Russia’s economy is not just in recession – it has entered a period of stagnation that will last at least four years, according to Natalia Orlova, chief economist at Alfa Bank, in an interview with bne IntelliNews.
Vast money-laundering scheme reaches into Putin’s inner circle. Even Edward Snowden is impressed with the leak that brought this global scandal to light.
Russian Manufacturing drops fourth month in a row: http://www.lse.co.uk/AllNews.asp?code=v840mu0p&headline=Russian_Manufacturing_Sector_Contracts_For_Fourth_Month
Russia’s manufacturing activity deteriorated for the fourth consecutive month in March, survey figures from Markit Economics showed Friday.
The seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, dropped to 48.3 in March from 49.3 in February. Economists had expected the index to rise to 49.5.
Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.
Russian corruption built into the system: http://www.wral.com/in-russia-bribes-drive-up-the-cost-of-living/15613117/
Bribes are priced into groceries and other goods, for example, since truck drivers say they have to pay off policemen along their route. Many imported goods are more expensive not only because of duties but because importers complain of having to pay customs officials under the table to speed up clearance of their cargo.
Georgy Satarov, a former Kremlin adviser and political scientist who studies corruption, said there has been no comprehensive research in Russia to establish how corruption affects the end price of goods. But studies in Kyrgyzstan by his Indem research institute show that corruption accounts for nearly half the cost of retail goods in that former Soviet republic. He said he would expect the impact on prices to be about the same in Russia.
Russian assets announced for sale at bargain basement prices, but in Russia the problem is holding on to what one has bought.
It is so bad now that practically the only people with enough resources to take advantage of the privatization of major government assets are those with close personal ties to the ruling elite — individuals whose investments are protected not by an independent judiciary, but by the patronage of their friends in power. __ http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/bargain-basement-prices-for-russian-state-assets-op-ed/564074.html
You can buy Russian assets, but you can’t keep them for long unless you have close friends on the inside of the Kremlin. And these days, even that may not be enough protection to keep your bought and paid for assets from being seized on trumped-up charges.
More Problems for Russia’s Economy On the Way: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/01/oil-taxes–and-big-problems-for-russias-economy.html
A contracting economy and a persistently low oil price have severely hurt the country’s budget, so officials are seeking to draw more revenue from domestic energy companies — instead of severely cutting costs, which Moscow fears could bring dire political consequences.
If Russia is to survive even to the year 2020, the Kremlin must make some hard decisions which will reduce the grand military ambitions of Putin, and will reduce the amount that Kremlin cronies can skim off the top of the threatened state economic entities.
Putin is making enemies around the globe: http://www.dailysabah.com/op-ed/2016/04/02/putins-myopia-creates-upheaval-in-russian-turkish-relations
The Russian military intervention in Syria and Putin’s threatening calls against Turkey are bound to alienate Russia from the wider Muslim world, which is predominantly Sunni. But Russia has opted for its short-term goals of keeping its interests in Syria, as guaranteed by the puppet Assad regime, and to support a crazy sectarian militancy. Russia is doing all this with the tacit support of the United States, a perennial troublemaker in the Middle East.
Putin’s bloody bombast has drawn NATO troops to Russia’s borders — the very thing he claimed to be preventing when he invaded Crimea and Donbas.
The Russian GDP has fallen by more than half, in USD terms, since Putin began his grand military crusade to recreate the great Russian empire. Putin will spend Russia into the grave before he admits his mistake. This means that someone else — most likely a collective of someone elses — will make the final decision on Putin’s impossible dream.
If you want to know what a collapsing Russia will look like, you can look to Venezuela, or to Brazil. Brazil’s downward economic spiral parallels that of Russia, and should prove quite instructive to those who wish to see what a future Russia under Putin might look like.
Russia is coming under increased international pressure over its more frequent use of Cold War secret police tactics inside and outside Russia. The main accusation, which there is growing evidence of, is using murder to silence or terrify those considered “enemies of the state” (Russia). This sort of thing was common during the Cold War and because the Cold War era Russian secret police (KGB) dominate the current government the return of these illegal (even according to Russian law) tactic was not a surprise. But the resulting dead bodies have become yet another cause of tension between Russia and most of the rest of the world. These deaths have occurred in Britain, the United States and Ukraine recently. Russia also insists that it has no soldiers in Donbas but does admit there are Russian citizens there (as volunteers). It’s already been proven (via captured Russian troops) that those soldiers serving in Ukraine often have to go through an administrative process whereby they are temporarily no longer part of the Russian military. This despite the fact that they still get paid, including generous “danger pay” for Donbas service and are back in the military once their Donbas tour is over.
Ukraine isn’t the only foreign nation Russia is having problems with Iran has still not received all the components of the S-300 anti-aircraft systems it purchased from Russia. StrategyPage
A short list of Russia’s problems include brain drain, capital flight, womb drain, slow-mo demographic collapse, stultifying corruption, crippling crime at every level of government and society, toxic water / soil / air, unhealthy babies – children – youth, shrinking workforce, lack of property rights and rule of law, total disregard of ordinary people by leadership and elite, collapsing infrastructures of all kinds at all levels, suicidal dependence upon China for almost everything Russia can no longer make or do for herself, inability to innovate or manufacture at world-class levels, crumbling educational system, disintegrating health care system, terminal levels of suicidal despair, endemic alcoholism – HIV – IV drug abuse, high mortality, low fertility, a Muslim underclass growing more alienated from Russian society by the day . . . and those are just the lesser problems that Russia faces.
In the future, we will take a look at some of the more serious problems that will likely lead to the collapse and disintegration of the Russian empire by the year 2030.