Mankind's only alternative 5   FEB.   23  
Mankind's only alternative
War Nerd RSS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Unfiled June 16, 2006
Why You’re Fucked
Financial Crisis II: Another Sequel By Mark Ames Browse author Email

Could we be on the verge of another financial catastrophe? I'll admit it: I'm hopeful. First, because I'm poor and spiteful, and secondly, because one of the nice things about financial collapses (like military disasters) is that all the ugly, corrupt realities underpinning a so-called economic boom are revealed, and the worst in humanity is laid bare, and everyone everywhere gets pissed off, cynical, and hopeless. That's the kind of thing that boosts my mood, not to mention my sexual drive. Financial panics are to me what endangered mammal horns are to Chinese men: pure Viagra placebo.

In the wake of the recent panic sell-offs in the Russian markets and abroad, no one is ready yet to compare 2006 to 1998, the year of the financial crisis. The circumstances are so much different -- in today's Russia there's real growth, real wealth, real investment. The economy isn't built on a flimsy IMF-backed Ponzi scheme headed by a corrupt clique of neo-liberals and Russian Reformers. Instead, it's built on high global commodity prices, managed by a corrupt yet soft-authoritarian regime which makes sure that not too much bad news gets out.

But if the circumstances are so different between 98 and today, why am I getting a weird sense of deja vu? Maybe it's the eerie similarity in the choice of words, quotes and excuses. Just consider these two Moscow Times articles, nearly 10 years apart:

November 4, 1997: "Hong Kong crashed, New York plunged and Russia went into a tailspin. The past week's white-knuckle roller-coaster ride on world markets has taken many financial capitals by surprise, but perhaps none more so than Moscow.

"... Predicting an eventual recovery, government officials and market analysts were quick to point out that the week's market stir had little to do with Russia's economic fundamentals.

"'The fundamentals are still there,' said Gavin Rankin, head of research at the Troika Dialog brokerage. 'I don't expect the start of a bear market. This is a checking of the bull.'" ("The Great Hiccup Of '97")

Now fast forward to...

June 14, 2006: "The Russian Trading System index plummeted 9.4 percent Tuesday...The drop was part of a widespread decline in emerging markets, which have been hammered in recent weeks and, on Tuesday, fell to a six-month low on fears of a global downturn.

"'One fundamental point has changed,' said Roland Nash, chief strategist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow. 'That's the fear that there will be a global downturn and that commodity prices will fall.

"'That small change has had enormous consequences for the Russian market. But here nothing has changed, for better or worse. The fundamentals are the same.'" ("Stocks Plummet 9.4 % in 'Overcorrection'")

Creepy? Yes, and the similarity is everywhere you look. Again, read this October 29, 1997 MT editorial: "The exodus has nothing to do with a change in fundamentals in the Russian market. In fact, the boom that saw Russia become the world's best-performing market over the last year was never about fundamentals; it was about sentiment." ("Adding Up The Slide In Russia")

Now read this excerpt from a May 23, 2006 article: "'We're having a massive panic globally after a fabulously strong market,' said Al Breach, chief strategist at UBS. 'This is nothing to do with the fundamentals.'" ("Stock Market Loses 9% of Value")

The words are so similar because the fact is there are a lot of fundamental similarities between 1997-8 and today, not the least of which is the sense of complete surprise (sentiment) and the deluded sense that none of this is Russia's fault, that Russia is somehow a victim to other countries' problems.

When the 1997 sell-off started, then-Central Banker Sergei Dubinin tried to look at the bright side of things by noting, "The Russian economy fully felt itself to be a part of the world economic system." Not surprisingly, Economics and Trade Minister German Gref this week said the recent market collapse was, "the price we pay for integration in world markets."

SHARE:  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Browse author
Email Mark Ames at

Indie In Moscow? :
Moron 5 - Adam Levine
Letter from Moron 5's Lawyer :
Get Your Putin On! Comix
Get Your Putin On! :

The Jews: Where Are They Now? :


Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442