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Thursday, July 20, 2006

LR's Must Read List

Two Brookings scholars have a book out on the Russian economy that systemmaticaly exposes its fundamentally fraudulent nature. Entitled Russia's Virtual Economy it remains just as insightful today as in 2002 when it was written, a must-read for all Russia watchers (sample chapter). Brookings describes its as follows:

Clifford Gaddy's and Barry Ickes' paradigm of the "virtual economy" has fundamentally changed the way people think about Russia's economy. Circulated at the highest levels of the Russian and U.S. governments and reported in leading publications worldwide, their thesis--that Russia's economy is based on illusion or pretense about nearly every important economic yardstick, including prices, sales, wages and budgets--has forced broad recognition of the inadequacies of the intended market reform policies in Russia. More important, their work has provided a coherent framework for understanding how and why so much of Russia's economy has resisted reform.

Gaddy and Ickes now use the virtual economy concept to project the near- and middle-term future of the Russian economy and suggest possible policy responses. Drawing on new empirical material from published and unpublished sources and from their own extensive field work in Russia, the authors examine critical aspects of the virtual economy: manufacturing enterprises, households and the public sectors, both local and federal. For the first time, they will also integrate the financial and agricultural sectors into their model. Gaddy's and Ickes' book can be expected to be a seminal work for understanding the inner workings of the Russian economy.

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