Economic Crisis

21.01.2020

Enter Mishustin: The New Russian Prime Minister’s Agenda

Mikhail Mishustin is replacing Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister of Russia after nearly a decade as director of the Federal Tax Service (FNS). Russians can expect a shift in emphasis from taxation to the allocation of funds as Mishustin draws on his management skills to make government spending as orderly and transparent as taxation became under his leadership.
16.12.2019

Upcoming Elections Mean New Economic Policy in Russia

The president’s withdrawal from economic issues leaves politicians of a certain type with room to maneuver. Their hope is to formulate a new economic path that they may even be allowed to put into practice. If they are lucky, and if Putin decides to vacate the Kremlin in 2024, they will be implementing this path from the office of the president.
20.11.2019

Podcast: Five Years After Crimea, How Is Russian Trade Doing?

This podcast focuses on Russian trade since 2014, when the country started to turn away from the West and increase its exposure to China. Podcast host Alex Gabuev is joined by Tatiana Flegontova and Janis Kluge.
14.11.2019

Investment in Russia Remains a Lottery, Despite Government Promises

The Russian authorities’ attempts to improve conditions for entrepreneurs are not very predictable, and the new investment regime is constructed in such a way that state control over investment projects will grow, while most state support will go to state capitalists and companies close to them.
27.09.2019

Last Chance Saloon: The Race to Grab Russia’s Reserves

Spending the surplus in the National Wealth Fund (NWF) via government decrees is the last chance for the state capitalists to get large sums of money for practically nothing, without looking beyond 2024. Meanwhile, it is the government that will have to bear the political risks of dispensing the NWF to the chosen few in full view of a society that is irate and becoming poorer for the fifth year in a row.
31.07.2019

Why the Russian Government Can’t Attain Economic Growth

The obstacles hindering growth are well known, and it would seem that the government has every opportunity to tackle these problems. It could easily resist lobbying by state capitalists: both the law and regulations would allow that. Instead of embarking on a path of empowerment, however, the government has turned into a place of ceremonial meetings for people with influential positions who are manipulated by officials from the presidential administration and by state capitalists.
18.07.2019

Playing the Long Game: United States Targets Russia’s Sovereign Debt

Financial sanctions that limit Russia’s borrowing are for now ineffective, as Russia currently has three surpluses: in the federal budget, balance of trade, and current account. The Russian state and most Russian business (at least the kind of business that could in theory raise investment abroad) simply don’t need major credit lines.
11.02.2019

Trading Dollars for Yuan: How Wise Is Russia’s Reserves Management?

The greatest risk, which will grow together with funds and reserves, is that of the open or creeping politicization of investment. In other words, the state will choose to invest in “friendly” but unstable currencies, as well as to extend loans to even “friendlier” states and companies. Experience of past crises should make the responsible government agencies stay well away from such initiatives—as far as it’s politically possible.
20.12.2018

Putin’s Courtiers: How Sanctions Have Changed Russia’s Economic Policy

Sanctions have thrust Vladimir Putin’s inner circle into the public domain. In response, the state has lent sanctioned individuals a helping hand. While previously, they would get individual government contracts, the lucky few are now setting their sights on entire industries via the mechanism of public-private partnerships. The president sees state capitalists as patriotic businesspeople, and they realize that sanctions have made Russia the only place where they can make money.
11.10.2018

Digital Monopolies: Dividing the Big Data Pie in Russia

Companies close to the Kremlin are creating a monopoly on data in Russia. Although the data market has yet to take shape, it has already been turned into a monopoly by the president’s decisions. Competition takes a back seat to matters of national importance.
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