February 6, 2016

Putin Punts It?

In 1991 fiscal mismanagement, poor planning and corruption brought down the Soviet Union. Can the same thing happen again to Putin's Russia?
Only one month in and 2016 has already delivered a series of devastating economic blows to Russia. As the price of oil and the value of the ruble plummet, so, too, does the standard of living of the average Russian citizen. Russia’s central bank has been widely praised for not spending the country’s hard-currency reserves to support the ruble — an admittedly losing proposition — yet it has done so on the backs of the Russian people.

The public has responded stoically and largely without panic, even as they see their middle-class aspirations crash. But a whiff of desperation can now be sensed, and it is the Kremlin that appears the most perplexed about what the next steps it should take.

President Vladimir Putin has gone so far as to blame Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin for Russia’s current difficulties. Historical scapegoats, however, do not relieve Putin and his government of responsibility for Russia’s financial mess. As the economic temperature rises, Moscow will likely find itself under increased pressure to re-examine both its domestic policies and its foreign adventures.
I am wondering how long Putin can maintain his expensive military operations in Ukraine and Syria while his economy is tanking. Sure, you can deflect criticism by waving something shiny in front of the public, but only for so long before the bills are due and your checks start bouncing. Threatening Eastern Europe


LL said...

My blog (tomorrow) discusses the Russian response. They are taking an interesting approach.

Doom said...

There is no value, only cost, in attempting to enlarge Russia again. The peoples freed from the tyranny of the USSR would rather die then be subjugated again to anything like the raping, in every way, Russia unleashed upon them last time. While Europe and the US, officially, really aren't doing to much, and can't to be honest, anemia comes with what they have chosen, it seems fate and the financial wars have ended up doing what Chamberlain and all his horsemen couldn't.

I still laugh at those who supported, and continue to support, Putin. Russia isn't even Alabama anymore. On the bad side, Russia was actually pointing and destroying bad US/Euro allies in Syria. And, the king (or whatever) there needs to stay. Muslims can't be freed. Look to the freeing of islamists in Iran for an example. Gah! Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right... here I am, stuck in the middle again.