Sunday, March 02, 2008

Putin's Rough, Brutal, and Cheerful Capitalism

DMITRI A. MEDVEDEV will be anointed president of Russia today thanks to the political handiwork of Vladimir V. Putin. But maybe the real winner is economic globalization.

From December 1999 to the end of 2007, a period overlapping the presidency of Mr. Putin, the value of Russia’s stock market increased from $60 billion to more than $1 trillion (see chart above).

Most Russians do not love Mr. Putin per se, but they love Mr. Putin’s Russia. They love being middle class. They love planning for the future. It is no comfort to the politically persecuted, but average wages in Russia are leaping 10 percent a year, in real terms.

The growing millions of Russian homeowners, vacationers and investors may seem inclined to authoritarianism or just apolitical. But they certainly value a strong ruble, moderate inflation, affordable mortgages, access to higher education, satellite television, Internet connections, passports, foreign visas and — above all else — no economic shocks.

Continue reading the
NY Times article on Russia here.


At 3/02/2008 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And high oil prices help the Russian economy be flush with money!

At 3/03/2008 6:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They largely have to thank the policies Alan Greenspan and George Bush for this, now they get to sit and watch the implosion of the US economy. How sweet that must be.

At 3/03/2008 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OT newsflash

Warren Buffett on Monday said the U.S. economy is in recession and that "stocks are not cheap."

Speaking on CNBC television, Buffett also said he is no longer offering to guarantee $800 million of municipal bonds backed by MBIA Inc

At 3/03/2008 11:44 AM, Blogger Marko said...

How can they say Putin is not popular when his approval ratings are stellar?


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