EDITORIAL: The Lenin-Stalin-Putin Continuum

EDITORIAL

The Lenin-Stalin-Putin Continuum

Last week, once again, Vladimir Putin’s Russia was awash in appallingly bad economic news.  Inflation was roaring and consumer confidence was plummeting.  The stock market was bouncing around like a yo-yo, helplessly enslaved by world raw materials prices.  A Russian defector won a Nobel prize and then ruthlessly condemned the state of neo-Soviet science.  Once again, Russia pathetically flailed about seeking WTO membership like a beggar, and retail giant IKEA announced it was halting investment in the the land of Putin (IKEA has spent more on Russia than the Kremlin is planning to spend on the Sokolovo “Russian Silicon Valley” project).

All this leads Russians to look elsewhere for investment opportunities, of course.  Capital flight has always been a main hallmark of the despotic Putin regime.  So last week, Putin revealed his “solution” to that problem:  He simply won’t let Russians access foreign markets.

Who can be surprised that Putin, a proud KGB spy and a relic of the failed Soviet past, would adopt a neo-Soviet authoritarian response to the inconvenience of the marketplace? Who can expect his results to be any better than those of his Soviet ancestors?

It’s truly amazing that Putin continues to stubbornly ignore reality, just like the infamous emperor with his new clothes.  As the Financial Times reports (h/t Streetwise Professor):

Russia will actually receive less capital inflows than initially thought – with Russian stocks attracting barely half of what was predicted in April. The IIF estimates that inflows into Russia will be $67.5bn this year, down from $72.4bn estimated in April. Russian equities, which were expected to bring in $12.5bn, will now account for just $6.7bn of the total.

On the one hand, Russia’s economy continues to suffer from state intervention and dubious governance. On the other, the extent of the country’s own boom and bust – with banks suffering from having granted excessive consumer credit – has been overlooked.  As a result, optimism that a firming oil price would bring foreign investors into Russia appears to have been misplaced. It appears that, however often analysts say Russian equities are attractively priced, few foreign investors want to move first.

Vladimir Putin is simply not qualified to run a market economy, and he is in fact not even trying to do so.  Instead, he is rapidly recreating the failed Soviet state, driving his nation once again towards the precipice of collapse.

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46 responses to “EDITORIAL: The Lenin-Stalin-Putin Continuum

  1. Well, looks like the Russians are getting ready to deport the North Caucasians (again) in a rerun of Tsarist and Soviet crimes against humanity:

    Medvedev’s envoy in the North Caucasus, Aleksandr Khloponin, seems to be even more oblivious of the real problems of the region. In his “Strategy For The Socioeconomic Development Of The North Caucasus Federal District To 2025,” which the Russian government published on its website earlier this week, Khloponin proposes, among other things, dispatching ethnic Russians to the region and non-Russians from that region to other parts of the Russian Federation.

    He looks like a thoroughly decent guy, Khloponin, and is said to be “a good administrator and an efficient manager.” Why, then, would he come up with an idea that would not sit comfortably with most Russians, be totally unacceptable to the non-Russians, not solve a single problem, and, moreover, play into the hands of those who fight Russia’s rule in the North Caucasus?

    Terrors Of Life

    Khloponin’s penchant for 19th-century imperialist policies, his clear pro-Russian and pro-Cossack stance, allied with his spectacular ignorance of the troubles that plague the region, may prove disastrous for the future of the Russian Federation. His strategy only reinforces the common perception that non-Russians are viewed by Moscow as second- or third-class citizens. It is both morally reprehensible and counterproductive.

    Years of neglect, discrimination, lack of economic and political opportunities, and the protracted conflict in the region have created a generation of angry young men and women who do not know what to do with themselves or their lives. When they become victims of brutality at the hands of the police and security forces, they have little or no recourse to justice. The Caucasians suffered hardships for centuries, but their participation in the insurgency today is largely accounted for by the perception that their lives are not worth much in present-day Russia.

    Young men and women commit horrific acts of violence only when, in the words of Arthur Schopenhauer, “the terrors of life reach the point at which they outweigh the terrors of death.” Whatever his real motives are, Khloponin appears to care about his work and his job is, by definition, thankless. He should have started, however, by at least attempting to remove some of those “terrors” from the lives of his compatriots in the North Caucasus.

    http://www.rferl.org/content/Is_Khloponin_The_Right_Man_For_The_North_Caucasus/2185521.html

  2. Roaring inflation, you say? Low Ruble? I guess I heard it already, but that was about … surprise: Yuan! So Chinese economy is about to collapse? Oh, what a deep logic team, you’ve beaten yourself this time:)

    Stock market bouncing like yo-yo? Economy destroyed? This makes my heart beat like hell – not…

    Heard news? Russian Finance Minister Kudrin received a Finance Minister of the Year award from Euromoney lately?

    Did not hear it? Wonder not – you’re living in a democracy with a free press, where nobody is interested in giving more credibility to a competitive market actually.

    So, the source: http: // news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101011/wl_nm/us_russia_kudrin_putin

    Reuters – one of very few sources in Western press covering this year’s award. Pay attention to the way they cover it:)

    So Russian FM gets a FM of the year 2010 award from Euromoney? Rissian economy must be completely destroyed, sure. Your analysis is just brilliant this time, team. Lenin-Stalin, and other stuff, team…

  3. dymasza,
    Look around yourself, see places in the middle of nowehere were 90% russians live like animals – no running water, no electricity, no gas. apparently ruskaya svoalotsh likes this sort of life- probably your mamasza i papasza live in this condition – you must remember – and then justify the award.

    By the way, the abysmal failure of Russia in the Central Asia is truly poetic justice where, for a change, there were a pogroms of Russians – so Russian Jews must feel vindicated…

    • BTW, I can give you a good BJ if you want (no russians please).

      • aaausa | October 12, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Reply
        BTW, I can give you a good BJ if you want (no russians please).

        dymasza did you write this, using my name – I see too much contaminated russian samogon and afghan heroin – bonne continuation

    • BTW, that was a cool sound “oa” in your “svoalotsh” word:) And even more cool “tsh” sound:)

      Do you have these combinations in your native language?

      I mean, seriously, you could have at least used usual transliteration rules to not look so foolish…

  4. I must admit, with greate pride, that Russians constructed the orthodox church in Cuba – marking the russian presence there for ever – it reminds of animals marking their terriroty by urinating…

    • Hey dim,

      Read your comment of “– it reminds of animals marking their terriroty by urinating…”.

      First comment is that I could not find the word “terrirory” in the Oxford dictionary? pray tell is it a Russki word? if so be good enough to explain.

      Second comment is how exciting it must be for the Russians to mark their territory by urinating? tell me what next, I mean, when are they going to run around sniffing each other’s B.O. – and here I mean “bum odor”.

      Oh yes! a most definite yes! Russians of your ilk are of the “Russki – nyet kultura” category.

      • Bohdan, you’d be surprised, but that was way another “Dmitry”. Not me, the man who posted all those messages on this exuse for a blog during the last months.

        The message above was posted (presumably) by some fellow duffer who decided to help the duff-team by posting BS under my name. Most likely, judging by “greate pride”, and “urinating” , and “terriroty” – it was the aaausa girlie going ever more dirty:)

        BTW, Bohdan, I am really surprised how you missed the difference between what I usually post and that “urinating for claiming territory” BS…

        So calm down really, Svidomit fighter…

      • Bohdan, here’s a hint for you, and the ones like you, newcomers to internets: next time, to not be fooled again, see the profile icon – they stay the same most time for the same IPs.

      • And yes!!! That was the aaausa writing the post!

        The idiot was just fool enough to not change her IP before writing a post from my name – that’s why the icon next to that message of hers still stayed the same, as with most her posts.

        AAAUSA – BEST SCORE THIS TIME:) You got yourself pwnd twice with one message – first, for making three mistakes in one English language, second – for dirty play, writing your post from my name:D And then, you got Bohdan pwned for looking even more foolish than he actually is!

        I just love how you do this, aaausa!

  5. Russia looks like better than Japan, where one commits suicide every 20 minutes. Who wants to invest in a deflation-riddled, population-decreasing country like Japan? Do you know that Japan is estimated to lose more population than Russia, though Japan’s population is fewer than Russia’s? Even Russians don’t want to invest any money in Japan, right?

    In Japan, deflation is prevailing and consumer confidence is plummeting. The stock market is floundering at the bottom like a broken skateboard, helplessly ignored by world investors. A Japanese scientist who won a Nobel prize this year ruthlessly condemned the country for losing its edge.

    If you doubt it, please come to Japan and see what’s going on here.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    The only reason you think that is you have never lived on single second in Russia while depending on the average wage of $3/hour. Try it, and your country will look much, much better to you. That is what Russia is good for!

    • Hey, duff-team, you’ve probably all been to Japan lately?

      LOL

      @average wage of $3/hour

      Cool. Show me your source, I want to look into his eyes:-)

      • You should be proud of $3 per hour average wage, which is more than $6,000 a year. Better than in other countries of your peer group, i.e., Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, Burma and the like. Except I think $3 an hour average is an exaggerated figure. It is probably lower, in fact.

        • It’s always cool to talk to an intelligent person that checks sources before making bold conclusions.

          • Well, I found this information posted by the Russian Government itself (the Labor Statistics Office I presume).

            http://www.gks.ru/bgd/regl/b10_06/IssWWW.exe/Stg/3/03-01.htm

            The chart has translation, so fortunately I was able to find out that the average income for the first 6 months of this year was 17,247.6 rubles. I found out that 1 $ goes for approximately 30 rubles, and so this number in dollars is $574.92, presumably a month (too low for a year and too high for a week), or $6,899.04 per year. Am I right so far?

            Well, there are 2,080 work hours a year, so on the hourly bases it will be $3.32 per hour. In fact, it is probably even lower, because it counts all the income that the population gets, not just wages.

            Are you satisfied with my source and with my computations?

            • No, not satisfied at all.

              From the very beginning, you missed the point the “average monthly income” does not equal to “wage” or “salary”. You are taking in account all pensioneers, babies, and non-working people with this number.

              Duff-team told you about “wages” in their comment to a Japanese guy post.

              Search better, please. But you’re on a right track, surprisingly.

            • No, come on, I won’t be just asking you do a task too hard for a person not involved in such statistics.

              If you really want to see what the “wages” in Russia are, please read the following.

              The actual counted wages in Russia were 20158 Rubles in March, 2010. The last available number.

              http://www.vedomosti.ru/newspaper/article/2010/04/28/232746

              20158 / 21 (business days) / 8 (hours/b.day) / 30Rur/USD = 4 USD per hour. So far our duff-team has only duffed us for one dollar, right? Let’s continue then.

              What I mean when I say “counted” wages? There are at least 3 things you need to take into account, when you compare wages in different countries.

              1) Purchase Power Parity. I earn my wage to buy things, and pay bills, right? So what if a Big Mac I want to buy costs three times less in Russia than in the EU? What if everybody’s electricity bills cost 70% less? Would it mean I am as wealthy as a man with equal salary in the EU? No, it would mean I am wealthier, as I can purchase more. PPP for Ruble is about 1,8, which means you need to multiply the USD/RUR currency exchange rates 1,8 to understand how much goods you’ll be able to buy with one dollar if you exchange and spend it in Russia, compared to spending it in the US. The “PPP exchange rate” was 14.536390 RUR/USD in 2009, instead of 30 RUR/USD.

              So, we get a 1,8*4USD/hour=7,2 USD/Hour PPP wages.

              Now let’s proceed to the next stage.

              2) Taxes. How much taxes do you need to pay when you get your salary in the US? 25% Income tax, perhaps? Then we have approximately the same income level. In Japan, we would both probably give away 20-23% as an Income tax. In Sweden, this would be 30% (lower), or 50% (relatively high wage). In Russia, I pay 13%. That is all I have to give away. Everything left you can spend as you want.

              You see, many taxes are paid on the employer side in Russia, not on employee side. So let’s add these 12% difference with the US to wages. Imagine I pay them as taxes, – after receiving my salary, and not my employer – before paying it.

              7,2+12%=8. Now it’s a 5USD/Hour difference with what the duff-team says? Like, they tried to duff us for 62% of the average wage?

              Now to more interesting matters.

              3) Shadow economy. Shadow economy means, among the other, some employers pay wages “under the table”, to avoid taxation. Would these money be calculated, when we talk about salaries?

              Well, yes and no. Yes, they would be – in the US. No, they would not be – in Russia. In the US, they include revenues medics get from illegal abortions, in “illegal practicing” article in GDP. In Russia, the statistics is just not developed enough yet to estimate and report the shadow economy.

              Sad thing is, 62 % companies in Russia partly paid wages “in envelopes” in 2007.

              http://www.rg.ru/2007/05/08/biznes.html

              Let’s imagine it is 50% companies doing so in 2010, down optimistic 12% in 4 years. Let’s imagine these 50% of companies only pay 50% (a humble assumption) of wages “in envelopes”, and the other half of salary they pay in “white money”, counted by statistics, and taxed.

              That means, in all the economy, only 50%+50%*0,5=75% salaries are counted. What about the other 25% money? People get them, and spend them, but these money are not there in statistics.

              So we would need to multiply our 8USD/Hour again? No, this time, divide, by 0,75.

              8/0,75=10,6 USD/Hour. The duff team duffed us for 7 USD in 10 USD/ hour salary?

              10 USD/ hour is 20160 USD/ year.

              Now that’s the average salary (or something at least close to it), finally. This is a PPP number, using the 14.53 RUR/USD PPP exchange rates, so about 11200 is the money average Russian gets if he decides to save all his salary, exchange it in USD, and spend it outside of Russia. But this is hardly the case with any “average” person from any country.

              PS. Just for fun, you may take a look at sales of new cars in Russia in 4 months of 2010. They are about 456,000 (1,370,000 per year). Cars in PPP Rubles are much more expensive in Russia, remember? So if the average new car in Russia costs about RUR400,000, you may say it’s 23-24,000USD in the US. Just like with electricity bills, and Big Macs.

              This equals 1 new сar bought per 100 citizens in 2010. In August (low season, crisis year, of course), 2009 they’ve bought, 565 new cars in Lithuania, the EU member (6780 per year, 6780/3,350,000=0.002 cars/citizen) in Lithuania. In January, 2010 (right after getting annual bonuses), they bought 171,005 cars in France (171,005*12/65,450,000=3,1 new cars per 100 citizens). See, the difference with France is three-fold, but the difference with Lithuania ‘2010 would be, maybe, 5-fold, but in the other direction.

              These are just some of the basics you should consider when you discuss a country’s economy, RV. So, do you understand, why I call our duff-team so?

  6. If you read my message above, you would see that I have noticed that and said: “In fact, it is probably even lower, because it counts all the income that the population gets, not just wages.” There are many sources reporting an average monthly wage at a level of $600

    • So you think that average child gets more than an average worker, thus rising the “average income” over the “average salary”?

      No, RV, household income per family member (close in meaning to that “average income”) is always lower than wages of working parents. It’s a pure logics – children and pensioneers don’t get as much as working adults.

      • Yes, this is true. But I said there are sources showing about $600 average wage; this counts only working adults. Even it’s somewhat more and th figure is close to $4 per hour, it is still pitiful. Russians can’t even dream of Japanese wages

        • Please see my message above when it passes premoderation.

          • The talk was about gross per hour wage, not about that mysterious “PPP” or taxes. I may concede that the gross hourly wage in Russia is close to $4. If all that mumbo jumbo you wrote is designed to convince me that Russians are making $10 an hour putting them at the same level as some European countries, and therefore they prosper, I am not buying it. Perhaps, you are trying to convince yourself.

            Looks to me like a deliberate attempt to manipulate statistics, and so miraculously $7,000 a year becomes $21,000 a year. You just make everybody laugh.

            • Actually, RV, the concept Dmitry used (the PPP) is a well known concept for the New Rich. Ever read a book called “4 hour workweek” by Timothy Ferris, a famous American entrepreneur? If not, I suggest you do.

              In this book, he describes the concept of working remotely and earning money in American currency by having clients in USA, but living abroad in countries such as Argentina where things cost 5 times cheaper and your dollar gets a way higher PPP. In that case $50,000 per year in USA would give you power to live like you’re making $250,000 per year in Argentina judging by the amount of things you will be able to purchase.

              It’s not a strange concept and there’s nothing manipulative about it.

              You’re just an ignorant, Russian hating auto-programmed robot.

              • Well, actually the Economist believes in PPP and uses the Big Mac index 10 years or so to illustrate the concept of PPP.

                It’s sad RV does not believe in PPP. And even more sad RV does not want to think.

              • I am well aware of discrepancies in price levels in various countries around the world. But overwhelming majority of people are paid in local currency, not in dollars. And carpenters, farmers, factory workers, plumbers, teachers and so on do not have “clients in the USA” nor do they work “remotely.”

                I am not an economist and freely admit that. Still, common sense tells me that if this PPP thing really meant something, then there would be no need for Mexicans to risk their lives crossing the Arizona desert. They would be happy to earn much less home and be satisfied that they would be able to purchase more with that. There would be no poor countries and rich countries. If in Congo wages are 10% of those in France, and prices are also 10% of the French prices, an average Congolese would be able to purchase the same as an average Frenchman. Yet, somehow this is not happening.

                So, I think this is complex, and I don’t think I gave you any reason to insult me. You don’t know me and have no idea whether I am an auto-programmed robot, or any other kind of robot, or not a robot at all.

                • “Still, common sense tells me that if this PPP thing really meant something, then there would be no need for Mexicans to risk their lives crossing the Arizona desert.”

                  With Mexicans coming to the US, it’s really simple.

                  They are sending money to their families at home – so they fully benefit from high PPP rate of their underestimated (vs USD) home currency.

                  You misunderstood what the PPP means.

                  It means comparable goods are cheaper inside the country in question, this time, Russia. Cheaper 1,8 times.

                  This means, you need to pay for Big Mac 1,7 dollars, while in the US, it costs 3,5. Pay USD100 instead of USD200 for a landline phone, and so on.

            • Well, you are both right. An average Russian is probably getting $4-5/hour. But this is net of any taxes, even of Russia’s 12% income tax. US salaries are normally quoted gross of tax. If you are a purist, you should make adjustments for that. Its also true that you can buy a lot more haircuts, Mars bars and heating gas for this money in Russia than you can in the US. Its also true that this does not factor in Russia’s wide-spread practice of under-reporting salaries. In any case, this is hair splitting in my view. Having traveled the world, I am a firm believer that you can figure out differences in life standards looking at a list of countries ranked in terms of their nominal GDPs.

  7. But if Russia is so stable, critics ask, why did Moscow authorities erect the hoarding featuring the young children — allegedly for the construction of a previously unannounced underground car park — and block off the Mayakovsky square which was a venue for monthly protests by rights activists?

    Why, opposition journalists ask, do phalanxes of Moscow riot police supported by dogs regularly break up small opposition demonstrations and drag participants off to waiting vans, even though only a few hundred people turn up?

    Read more:

    http://www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/86267/#ixzz12K9YFQgf

  8. “drag participants off to waiting vans” – and then what?

  9. “It means comparable goods are cheaper inside the country in question, this time, Russia. Cheaper 1,8 times.”

    If “comparable goods” are so much cheaper inside Russia, then why they do not sell abroad? Could it be that the quality of items made in Russia is not comparable with the quality of the “comparable” items being made elsewhere? Or what else would explain the fact that Russian consumer goods do not sell in Europe or North America even though being much cheaper?

    Besides, actually, the PPP comparison is not “comparable” in the sense that it is based on the GDP “production basket” of products being fabricated within the country in question, while what the average wage can pay depends on the average consumption basket. Russia produces mainly crude oil and natural gas for export and these are qualitatively the “most comparable” items the country produces as regards the rest of the world and therefore the only items being able to be sold at the current world prize.

    Still an “average” Russian’s consumer basket consists of many items being produced inside the country, being cheaper than elsewhere, and still not selling elsewhere… MOT! An “average” Russian surely pays less, but, on the other hand, for qualitetively inferior products…

    PS. Ever heard of paid ads (cf. the Euromoney prize)?

    • Dixi, do I look like Wikipedia? Do I have a sign “free lectures on Economics” on the image next to my posts?

      Go to Google and find what the PPP is, finally. Search for Big Mac index, and perhaps you’ll understand why Chinese Big Macs 1,2USD each are not exported to the US.

    • @”PS. Ever heard of paid ads (cf. the Euromoney prize)?”

      PS. Banned by Google, boy?

      Alexei Kudrin, finance minister of the Russian Federation, and Stanley Fischer, governor of the Bank of Israel, were today recognised for their successes in managing their respective economies through the aftermath of the global financial crisis by Euromoney, the world’s leading magazine for banking and finance.

      The reception took place during the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Euromoney has been honouring the world’s best central bank governors and finance ministers during the annual meetings for more than 30 years.

      Euromoney commended Governor Fischer for striking the ideal balance between moderating inflation and supporting economic recovery.

      [...]

      Fischer joins a prestigious group of winners of Euromoney’s Central bank governor award, which in recent years has included Jean-Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank, Henrique Meirelles of Brazil and Guillermo Ortiz of Mexico.

      Euromoney praised Minister Kudrin for his policy of reserving the windfall that Russia had made from its oil boom in the form of a stabilization fund, for which he had to withstand huge political pressure, which in turn were crucial in the country’s ability to emerge from the global financial crisis in a much better shape than most had expected.

      “Kudrin is rightly hailed as a fiscal manager of the highest order. Not just in the west, where his championing of the free market and fiscal prudence long made him a favourite of foreign investors, but also in Russia, a country which has not always taken kindly to reformers,” the magazine said. “Entering the financial crisis with nearly $600 billion in foreign reserves allowed Russia to manage a 30% decline in the rouble. The stabilization fund also enabled Russia to pay off its foreign debt early. Kudrin is also rightly praised for his commitment to tax and budget reform, Russia’s desire to join the World Trade Organization, and continuing the progress in privatization.”

      Recent winners of Euromoney’s Finance minister of the year award have included Xie Xuren of China, Mulyani Indrawati of Indonesia and Jim Flaherty of Canada.

      Fischer and Kudrin received their awards following a lengthy process of deliberation by Euromoney’s editorial committee, chaired by the editor Clive Horwood.

    • @An “average” Russian surely pays less, but, on the other hand, for qualitetively inferior products

      Inferior products, oh my.

      Qualitatively inferior Mars chocolate bars? Big Macs? Jeans? Soap? Shampoos? Electricity? Internet broadband access? Nescafe? Danone yoghurts?

      This is a XXI century, planet Earth, kid. All over the world, the same companies sell the same brands.

      Mars chocolate bar 50gr. costs about RUR 20 in Russia. USD0,6.

      http://dostavka.7cont.ru/good/2148/

      How much does the Mars chocolate bar 50gr cost in your country?

  10. Cigarettes, vodka, hit-men, black media, diplomas, prostitutes and many other of the earth’s wonders are either for sale or cheaper in Russia than the US or anywhere else remotely civilised.

    You avoided this last time Dmitry, feel free to exercise your freedom here again.

    • You got it right, Wal, and also art, textbooks, chocolate, good education, fitness club memberships and many other of the earth’s wonders. That’s the concept between the PPP.

    • Wal, once again, it’s fun to know what common people in the US consume, and what measures the PPP in the US. “Cigarettes, vodka, hit-men, black media, diplomas, prostitutes…” But you’re such a mischevious boy, you know:)

  11. Comparing the price of cigarettes, vodka, hit-men, black media, diplomas and prostitutes against art, textbooks, chocolate, good education and fitness club memberships says quite a lot about your state mind little man.

    Creepy.

    • No, yours, you naughty boy:)

    • Wal, you brought up hitmen first. The economic reason why they are cheaper in Russia than they are in Manhattan is same as why paintings are less expensive in a gallery in Moscow than they are in a gallery in SoHo. I have no first-hand knowledge of the prior, so I will trust your word on this, but as an art collector, I am quite knowleageble about the latter. You talk about hitmen I talk about art. I guess, this says something about our respective states of mind.

  12. What to say, I don’t know. But what I do know is that Big Max Index is as far from the “heartland” of the theory of PPP as Russian consumer goods’ “quality” are from conquering markets in Europe or North America or, actually, anywhere else in the civilised or, for that part, even in the uncivilised world.

    You surely are right that Russian consumers always prefer anything else but “made in Russia” if they can afford. But many cannot, which is also mirrored in the overall structure of an “average” (not to speak the poorer than that) Russian’s consumer basket which contains the more Russian consumer goods and food items the poorer the person is. And this, my friend, is mirrored in the average lower price level of Russia and, consequently, in PPP comparisons…

    Ps. I am flattered that you used my pseudonym in order to ensure the dear readers about the quality of your OWN post… But it is not the name, but the content that counts.

    Ps. Ps. Funny though, where the most Euromoney prize awards seem to go to, i.e., in order to win it is best to be the a minister of finance in a country where corruption is also among the highest (Indonesia (138th in Transparency International 2010 list), Mexico (65) ,Russia(127), Serbia (97), Saudi Arabia (70), etc.). Corruption=everything is for sale (or ever heard of bought honorary titles or educational diplomas and where they run rampant?).

    Ps.Ps. Ps. The 2010 Euromoney awards were presented SIMULTANOUSLY as IMF and World Bank held their annual meeting in Washington DC. It’s a big city and simultanously there happens a lot always…

    Ps. Ps.Ps. Ps. Next time, try to be a bit more compact in your postings. I mean that, the first condition to have some effect with your postings is that the readers have at least endurance enough to read your postings first…

    • @”Big Max Index is as far from the “heartland” of the theory of PPP as Russian consumer goods’ “quality” are from conquering markets in Europe or North America”

      Pathetic post, Dixi.

      Really. Your first phrase kills any wish to contunue reading the post.

      Big Macs are “far from the heartland of the PPP theory”? And what the “heartland” is, pray tell?

      If Mars bars and Gilette razors cost less in Russia, this means Ruble is underevaluated. Just like Yuan is now. Just like pretty much every currency outside of the EU. Or do we have some other chocolate bars and disposable razors?

      Frankly, I just don’t know how to explain it to you, if both Wikipedia and Economist failed…

      @You surely are right that Russian consumers always prefer anything else but “made in Russia” if they can afford.

      Like Japanese cars? Electronics? Like Chinese toys? Chinese construction materials? Like European wines? Perfumes? Tourism services? Sure, Russians buy these.

      But what of the named do they in the US buy not?

      Pathetic.

      @”the more Russian consumer goods and food items the poorer the person is”

      Oh what a deep insight? And this must surely means they only produce superior goods in other countries?

      And the tendency you so insightfully mentioned, is, of course, absent in any other country? The less they earn in all other states, the more people rely on imports? Like, when they earn not enough in Spain, they start to drink Belgian beer?

      Pathetic. You don’t even understand when you read it, why your logic is flawed.

      @”Ps. I am flattered that you used my pseudonym in order to ensure the dear readers about the quality of your OWN post…”

      No, that was our dear LR team playing around with her little blog again, I guess:)

      See, three days ago I explained to another stupid reader here, that you can tell who the author was, judging by the icon to the right of his post. I would hardly post under other’s name – three days after explaining this thing with icons:))

      PPS. @”Euromoney”:

      Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC (LSE: ERM) is one of Europe’s largest business and financial magazine publishers which has interests in financial publishing and event organisation. It is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

      Sure, for sale. Kudrin surely bought it to get the award.

      The auction:

      http://www.euromoneyconferences.com/Stub.aspx?StubID=8352

      Once again, pathetic show, kid.

      But you must still think good old stupidity and some lies can’t harm, huh?

  13. “Pathetic”,

    Erhm. I am not talking about “Mars bars and Gilette razors”. I’m talking about the overall consumer basket the “average” Russian consume. As said, it consists NOT ONLY of foreign imported BUT ALSO of Russian products. And still, you yourself EMPHASIZE taht the ruble is undervaluated… Well , that being the case, tell me then why no (cheap) Russian consumer goods enter Asian, European or North American markets? There have to be some reason why the Asian, European and North American consumers don’t want to buy Russian products, while Russians consume Asian, European and North American products, don’t you think? (Besides, the ruble being undervaluated,makes the Russian products relatively cheaper if they could only to sell abroad. )

    The only reason, before you (finally?!) come with a better one (instead of repeating BS as “pathetic”), is the very same that explains also why Russians themselves choose items made outside of Russia (if they can only afford to buy them), that is, Russian products are NOT ONLY cheaper, BUT ALSO of poorer quality.

    And, still Russians do consume RUSSIAN products too (the poorer the person is the more he/she buys Russian). (And, actually, the Russians are the only nation that do. ) And threfore the “average” Russian’s consumer basket consists not only of imported, but also of Russian products, and this, my friend, means that the average Russian’s consumer basket differs from, say, the average EU-citizen’s consumer basket QUALITATIVELY. And, this, in its turn, means that the PPP comparison doesn’t work …

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