Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mar 14/06 - On the Kremlin's disease: is there a cure for DARVENSAZIMUS?

Illarionov now the definitive outsider

PMBComment: on February 6, I posted a commentary on a “blunt and troubling” OpEd written by Andrei Illarionov, who until December was President Putin’s very outspoken economic advisor (and until a few months before, also point man for G-8 matters). Last week, I had the chance to listen to Illarionov at a conference titled The Rise of the Corporate State in Russia that he delivered at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

While it is hard to recommend that you - my readers - take 50 minutes of your valuable time to view the video of his stunning presentation, I am certain that you will not be disappointed. It is a deliberate, documented and dead-serious debunking of the Kremlin’s official line in every respect. I have seldom seen such comprehensive undressing…and never by such a recent insider.

DARVENSAZIMUS is the disease that Illarionov says Russia has contracted. While I can always leave it at that and tempt you to google the symptoms, let me simply say that the name comes from the mix of:Dutch Disease, Argentinean Disease, Venezuelan Disease , Saudi Disease and Zimbabwean Disease. According to Illarionov, such nasty mix of economic, political and social distortions preclude Russia from being a member of the G-8, which is, after all, the most exclusive club of industrialized democracies. Adding insult to injury, he crafts an alternative G-8 in which Russia fits like hand in glove…that you must see, hear or read by hitting any of the links below.

I would welcome comments. Hope Putin does too.


The Rise of the Corporate State in Russia

Tuesday, March 7, 2006
4:00 PM

Featuring Andrei Illarionov, former Economic Adviser to President Vladimir Putin.

The Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Watch the Event in Real Video
Listen to the Event in Real Audio (Audio Only)
Download a Podcast of the Event (MP3)

Mr. Illarionov's PowerPoint Presentation

Russia has become richer but less free since President Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000. Andrei Illarionov will describe how the Kremlin’s policy decisions in the past few years have given rise to a new corporate state in which state-owned enterprises are governed by personal interests and private corporations have become subject to arbitrary intervention to serve state interests. The reduction in economic freedom is negatively affecting political freedom, civil society, and foreign relations. Illarionov --who, in protest of government policies, recently resigned the post he had held for six years-- will discuss the role that oil wealth has played in creating the corporate state, Russia's dim development prospects, and the possibility of restoring basic liberties.