Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Putin Gets What He Has Coming

Back in August I commented on how Russia was damaging its economy because of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s Bonapartist adventures. So given how the Russian markets had sunk at that point, did any of you buy? I sure hope not! Here is the latest performance chart for the Russia Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) RSX:

Bloomberg reports that trading on Russia’s stock exchanges had to be halted due to back-to-back double digit percentage losses. Interest rates are also double digit. Credit has dried up in Russia in part due to bank shares dropping and in part to the Lehman Brothers collapse.

In the meantime, London’s Daily Telegraph reports that Russia wants to make unilateral claims on the Arctic. Putin is also increasing his defense spending significantly. Does this guy not get it? We all know how well the Soviet Union performed. Does he think he can have it both ways with his restrictions on speech and press and still encourage a booming market economy?

We’ll see what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has to say tomorrow.