Putin and the Russian Economy

Below is a very informative interview with David Remnick of The New Yorker and the historian Steve Kotkin discussing Vladimir Putin and how authoritarian regimes are pushed into misguided foreign wars. Although the interview is mainly focusing on Russian history there is a mention of the Russian macro economic policy and sanctions. Well worth a listen when you think of what is happening in the Ukraine currently.

It’s a military-police dictatorship. Those are the people who are in power. In addition, it has a brilliant coterie of people who run macroeconomics. The central bank, the finance ministry, are all run on the highest professional level. That’s why Russia has this macroeconomic fortress, these foreign-currency reserves, the “rainy day” fund. It has reasonable inflation, a very balanced budget, very low state debt—twenty per cent of G.D.P., the lowest of any major economy. It had the best macroeconomic management. The New Yorker

The shock is that so much has changed, and yet we’re still seeing this pattern that they can’t escape from,” Stephen Kotkin – Russia expert

For more on Transition Economies view the key notes (accompanied by fully coloured diagrams/models) on elearneconomics that will assist students to understand concepts and terms for external examinations, assignments or topic tests.

Behavioural Economics: dissatisfaction of limitless choice.

In this new RSAnimate, Professor Renata Salecl explores the paralysing anxiety and dissatisfaction surrounding limitless choice. Does the freedom to be the architects of our own lives actually hinder rather than help us? Does our preoccupation with choosing and consuming actually obstruct social change? This is an interesting analysis of modern day society examining how over the top “choice” diminshes the consumers sense of identity and leads to excessive consumption. This can lead to isolation of individuals by weakening a sense of community.