The Putin economy continues its slide into oblivion.
Last year Russia set a horrifying new record for capital flight. Well over $80 billion fled Russia for foreign shores. Amazingly, in the first three-quarters of this year Russian capital flight is $1 billion more than it was during the same period last year.
Retail spending is also rapidly declining in Russia, and with it GDP has begun to drop as well. Poor agricultural performance has led to soaring food prices, so Russians can’t afford as much consumer spending, and brutal new Kremlin taxes have begun to undermine their disposable income as well. Automobile sales are dropping faster than expected, and polls show that two-thirds of Russians have no personal savings at all, so they are helpless in the face of economic crisis.
Even more bad news comes from Norway, which has begun serious efforts to push Russia’s leading economic engine, Gazrpom, out of the German market. Germany is only too happy to oblige, as its Chancellor recently traveled to Russia and expressed German revulsion over the neo-Soviet state that Russia’s KGB dictator Vladimir Putin is building. Putin’s response to the horrific pressure being placed on the central engine of the Russian economy has been the Soviet solution: nationalization and centralization, a hopelessly doomed scheme from a desperate, incompetent leader.
A flood tide of recent reporting shows how corruption continues to ravage Putin’s Russia, with Vladimir Putin setting the national example by grabbing every asset he can get his hands on and building himself a network of personal palaces that would be the envy of the old Tsars themselves.
Putin himself admits that the Russian economy is headed for dire straits, and he is laying the groundwork to blame it on the country’s WTO admission, apparently hoping the public will forget he was its architect.
Putin is incapable of reform. He’s unqualified to do so, and even if he were qualified he is not motivated to change a system that provides him unchecked power for life. As in Soviet times, Russia continues its march towards destruction.