Robert Amsterdam publishes a true dymanic duo, hero journalist Grigory Pasko and hero economist Andrei Illarionov (Если Вы хотите прочитать оригинал данной статьи на русском языке, нажмите сюда):
Journalist Grigory Pasko recently had the opportunity to sit down with Andrei Illarionov, former advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, and currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute in Washington.
GRIGORY PASKO: Andrei Nikolayevich, appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives in February of the year 2009, you said: “Today’s Russia is not a democratic country”… And further: “The members of the Corporation do share strong allegiance to their respective organizations, strict codes of conduct and of honor, basic principles of behavior, including among others the principle of mutual support to each other in any circumstances and the principle of omerta.” But is this not a characterization of a classical mafia? Can one fight with a mafia using democratic methods: honest elections, unbribable independent courts, free mass information media?
ANDREI ILLARIONOV: A very good and complex question. But I will not give you an answer now. Inasmuch as we have to make several sub-points here. First: is this phenomenon a mafia? It has very many features that look like a mafia, that are close to a mafia. Nevertheless, this is not exactly a mafia. More precisely, this is some kind of a special mafia. A mafia of such a kind – a siloviki corporation, as we have, – belongs to the group of special siloviki structures that exist in different human societies. By the way, states as such ought to be included in this as well.
It’s a Catastrophe
by Andrei Illarionov
A post from the author’s blog
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
Russia’s Federal Office of State Statistics and the Russian Government Economy Observation Centre have disclosed data on November’s industrial production trends. If one is only allowed one word to comment these, then that word is “catastrophe”.
Since the Russia’s Federal Office of State Statistic’s site is currently not accessible, I think this is a good time to publish the base statistics with my preliminary analysis.
Other Russia reports:
Liberal Charter, a Russian political alliance led by liberal economist Andrei Illarionov, writes a scathing statement against the Russian response to the financial crisis, and describes a pathway out of the crisis. Andrei Illarionov is a former policy advisor to the Russian president, is now an opposition leader. The statement first appeared on his LiveJournal blog.
A Statement by the Liberal Charter Alliance
The Liberal Charter alliance expresses its fundamental disagreement with the measures taken by Russian authorities in the financial crisis, and puts forth the principles of a fiscal policy that a government responsible to the citizens of Russia must take.
1. Today’s financial crisis in Russia has foreign and domestic causes. The most important external cause of this crisis is the world monetary system, which goes through cyclical phases of boom and bust. Such instability is created first of all by modern money, which governments can issue in any amount, combined with a wide range of government privileges and guarantees provided to commercial banks. Interest rates held at artificially low levels and government loan guarantees stimulate the growth of credit that is not backed by real savings, leading to less responsibility on the part of creditors and borrowers, and a collapse of confidence in financial assets.
The main culprits of the global financial crisis are the fiscal authorities in the U.S. and European countries, who have pursued a policy of so-called “cheap” money in recent years. The governments of other countries, including Russia, also carry their share of responsibility for spreading and worsening the crisis. Government encouragement of credit expansion has led to massive investments into overly risky, inefficient, and unsalable projects. The illusion of the accessibility of investment resources, created by governments, has led to a decline in the quality of issued loans and purchased securities. As result, many banks have been unable to meet their obligations before depositors.
Andrei Illarionov, first writing in the Moscow Times on the stock market crash and then via Paul Goble on Georgia:
From its peak on May 19 to its lowest point on Sept. 17, the Russian stock market has fallen by almost 58 percent. This is its largest decline since the crash of 1998. What is the cause of the current cataclysm?
The Kremlin has been quick to blame the West, and primarily the United States, for the country’s troubles. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin blamed Western “speculators” who pulled out their investments en masse at the first sign of trouble. He also denied that Russia’s aggression toward Georgia played any role in the market’s fall. Putin suggested that the crisis is connected “not with the problems of the Russian economy, but with problems of the West’s economy.” In recent comments, he even referred to it as the “American contagion.”
Other Russia translates a comment from Andrei Illiarionov’s Russian-language blog on Live Journal, based on a reported interview of a Russian company commander:
Interview with a wounded company commander from the 135th motorized rifle regiment, in “Red Star,” [a Russian military newspaper]
“We were doing exercises,” captain Sidristy’s story starts. “This was relatively close to the capital of South Ossetia. Nizhny Zaramakh is a wilderness area in North Ossetia. We made camp there after our scheduled exercises, but on August 7th, the order came to move out towards Tskhinvali. We were raised to a state of alarm, and went on the march. We arrived, settled in, and already on August 8th the fire came down with such force that many even lost their bearings. No, everyone understood that Georgia was preparing something, but it was hard to even imagine what we saw. Immediately after midnight, a massive shelling of the city and peacekeeping positions was started. They hit it from all types of weapons, including artillery rocket systems.”
Analysis [by LiveJournal blogger davnym_davno]:
FinRosForum translates former Kremlin insider Andrei Illarionov from the pages of Yezhedevny Zhurnal, listing the 13 conclusions he thinks should be drawn from Russia’s invasion of Georgia.
1. The war against Georgia was a brilliant provocation carefully planned and successfully carried out by the Russian leadership. The campaign was practically identical to the plan carried out in another theatre at another time — [Chechen warlord Shamil] Basaev’s attack into Dagestan and the beginning of the second Chechen war in 1999.