Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Putin has, in effect, launched a vast experiment into whether it is possible to extract a large and relatively well-integrated country from the global mainstream, and to reject the rules by which that mainstream runs"

Anne Applebaum

Said : Anne Applebaum, a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, in her post titled "Putin's great gamble is about to backfire" published in The Spectator. 

Anne has compared the current scenario with the one in 1941, when Hitler invaded the USSR and the nation rallied round Stalin. "The Ukrainians were said to be Nazis; NATO was said to be encircling. The head of a state polling agency told the Wall Street Journal, ‘If the West doesn't like us, that means we’re on the right track,’ she writes. 

According to her, the newly born ultra-rich Russians, who have minted oil money during the past decade, have no clear mechanism to respond to the onrushing economic crisis that has resulted from Western sanctions. tumbling oil prices and crash in the ruble. "Alternative leaders (in Russia) have been eliminated, and alternative policies are not discussed, but that doesn't mean they’ll remain passive forever," writes Anne. "They could leave the country, withdraw their money, stage a palace coup or simply find ways to make life in Russia unpleasant for Russia’s leaders in ways we haven’t yet imagined," Anne concludes. 
Photographer: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Photo
Bloomberg reported today that the ruble plummeted into a free fall, losing as much as 19 percent as panic swept across Russian financial markets after a surprise interest-rate increase of 6.5 percentage-point, to 17 percent, failed to stem the run on the currency. The ruble has plunged 52 percent this year. Policy makers are likely to consider currency controls as “the last solution” to stop Russians from converting money into dollars.

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