Robert Skidelsky
Join our Mailing List
to be notified of any updates

Delivered by FeedBurner

Follow me on Twitter
Bookmark and Share
Newspapers

Articles from Vedomosti (Ведомости)

What the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky says to the world
Robert Skidelsky
Vedomosti | Thursday, November 06, 2003

 
Today’s EU-Russia summit in Rome will certainly broach the subject of the arrest and imprisonment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. President Putin will say that the law is taking its course, that he cannot interfere. EU leaders will not believe him, but will probably be too polite to say so. The arrest of Yukos’ chairman and the freezing of his assets has already been universally criticised abroad. The Times leader of 31 October wrote: ‘A whiff of Stalinism is now polluting the Moscow air’. The Financial Times editorial of same day talked of the ‘abuse of state power’.
 
In Russia, the arrest seems popular. Few Russians understand the devastating signal it sends out to the rest of the world. Or perhaps they don’t care. This is what it tells

Continue reading...
Bookmark and Share

Mr Moody and Mr Berezovsky
Robert Skidelsky
Vedomosti | Tuesday, October 21, 2003

 
In today’s global economy prudential barriers have largely replaced legislative barriers to the free movement of capital. Private agencies award countries credit ratings which are designed to inform often ignorant capitalists about the degree of risk attached to investing in a particular country.
 
 
 
In fact, this practice dates from the 19th century, when the French Credit Lyonnais established itself as the leading credit rating agency in the world. Interestingly, Russia was rated in the top category of credit worthiness; largely, it seems, because of its imperial government’s exceptionally favourable debt/asset ratio. (Not surprising, since it owned most of Russia’s natural resources, and omitted amortisation from its accounts.) As a

Continue reading...
Bookmark and Share

Russia Must Support the UN
Robert Skidelsky
Vedomosti | Tuesday, October 07, 2003

 
Post-Communist Russia has repeatedly said that it bases its foreign policy on respect for the UN Charter. This is understandable. For the Soviet Union, the ability to veto Security Council resolutions was irrelevant, because it had real power to stop the United States doing things it disliked. Today, the veto gives Russia at least the appearance of having more power than it has in the real world.
 
Unfortunately for Russia American foreign policy is not based on the UN Charter. On two recent occasions, over Kosovo and Iraq, it has made war without even seeking UN authorisation, because it knew that Russia and, in the case of Iraq, France and China as well, would have vetoed the action. Only the United States is in a position to get away

Continue reading...
Bookmark and Share

Standards are more important than size
Robert Skidelsky
Vedomosti | Tuesday, September 23, 2003

 
What effect does government have on the growth of the economy? The orthodox view in Russia seems to be: overwhelmingly bad. Andre Illarionov, chief economic adviser to the president, says that to meet Putin’s target of doubling Russian GDP by 2010, government spending should be halved from 36 to 18% of GDP. It is difficult to say how much of this view is derived from economic theory and evidence and how much from the fact that the Russian government is corrupt and incompetent.
 
In the theory of the matter, it is important to distinguish between short-run and long-run effects. In the short-run a deficit created by tax cuts or higher spending helps growth; in the long run adding to government debt is likely to hurt growth by raising

Continue reading...
Bookmark and Share

The Economic Choices facing Russia
Robert Skidelsky
Vedomosti | Monday, September 08, 2003

 
President Putin's target of doubling Russia's national income by 2010 requires that the economy grow by 7-8 per cent a year. Since the collapse of 1998, Russia’s economy has been growing at an average of 5-6 per cent a year. So it needs to grow faster, though not much faster, to meet Putin's target. But Putin has not told us how this is to be done, wisely, since no President can make faster growth happen.
 
In fact, few countries now have growth 'targets'. This is because most economists no longer believe that growth can be directly brought about by government. Rather it is a by-product of good institutions and policies. Government's job is to create the conditions in which growth happens spontaneously. The most important are: sound

Continue reading...
Bookmark and Share
Page 23 of 24 pages « First  <  21 22 23 24 >