack of political preparedness — are certainly one. But this now combines with Russia’s brutal Ukraine invasion, widespread supply chain interruptions and general paralyzing uncertainty about what is going to happen next — for instance, if Russian President Vladimir Putin impatiently uses a nuclear weapon to crush the Ukrainians — and where it might lead.

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