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!


About wcoats

Dr. Warren L. Coats specializes in advising central banks on monetary policy, and in the development of their capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy. He is retired from the International Monetary Fund, where, as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department, he led missions to over twenty countries. Before then, he served as Visiting Economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to the World Bank, and was Assistant Prof of Economics at the Univ. of Virginia from 1970-75. Most recently he was Senior Monetary Policy Advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq; an IMF consultant to the central banks of Afghanistan, Kenya and Zimbabwe; and a Deloitte/USAID advisor to the Government of South Sudan. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Cayman Financial Review and until the end of 2013 was a member of the IMF program team for Afghanistan. His most recent book is entitled "One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
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