The article 'Russian economic paradoxes and the power of "stupid money"' was published in the June 21 issue of Eurasia Daily Monitor produced by the Jamestown Foundation, Washington DC.
The power of "stupid money" is set to increase, and that basic fact of Russia's economic development cannot be overestimated. Macroeconomic dynamics have dominated the political debates in Moscow in mid-June, while the frenzy of speculation about Vladimir Putin's third presidential term or identifying a possible successor has taken a short respite. The government reviewed a colossal four-volume report on the main directions of its activity in 2006-2008 and found it potentially helpful, but as yet too raw (Kommersant, June 17; Expert, June 19). Putin approved the final version of the 2007 state budget, which will be presented to parliament after the summer break, and requested that the draft budget for 2008 be prepared ahead of schedule since the MPs would have less free time in an election year (Lenta.ru, June 20). Besides these often-quarrelsome "technicalities," the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, held June 13-15, offered all of Putin's key ministers and leading experts an opportunity to outline their visions beyond the currently clouded economic horizon (Ekho Moskvy, June 18).