You might find comments from a Russian friend of mine interesting. He moved to the United States three years ago but his parents still live in Russia.

Dear Alex,

I found the Russian President’s "state of the union" address this week very encouraging. I hope that
he can follow up effectively.



Dear Warren,

 I agree. The speech indeed was very encouraging and optimistic. It was well composed too (and I’m pretty sure was delivered to public in an outstanding and professional manner! Unfortunately I didn’t get to listen to it. But it’s available in Russian as well as in English languages on the Kremlin’s official website:

 Sure enough there was A LOT of psychology involved. Whoever put it all together did a great job. Russians heard exactly what they wanted to hear. For example, in the first few minutes of the "address" Mr. Medvedev briefly mentioned two major disasters that the nation had faced during the year 2009 – the financial crisis and the Georgian conflict (or "…the barbaric attack on South Ossetia"). Immediately he puts the blame for all that on the government of the USA! Now tell me if it isn’t the best way to win the support of the majority of Russian population, which (due to either the lack of education or plain jealousy or even both at the same time) still express negativity towards the U.S. … and what a shame that is!!

Shame on the people for being so ignorant. Shame on the government for taking advantage of the fact instead of trying to fix it. The good thing is the situation has improved over the past several years.

 Well, anyways… How did I end up discussing politics again? I generally try to avoid that. Last time my neighbor and I were discussing politics we got carried away just to find ourselves in the midst of a conversation at three o’clock in the morning on my porch 🙂

Have a great weekend!


Author: Warren Coats

I specialize in advising central banks on monetary policy and the development of the capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy.  I joined the International Monetary Fund in 1975 from which I retired in 2003 as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department. While at the IMF I led or participated in missions to the central banks of over twenty countries (including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Zimbabwe) and was seconded as a visiting economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1979-80), and to the World Bank's World Development Report team in 1989.  After retirement from the IMF I was a member of the Board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority from 2003-10 and of the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review from 2010-2017.  Prior to joining the IMF I was Assistant Prof of Economics at UVa from 1970-75.  I am currently a fellow of Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.  In March 2019 Central Banking Journal awarded me for my “Outstanding Contribution for Capacity Building.”  My recent books are One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina; My Travels in the Former Soviet Union; My Travels to Afghanistan; My Travels to Jerusalem; and My Travels to Baghdad. I have a BA in Economics from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. My dissertation committee was chaired by Milton Friedman and included Robert J. Gordon.

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