The Biden Official Who Pierced Putin’s “Sanction-Proof” Economy

0
92

Vladimir Putin’s Russia, ancient in many ways, has been notably modern in the centralized management of money. Elvira Nabiullina, the longtime governor of the Russian Central Bank was Europe’s 2017 “Central Banker of the Year,” according to the Banker magazine. Russia’s treasury recoups about twenty per cent of its G.D.P. as tax revenue, a figure far exceeding most other petrostates and on par with the United States. Moscow enjoys both fiscal and trade surpluses, and its debt load is low. Every attempt to make sense of Putin’s ambitions in Ukraine has seemed obscured in an incense haze of past tsars, imperial designs, and Russian military history. But, to practitioners of economic statecraft, the situation is as clear as looking in a mirror. “It’s a pretty solid, talented group of technocrats there,” one senior Biden Administration official told me, of Russia’s central bankers. In any economic crisis, “we expected that they would…

Read more…