EDITORIAL: Putin’s Russia, Setting Records

EDITORIAL

Putin’s Russia, Setting Records

74.

That’s a record.  It’s the amount of the Russian people’s money, in billions of dollars, that Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin spent in foreign currency to buy (or “defend”) the Russian ruble in the month of December, 2008.  In other words, to fraudulently alter its true value and hide the Kremlin’s policy failure from the people.  It’s over 15% of all Russia’s foreign exchange cash reserves on hand at the beginning of the month.  Russia had never spent as much in any prior month in its history.

130.

Another record for Putin’s Russia.  It’s the amount, in billions of dollars, that fled from Russia to other countries for investment purposes in 2008.  Never in any prior year in Russian history had that much capital flight occurred in just one year. 

32.23

And yet a third record for Putin.  It was the cost of one U.S. dollar in Russian rubles at the close of trading last Thursday, the highest value the American currency has had in the modern history of the ruble.  It means that now all foreign goods, which Russia depends on for survival, cost more than they ever have before.

That’s only the tip of Vlad Putin’s record-setting iceberg, of course.

idx08-10-36For instance, on Putin’s watch (as showin the graph at left), Russia has experienced by far its greatest one year loss of value in stock market equities ever, with shares down nearly 80% in the final three quarters of last year. On Thursday, the RTS index crashed through the 600-point psychological barrier to close below 570.  It is projected that Russia will run at least a $100-billion budget deficit next year as the Kremlin revised its forecast for the price of oil down by a whopping 20%, from $50/barrel to $40.  But the $40 is the current selling price of Urals crude, and analysts say a further revision to $30, triggering the massive deficit, is in the offing.

As we report below, Putin is also setting records in the category of “winning enemies and alienating people,” polarizing virtually the entire civilized world by starting out the year buzzing Americans with nuclear bombers, then sending weapons to the likes of Iran and Syria, and finishing up by invading Georgia and waging energy warfare against Ukraine.  Now, only rogue states like Nicaragua and Libya can be counted as Russian “friends.”

In short, its virtually impossible to describe in words how utterly ruinous for Russia has been the rule of the proud KGB spy named Putin — a name eerily similar to other insane despots who have ruined Russia in the past, specifically Lenin and Stalin.  But unlike those Communist warlords, Putin was not thrust upon the nation regardless of its desires.  Though his “elections” were surely rigged the fact is that huge numbers of Russians went to the polling place and voted for Putin, and more important turned their backs as he destroyed opposition politics and critical media.  The people of Russia have allowed their national clock to be turned back to Soviet days, and they are now feeling the neo-Soviet consequences of failed policy and economic stagnation.

3 responses to “EDITORIAL: Putin’s Russia, Setting Records

  1. You forget one thing… The Russian people love Putin. He fills the average Russian with a sense of pride, that he “pokes America/Ukraine/EU in the eye and gives them a bloody lip”. Remember the rabble decide things, not intellectuals.

  2. @Crusader
    An eye poke, a bloody lip and still standing…no one.two punch?
    By the time the rabble decide things there won’t be anything left.

  3. Soon there won’t be much left in the reserves. It seems that Putin has a new plan. He will be trying to bypass the banks and giving money directly to big business in Russia. According to Vedomosti:

    В сентябре, когда кризис только начинался, правительство выделило Внешэкономбанку (ВЭБ) $50 млрд на поддержку экономики. Но большинство нуждающихся предприятий этих денег не увидело. Поэтому на прошлой неделе премьер-министр Владимир Путин предложил новый план действий: кредитовать предприятия напрямую. Но не все, а избранные — крупнейшие в отраслях или регионах. На их поддержку правительство готово выделить до 3,5 трлн руб. ($130 млрд). Именно столько составляют суммарные запросы.

    So, Russia doles out $50 billion in September and this money does not reach the businesses that needed it. Putin’s solution: give even more money away but give it directly to large companies.

    So, Putin now wants to give $130 billion to help support Russian businesses. Swiss and offshore banks will be raking in the cash as Russian businesses in turn take the money they get from the Russian state and siphon it to their own personal accounts outside Russia.

    Source: http://www.smoney.ru/article.shtml?2008/12/22/8193

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