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Rob Minto of the Financial Times is a Braying Jackass

Rob Minto, the braying jackass

It’s shocking to see such childish and idiotic financial “analysis” being produced by as lofty a source of financial information as the Financial Times of London.

Writing on the FT’s “Beyond BRICS” blog, Rob Minto claims “Russia is not as unequal as you think” based on a report he read (but does not even take the time to link to, really shabby stuff) from Russian stock brokerage house Renaissance Capital.

RC used Gini coefficient analysis to produce a chart that, apparently, Minto did not even take the time to read.  The chart plots the positions of 22 different countries based on per capita income and Gini rating for economic inequality.

Apparently they haven’t learned to count yet over at the FT, because only five countries out of the total group show more economic inequality than Russia (South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Argentina).  That’s right, sixteen of the 22 countries showed less economic in equality. Russia stood in the bottom quartile of the group, yet Minto, a braying jackass if ever there was one, thinks this proves Russia isn’t that unequal after all.

And that’s only the first gaping flaw in Minto’s analysis.

He also ignores Russia’s epic corruption, which means that the true wealth of Russia’s oligarchy is unknown.

He ignores the fact that RC is basing its data on information supplied by the Kremlin, apparently assuming the Kremlin wouldn’t lie.

He ignores the fact that RC itself is biased, because it makes money by convincing foreigners to invest money in Russia, and therefore profits by any information that makes Russia seem less threatening and incompetent.

And most importantly, in truly breathtaking fashion he totally ignores Russia’s recent stock market collapse, which saw Russian equities shed three-quarters of their value and wiped out the fortunes of many oligarchs.  Is such an even really a basis for crediting Russia with equalizing incomes and having more faith in the Russian economy? Only someone flying high on drugs could think so.

Minto acknowledges that even RC admits “entrepreneurial activity in Russia has declined – a situation that is related to the overall unfriendly business environment in the country and suggests to us that one way of reducing income inequality could be to improve the business climate.” But he seems incapable of thinking about what this means.  How could there be any meaningful decrease in inequality based on rising fortunes among the have-nots if entrepreneurial activity is falling? There couldn’t be!  All that has happened is that the pathetically weak Russian economy has imploded, so that now the rich are also poor.

In other words, it’s bad news for Russia, not good news.  And even worse news for the journalistic standards of the Financial Times.

5 responses to “Rob Minto of the Financial Times is a Braying Jackass

  1. mccusa ⋅

    NO wonder, China calls russia SSS ‘Slowly Sinking Ship’ – truly Chinese wisdom….

  2. Auriga ⋅

    Lol. US has same inequality despite having a lot more GDP per capita. While normal civilized countries tend to decrease inequality while building wealth.
    LR smashes herself, good.

  3. Auriga ⋅

    And by the way. Please, do what you can to keep Russia out of WTO!
    I fear entry is possible in the December, as Georgian delegation agreed, as EU threatened to ignore Georgia and accept Russia with simple 2/3 of voices (thats enough according to WTO rules)
    No to Russia in WTO!

  4. James McKinnnon ⋅

    Russian’s *economy* is coming un-glued;


    “Bondholder demands for the highest yields on record led Russia to abandon a sale of 10-year debt for shorter-term securities as the euro region’s crisis sent oil prices and the ruble tumbling”.

    “Russia is offering 10 billion rubles ($320 million) of so- called OFZs due in 2017 at a yield of 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent today, the highest cost for the maturity on record, according to the Finance Ministry’s Website. The government ditched earlier plans to offer 2021 bonds after yields on existing 10-year debt jumped as much as 71 basis points this week to 9.42 percent, the highest level since their issue in April and topping rates paid at any 10-year auction, data compiled by Bloomberg show.”

    “Investors are charging Russia the biggest yield premium in at least seven months relative to Mexico, which has the same credit ratings, because of concern the former Soviet nation’s reliance on oil for 40 percent of government revenue makes it more vulnerable to an economic downturn. Crude has lost as much as 4.3 percent in the biggest retreat in five weeks. The ruble slid 3.7 percent against the dollar this week, paring its biggest monthly rally since 2009.”

    Putin fakes strength but is weak and his fake Soviet economy may fall apart before we think…

  5. marknesop

    “Apparently they haven’t learned to count yet over at the FT, because only five countries out of the total group show more economic inequality than Russia (South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Argentina). That’s right, sixteen of the 22 countries showed less economic in equality.”

    Spoken like one who is assuming the moral high ground. All right, then, let’s introduce another country to the financial inequality mix – and please don’t suggest I’m “changing the subject”, because it’s still financial inequality. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you….the United States of America.

    Now, when we add you to the equation, the GINI coefficient ranking of the countries you cited would come out like this:

    Russia – 39.9
    USA – 40.8
    Argentina – 48.8
    Chile – 52.0
    Brazil – 55.0
    South Africa – 57.8

    Rankings are calculated using the internationally-accepted Lorenz curve, which grades income inequality such that in a country where income was distributed with perfect evenness, the score would be zero. The further a country’s income equality scores from the curve, the higher the number and the greater the degree of inequality. Figures are from the United Nations Development Program.

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