Wednesday, October 15, 2008


so with the goverments of major powers across the globe buying up shares in major financial institutions i am struck by one in particular.  Russia.

i have always found Russia to be a particularly interesting place with some fantastic literature and even more fantastic corruption and a labyrinthine goverment.  the country has been on this insane roller coaster ride ever since it's inception and the current peak and valley they've been through are nothing that the country hasn't seen before.   this is especially apparent when you consider the majority of the population, who as far as i can tell is continuing to trudge on through yet another upheaval in the status quo.  

Vladimir Putin has clearly set himself up to maintain some form of control over the goverment until he dies or is displaced in a bloody coup.  his successor Medvedev is really without power, and just there to indicate to the less intelligent that someone else is in charge, even if that isn't true.  Russia is a "semi Presidential Republic" which means that there is a President in charge of the state, and a Prime Minister in charge of the goverment.  so Putin has stepped down from running the "state" to running the goverment which is really where most of the power is contained anyway the way he has things going now.  

the Kremlin had at one point gotten so bad in the 90s they had to reach out to the Oligarchs of the country, the handful of Russians who rose above the rest to control the natural resources and all affiliated companies.  they even had their claws in the goverment, and still probably do to this day.  so the Kremlin had run out of money and reached out to them for a loan.  well now that the Kremlin has the money and the Oligarchs are largely decimated the Kremlin will soon have huge stakes in the fiancial markets.  they'll own a huge portion of an integral part of the daily operations of the country.  this just seems like another repeat of a ruling class in Russia losing the reins, only to be taken out by another arm of the state.  

i am very interested to see what will happen in Russia, where anything seems to go.  the populace has largely been spared in this current economic crisis because, to be frank, they are all too poor and left out of the countries financial boom period.  the goverment, which coincidentally, owns most if not all of the tv stations has gone so far as to put a ban on talking about the financial crisis.  this is very convenient considering what i said above.  if you aren't participating in the market, and you don't hear about it on TV... one day you'll just be blindsided when your goverment is bankrupt.  

the rampant corruption and narrow focus of the economy though has left Russia with huge problems.  there is a crumbling infrastructure (this is a problem that has never gone away), and no one thought to diversify the economy because the natural resources were doing so well, and so there are grave concerns about what is going to happen with the Russians as the global recession trudges on and oil prices continue to fall apart.  

now i wonder that with the goverment taking part ownership in the financial market, and the financial market being a huge disaster how much responsibility in the daily operations of the financial markets WILL the goverment take.  will Russia begin a "New Deal" program that'll eventually morph into another communist state?  at their darkest hour will Putin start to consolidate goverment power even further? 

with Russia it seems like a roll of the dice, so we i will keep reading the headlines. 

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