EDITORIAL: Putinomics is Poison for Russia


Putinomics is Poison for Russia

The latest stunning bad news on the Russian economy is that the nation’s budget deficit increased a whopping 37% in August, Russia’s month of doom.  In the first seven months of the year the budget deficit was 4.3% of GDP, but in August it increased a gut-wrenching 1.6 points to reach 5.9% of GDP.  The budget deficit could get close to double digits by year’s end. 

The Kremlin is printing money at a furious rate to close the gap without massive foreign borrowing, and Russians are growing more and more concerned about the value of their currency.  This has led economists to predict that the ruble could see a breathtaking 15% devaluation before the end of the year.

Economic disaster for Russia was predictable when Russians, whose economy is one-dimensional and enslaved by world crude oil markets, chose to allow a totally unqualified KGB spy to run it.  But few could have predicted that the economy would collapse so dramatically or that Putin would so maniacally recreate a Soviet-style state in Russia, just as heedless of the public welfare as the USSR ever was.

Like mindless sheep, the people of Russia simply watch Putin empty their pockets and poison their children’s future in the name of cold war with Russia’s “enemies” abroad.  Today we carry a report from the Times of London as our lead story, a report which indicates Russia is secretly sending dangerous weapons to the fanatical Islamic dictatorship in Iran.  Putin has chosen to undertake such acts rather than to rebuild Russia’s infrastructure, leading to calamities like the recent explosion at a Siberian hydroelectic plant, ignoring horrific statistics such as the shocking fact that Russia does not rank in the top 130 nations of the world for adult lifespan.

In other words, the people of Russia are not victims but perpetrators in this crime against their children.

11 responses to “EDITORIAL: Putinomics is Poison for Russia

  1. Hi LR, your editorial is very surprising, please read this article:
    I think that The Moscow Times is not a good source of information on Russia’s economy.

  2. PABLO:

    The MT isn’t the source of this story, you ignoramus. The source is Bloomberg. And it’s predicting a massive devalation in the ruble which is hardly unprecedented or suprising but which is nonetheless very disturbing and should be terrifying if you earn your wages in rubles.

    Moreover, if you read your own source, you would see that (a) it has no specific information about budget deficits and (b) it’s more than a month old and (c) it ADMITS one of Russia’s key reserves has been wiped out and (d) it states that if “the global economy has returned to health by the end of 2010” Russia will avoid disaster. What makes you think the global economy will do so? American unemployment is roaring as are its own budget deficits.

    Your “comment” is utterly vacuous and inane.

    • Geez, and you jumped the guy like that because of what? A link to The Economist article?


      No, because of a link to an economist article THAT PREDATES OUR SOURCE BY MORE THAN A MONTH and because he LIED about the source we relied on.

    • Seriously, someone comes and says “hi, please read this, regards” – and gets “you ignoramus” answer in return?


      If you read a little closer, you’ll see he didn’t say “hi please read this” he said “you are lying about russia relying on incompetent sources here’s a better one that proves you wrong.” meanwhile, he LIED about the source we relied on AND his own source is more than a month old, out of date and irrelevant to our point.

      Frankly, we think you just “jumped” us exactly the way you claim we jumped him.

      • Sure, any opinion contradicting the author’s views, is a sign of absolute illiteracy and therefore should be punished as harshly as possible to avoid such inappropriate comments in future.


        Are you drunk? Our blog is FULL of comments harshly criticizing us. We criticized this commenter on a SUBSTANTIVE basis, and your comment offers NOTHING substantive about this post at all. In fact, it’s not clear if you ever read it, you moron.

        Moreover, Russophile commenter speak the way you describe ABOUT US every day. When was the last time you defended us against them, you blazing hypocrite?

      • No, he didn’t wrote “you are lying about russia relying on incompetent sources here’s a better one that proves you wrong.”

        I believe he actually wrote “Hi LR, your editorial is very surprising, please read this article”.

  3. Sergey Shelukhin

    Ahh, unbiased reporting! In 10 minutes on the web, I found something – looks like Putinomics is at work all over the world, sometimes it’s even worse:

    “The U.S. Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal budget deficit for 2009 will total $1.6 trillion, which at 11.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), will be the highest since World War II.”
    “”We expect that the deficit will go up on this year, as high as 52.2 billion zloty,” he told the newspaper Rzeczpospolita.
    The deficit will rise to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product.
    It will be a record, and almost twice this year’s deficit, the paper noted.”
    (Turkey) “The Treasury has said it aims for a 78 percent debt rollover ratio for 2009, but a budget deficit swelling more than 1,100 percent due to fiscal stimulus packages and lower tax revenues made this figure impossible to meet.”
    “Ottawa is scheduled to record a $50-billion deficit for this fiscal year,” (GDP 1.4tril, last year Canada had close to surplus or surplus iirc)
    “On July 31, the deficit stood at €109 billion from €51.4 billion at the same time last year, …
    The latest official French estimates signal that the central deficit will surge to a record of €140 billion at the end of this year. ”

    I’m not saying Putin is good, but if he’s SO bad, why do you have to pull out random numbers out of context to prove it?

    As for emptying pockets on useless military operations instead of building something useful, *cough*Iraq*cough*, spending on one-time military use are usually much less than what is needed to implement any realistic welfare/infrastructure improvement.
    Compare war in Iraq cost with medicare & medicaid & SS costs…


    These numbers are not out of context, they are featured as the centerpiece in a story published by one of the most respected sources of economics and business news in the world.

    Your attempt to compare Russia to America is ludicriously stupid. The American standard of living is IMMEASURABLY higher ($20/hour average wage compared to $3/hour in Russia), so Americans can FAR better afford deficits than Russians. Russia is supposed to be a SAFE HARBOR where such things cannnot happen. All agree that George Bush ruined the U.S. economy and that the the American deficits are a HUGE problem. Obama’s opinion numbers have taken a GIGANTIC hit because of this, a fact we’ve previously reported. Yet Putin’s have not, because Russians are uninformed lemmings.

    Your comment is simply silly, and indicates you didn’t put nearly as much thought or care into it as we did our post. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.

  4. Russia’s one-factory towns struggle to survive

    Now two-thirds of its stamping and welding machines have been shut down. The old Soviet-era equipment is rusting, and fewer than 280 employees clock in every day — from a peak of 7,000. The factory that kept this town alive since the days of the czar is on its last breath,


  5. More on the insanity that is neo-fascist Russia.

    Russia ‘had dam disaster warning’

    Russian experts warned two years ago that the hydro-electric plant hit by a deadly explosion last month was “85% obsolete”, a top official says.

    Sergei Stepashin, the head of Russia’s Accounting Chamber, says most of the equipment at the Sayano-Shushenskaya dam was worn out.

    More than 70 people were killed following the explosion.

    He echoed fears that industrial accidents could become more common as Russia’s infrastructure ages.

    “The station was checked by the chamber in 2007, and we revealed that 85% of the equipment was obsolete,” says Mr Stepashin.

    “We then made the appropriate approaches to the government and the prosecutor general’s office,” he adds.

    “The replies we received stated that the station was a shareholding business, so let the shareholders pay for the repairs,” insists Mr Stepashin.

    The Accounting Chamber is the highest official body tasked with performing technical and financial audits.

    Criminal case

    A representative from RusGidro, the owner of the station, insisted that all necessary measures had been carried out to rectify the problems identified, and that a note to this effect had been sent to the Accounting Chamber.

    At the same time, the head of the investigative department of the prosecutor general’s office has ordered checks to see whether the management of the station behaved correctly at the time of the accident.

    Prosecutors have already opened a criminal case in connection with the accident, based on alleged violation of article 143 of Russia’s criminal law – “violation of labour safety rules”.

    Three turbines were completely destroyed in the accident. The remaining seven were seriously damaged.

    The Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said repairing the turbine hall alone could cost 40bn roubles ($1.3bn; £762m).

    Earlier this week, the first 25 families of the killed and missing received one million roubles (£19,000) in compensation from the Russian government’s reserve fund. The other families have been promised theirs soon, and RusGidro has promised each family a further million roubles. The victims’ families are demanding five million roubles for each death and 300,000 roubles for each seriously injured worker.

    Russia’s Ministry for Emergency Situations predicts high, and sometimes growing, numbers of deaths due to fires, gas explosions, building collapses and so on, due to “a high degree of technical obsolescence”.

    Russia has invested billions of dollars in prestige national projects, but the results are often poor, say analysts.


  6. LR: I didn’t compare America with Russia as countries anywhere. What I did was post the data that the same economic decline is happening all over the world and Putin in Russia is no the major cause of it.

    The living standard before Putin was even lower, so Putin doesn’t have much hand in this either.

    And if Obama’s rating takes a hit because of global economic crisis, who’s stupid, Russians or Americans? In fact, you can read recent Exiled on health care reform related townhall meeting in CA to see how stupid :)

    One more thing about “lemmings” – under Putin (not in any major part because of him, but hey) quality of life in Russia, incomes etc improved to a large degree. That’s what made him popular. But even then, it might be interesting for you to find out that years of totalitarian regime didn’t actually make Russians Putin’s “lemmings” – some dumb rednecks (or bydlo) or prevertedly idealistic Ortodox christians and nationalists may like him, most of Russians just don’t care.
    That’s the mindset – as long as the gain from protesting against new leader of the people is trampled in size by danger of doing so Russians won’t bother and will jut carry on with their lives without even thinking about it, thinking that Putin is better than alternatives because he’s already sitting there.

    And actually, one more factor here – other politicians in Russia are pathetic. What do we have? Putin’s clones in “Fair Russia”, communists (not even funny), Zhirinovsky (state jester), few right-wingers who are pathetic people having built their career as fringe opposition for almost 2 decades, and wouldn’t be able to either dismantle the power structures nor do anything productive, and?.. that’s it. I don’t vote, but if I did in Russia I’d vote “against all” :)

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