Russia in La-la Land

Jeannette Di Louie, Assistant Editor of Mt. Vernon Research, blogging on iStockAnalyst:

For my final blog of the day, I had a choice to write about Russia’s economic harships or the fact that Hugh Heffner has said that he would be open to selling the Playboy enterprise.  Sadly for my mostly male audience, I chose to write about the first topic. However, if you’d like to know more about the potential sale, click here. If not, let’s get down to real business…

When we last discussed Russia, the motherland was doing less than phenomenally. In fact, former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was starting to feel the weight of a turning tide of public sentiment that was once heavily in his favor.

Today, President Medvedev is still advocating blatant ignorance through his own refusal to admit that there is something to be concerned about. Instead, he claims: “Our financial and economic situation is absolutely stable. We amended the budget – it’s a budget with a budget deficit.”

Who knows, maybe they are doing better than everybody else is, but if Medvedev’s words of bravado are as full of ummm… hot air as his and Putin’s have been for the last few years, then I’d say it’s safe to guess that they’re in the dog house as much as the rest of us.

That’s especially true when:

  • Government spending vs. government debt is estimated to rise to $60 billion in 2009. Hardly a number like the one the U.S. is racking up, but significant all the same.
  • Thanks to the dramatic drop in oil prices over the past 3 quarters, Russian revenue is drastically down.
  • Medvedev has fired four of the country’s regional governors over the last few months, giving more fuel to speculation that the government is worried about public sentiment.
  • Unlike the enthralled population Russia boasted back during the summer of ‘08, there have been at least one significant protest this year, as Russian car importers demonstrated against tarrifs on Japanese vehicles.

But don’t worry Putin… oops! I mean Medvedev. We believe whatever you say.

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