Russian officials are announcing that Russia has finally seen the worst of its recession, and that now the economy is set to grow again.
And none too soon, because — to take auto sales as an example — things were looking very dicey for a while there.
Sales of light vehicles plunged by an astonishing 42.7% in the year to November, underlining the country’s economic turmoil… Other sectors of the economy aren’t doing quite so badly, but the stunning collapse of the ruble means imported goods are now prohibitively expensive for Russians. Even cars actually produced in Russia will require parts and materials from elsewhere in the world, and they’ve shot up in price. __ http://uk.businessinsider.com/russian-car-sales-fall-43-in-november-2015-12
With continuing declines in prices of oil and other commodities, it is fortunate that the Russian economy has already hit bottom and is beginning to rise. Otherwise, the Russian people would likely be forced to suffer even more than they have done the past 15 months.
Russia depends on Petroleum for over 50% of its exports; which increases further when you include other Petroleum products. Commodity prices have also been dragged down by the Oil’s downward spiral; with the Bloomberg Commodity Index, a basket tracking numerous commodities varying from Coffee futures to Natural gas, dropping to a 16-year low. This fall in Russian export revenue and demand has lead to a considerable drop in Russian GDP growth since early 2014, due to the huge economic reliance that Russia places on Oil.
… with Cheap Oil remaining the greatest threat to the Russian economy, $30/bbl is the consensus price where Russian economic stability is likely to be threatened. __ http://themarketmogul.com/2016-the-year-of-judgement-for-russia/
But we have been assured by Kremlin officials that even if oil prices dropped to $30 bbl or below, it would present no problem to economic planners. Fortunate, that.
In fact, Putinomics is quite a miraculous economic discipline, and Russians are very fortunate to have such a genius leading their nation.
Since Putin’s arrival in the Kremlin in 2000, the state’s role in the economy has steadily expanded. Putin nationalized large chunks of major industries, creating national giants, and increased the state’s share in the economy from minority-ownership to majority-ownership. There has been no major restructuring through privatization or significant sectoral diversification. Exports of energy (mostly oil and gas), natural resources (gold, diamonds, coal) and unfinished products (steel and other metals) comprise most of Russia’s trade exports and budget revenues. __ http://gordonhahn.com/2015/12/08/putin-a-russian-neo-traditionalist-not-a-western-conservative/
It is such an ingenious approach to economics, that one must wonder why it has never been tried in the past.
But where Putin’s economic strategy truly outstrips the cognitive abilities of his western detractors, is the seamless way in which he weaves corruption into state policy.
No, the fact is that there is a deliberate strategy aimed at maintaining the political balance in Russia’s highly corrupt system (or sistema), which is devoid of the traditional Western institutions of full national representation, media freedom, and a fair, independent judiciary.
… over the last decade a model of interaction has developed between state and society that closely resembles a controlled nuclear reaction in which the operator (the Kremlin) closely monitors the temperature in the reactor (public discontent), taking measures to prevent this temperature from rising to unacceptable levels. At the same time, the task of creating loyal and subservient elites totally dependent on the Kremlin and suspended on the hook of incriminating evidence is ongoing.
__ Ingenious Integration of State Official Corruption
Putin is the rock of Russia, but sometimes Russians fail to fully appreciate how he is helping them. An example:
The majority of Russians agree that Putin should take responsibility for the pervasive financial exploitation in the highest echelons of power. The basic message of last month’s polls by the Levada Center: Putin wants to control everything, so he’s responsible for the bad and the ugly as well as the good. Some 37 percent said he was liable for “the full extent” of the corruption problem, 43 percent blamed him to “a large extent,” and only 3 percent thought Putin could not take responsibility.
Among other highlights of the polls by the Levada Center, an independent non-governmental social research organization: 75 percent of the Russians polled believe that it is time for Moscow to improve relations with Washington.
… Russia lives with an almost nonexistent electoral system, failing competitiveness, centralized political control, and a personalized regime constantly pushing the elite for total support. __ http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/09/is-putin-thinking-about-changing-his-ways.html
Corruption is the secret ingredient to Putin’s political success. Without it, he would still be a low level government toady to the people above him better able to wield corrupt power and partially concealed malice. Fortunately, at corruption, he is a genius.
What About the Need to Save Russian Girls and Women?
Sadly, in his role as protector of Russian girls, Putin is proving an abject failure and disgrace.
There are few good men left in Russia Today. Even those who are not alcoholics, drug addicts, criminals, or sadists, have gross inadequacies that are difficult to overlook.
Both the quantity and quality of Russian men seem to be on a downward turn. Plummeting sperm counts and testosterone levels with falling levels of academic attainment are reducing the Soviet hero of old into an ever more effete and infertile figure, who now can’t even drink properly. __ https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/testosterone-king-of-hormones/
Poor sperm quality combined with disastrous pollution of water, air, and soil, have unfortunate consequences for Russia’s children.
Only 30% of Russian children are born healthy — and there are not that many ethnic Russian children being born to begin with. That is better than in 2001 when leading Russian pediatrician Aleksandr Baranov estimated that only five to 10 percent of all Russian children were healthy. Source __ https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/few-good-men-left-in-dying-russia/
Life inside Russia seems futile for too many of Russia’s young. Alcohol, drugs, crime, prostitution, lack of opportunities … too often the suicide solution appears the only way out.
The men are dying too young; the women aren’t having enough kids; the [xenophobic] country has more immigrants than it knows what to do with; and it’s running out of working-age people to support everybody else. __ TechInsider
Illegal Chinese immigrants to Siberia are doing more to help Russian women than is Putin. In the welcoming arms of Russia’s girls and women, ambitious / hard-working / sober / faithful / peace-loving Chinese men find the female companionship that is increasingly lacking back in the Middle Kingdom.
And Siberia has plenty of water, too — in Lake Baikal!
Lake Baikal a ‘Well for China?’ In a development that will enrage some Russians, a Chinese firm is now taking water from Lake Baikal and sending it back to a thirsty China, a move that has prompted one Russian site to ask whether the lake is on its way to becoming “a well for China” (asiarussia.ru/news/10272/).