Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sergei Guriev – Russian Economist

Thanks to BBC Hardtalk and improved technology, the interview can be heard until 7 days hence:

This interesting interview reflected many of the realities of Guyana although not as significant on the world scale.

So Mr Guriev felt the third time might not be so lucky when the secret police come knocking at the door, as he made the mistake of commenting on the second case of the (Putin's)State vs Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the jailed oligarch who fell afoul of prime minister Vladimir Putin. Mr Guriev claims that he gave an economic viewpoint that any economist would have, that apparently displeased Mr Putin.  The legal system that served a warranty to take away Mr Guriev's emails for the past 5yrs being a mere rubber stamp and perhaps 'they' wanted to see if there was anything in there that was critical of Mr Putin's third term bid.  The Americans at least read all your emails and don't seem so intimidating unless like Mr Snowden, you tell the rest of the world/country that that is what they are doing!

So as the interview progressed so did the parallels to Guyana - 37% of 18-35 yr old Russians want to leave the country which means the country will lose Time and generations of talent necessary for development. There is now less freedom and integration in the global economic system, more cash outflow and local investors can see that Property Rights are not protected, Courts not as good as they should be, Competition not developed, protected and promoted.
And although the interviewer pointed out the dropping on the scales of Transparency International and the scale of ease of doing business, I thought his reply was good that - my words- the country wasn't living up to someone else's judgment but in fact had to address the challenges of decreasing good governance, infrastructure and educated labour force. My past year of learning Health Economics came in handy as I actually understood what he was talking about, especially when he mentioned revealed preferences - what I learnt as a method of assessing a benefit of an intervention - but simply put- voting with your feet!

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