Economic Crisis


“No Trust”: What Russians Think About the Pension Reform Plan

The government’s pension reform plan has shocked the majority of Russians, who, in focus group discussions, expressed confusion, fear, and frustration with the government, including President Vladimir Putin himself. Russians expect the proposed measures to pass. But they are also prepared to resist them in various ways, and they want concessions and guarantees of employment and healthcare, especially for society’s most vulnerable members.

How Transitional Institutions Could Transform Russia’s Economy

Transitional institutions cannot be effective unless economic agents are confident that the state will fulfill its commitments and that the rules of the game do not depend on the discretion of a ruler. Empirical evidence shows that democracy protects investors from expropriation better than dictatorships do, thereby resulting in faster economic growth.

RIP Russian Banks: How to Resuscitate a Moribund System

Watching the drama of Russia’s private banks collapsing one by one naturally triggers fear: of more than 3,000 registered banks, about 2,600 have already lost their licenses. After the bailout of Otkritie and BIN, the government’s share in Russia’s banking system assets exceeds 80 percent. Fixing Russia’s banking system requires addressing the deep and systematic flaws in the central bank and the financial sector at large.

Pensions and Security: Russian Budget Reveals Government Priorities

The budget clearly illustrates its authors’ thinking. They fear popular discontent and so don’t want to risk taking unpopular steps. The regime’s main goal is short-term stability, so it keeps supporting the paternalistic governing model, which is increasingly trapped in the cycle of social spending.

How Long Until Russia’s Financial Reserves Run Out?

Talk of an impending economic collapse in Russia is misplaced. The Reserve Fund is doing what it was built to do—cushioning the economy from the shock of falling oil and gas prices and giving it time to adjust to new conditions.

The Battle for Bashneft

In the past, business deals could be secured if Putin endorsed them personally. Now, the Russian president seems to have stopped making promises to anyone; no deal is ironclad anymore.

Can Russia’s Aviation Industry Compete?

The Russian government has ambitious plans to rebuild the country’s aviation industry. Despite state subsidies for manufacturers, leasing companies, and buyers, however, Russian planes aren’t selling abroad—even in countries like Iran, with which Moscow has strong political ties.

Worst Friends, Best Enemies: Trade Between the EU and Russia

Trade relations between the EU and Russia will likely remain stable for many years, even as the overall volume of bilateral trade gradually contracts. The EU will grow less dependent on Russia for energy security, while Russia will become less reliant on European finance, industry, and infrastructure.

Is Investment in Infrastructure the Answer to Russia’s Economic Problems?

It will be nearly impossible for Russia to revive its economy through state investment in infrastructure alone. Conservative estimates suggest that Russia would have to invest 15 percent of its GDP in infrastructure annually for many years to have a significant effect on the economy.

What Would Economic Disintegration in Russia Look Like?

Russia’s economy will likely contract gradually over the next three to four years and then become increasingly socialized, as the government implements price and currency controls, monopolizes foreign trade, embarks on a large-scale nationalization of private industries, and increasingly regulates salaries and consumption.
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