Tag Archives: konstantin sonin

The Total Failure of Russia’s “Power Vertical”

Russian professor of economics Konstantin Sonin, writing in the Moscow Times:

There are some people who love making speeches about Russia’s so-called power vertical and democratic institutions, and there are other people who would benefit greatly from them in their daily occupations — if only the vertical and democratic institutions actually existed.

Here is one example.

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The Sham called “United Russia”

Konstantin Sonin, writing in the Moscow Times:

Reading tea leaves — or coffee grounds if you happen to be in Russia — won’t help anyone guess who the next mayor of Moscow will be. My prediction is that our leaders will opt for the candidate who is least likely to make a play for the Kremlin in the future.

But Yury Luzhkov’s firing has made one thing very clear: United Russia is not a political party at all. In reality, it is little more than a superficial label or a badge worn by the overwhelming majority of high-ranking, opportunistic state employees. Examples of genuine parties include the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in Mexico; the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; the Communist Party of China and the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan.

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More on the Collapse of Science in Putin’s Russia

To put it simply, Russia’s best and brightest are morons, hardly surprising given the horrifying facts in our lead editorial about Russia’s ordinary citizens as child and women killers.  Professor Konstantin Sonin, writing in the Moscow Times:

On Saturday, pages from the English version of the Russian Academy of Sciences web site contained several amusing translation errors. For example, the renowned Institute for Protein Research was incorrectly named “Squirrel Institute.” (The Russian word for protein, belok, is similar to the word for squirrel, belka.)

Bloggers — many of whom are employed by Russian Academy of Sciences institutions — did not know whether to laugh or cry. In fact, there were a number of amusing mistakes, all of which seemed to be the result of running the Russian text through online translators and then failing to edit the result.

The sad part is that these mistakes went unnoticed for quite some time. This episode was just one more blow to the reputation of the academy’s leadership, especially following Russian Academy of Sciences president Yury Osipov’s recent comment that there is no compelling need for Russian scholars to know English.

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EDITORIAL: Annals of Russian Stupidity


Annals of Russian Stupidity

There are several reasons for the relative calm regarding Russia’s economy. First, the crisis looks worse on the pages of newspapers and analytical reports than on the streets of Moscow, where it doesn’t appear that we are in the middle of a deep crisis.  Despite official figures showing that unemployment reached 10.2 percent in late April, there have been no mass demonstrations outside the Moscow Ring Road like there were during the turbulent 1990s.

That was Konstantin Sonin, a at the New Economic School/CEFIR and a columnist for the Vedomosti newspaper, writing in the Moscow Times last week. 

Oops! A new low in the annals of Russian stupidity has been plumbed.

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The Kremlin just doesn’t Get it

Russian economist Konstantin Sonin, a professor at the New Economic School/CEFIR and a columnist for the Vedomosti newspaper, writing in the Moscow Times bravely admits what is obvious to the outside world:  Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin just doesn’t get it.

Last week, the government announced policies aimed at expanding the credit available to businesses. The banks that were the major recipients of government bailout funds were instructed to increase the amount they lend by 2 percent per month. At the same time, the government refused to consider taking toxic assets off banks’ balance sheets, even though all leading countries of the world are moving in that direction. Unfortunately, this shows that the government does not understand how to treat the severe blood clot that is blocking the flow of money into the economy.

There are two reasons banks are not lending more money. First, they need those funds to pay off their own debts. Second and more important, they know that most borrowers won’t be able to pay back the loans during the crisis.

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