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Liberal course in Russia is unchanged
My opinion after analyzing (viewing, listening to) dozens of speeches at SPIEF 2022.
If we try to integrate the overall tone of the SPIEF, we get the following alignment:
Complete uncertainty among the authorities and the elite is in the knockdown mode. Everyone understands that it will hurt, a huge number of unresolved problems, but few understand (if anyone understands at all) what to do and where to go.
Exceptionally weak texture and substantive goal-setting in the context of the current circumstances. Literally a few specific goals, the rest is too vague and abstract. And those goals that have been announced do not at all correspond to the challenges facing the country. It all came down to the announcement of indexation of pensions and benefits, 10 billion for the improvement of yards and soft loans, the eternal topic of housing and communal services, and a few other little things.
Even within the framework of the annual addresses to the Federal Assembly, more anchored goals are set, i.e. with the announcement of specific parameters (in numbers) and performers (with names and government agencies). Nothing specific here.
The 2012 national projects were overly ambitious and therefore unfeasible. The national projects 2018 (http://www.kremlin.ru/acts/bank/43027/page/1) were greatly shortened and brought closer to reality, but again the percentage of completed projects in 12 areas turned out to be very small. Although goals and objectives were set, performers were announced, money was allocated. Lots of declarations of intent, but the end result is weak. First, as if the COVID crisis of 2020 interfered, now the geopolitical crisis of 2022.
Apparently the new approach is to completely abstract from any specific settings. This is strange, given the unprecedented challenges facing the country.
What was expected was not just a rescue plan (although it is logical and relevant), but a certain track of possible ways to solve problems in order to remove uncertainty from business and paralysis of investment activity. It was supposed to announce significant infrastructure projects of the state.
Tight budget and monetary policy. No direct or indirect QE is expected in Russia, CBR's monetary policy will be predominantly tight. Budgetary policy will be in the "belt-tightening" mode, i.e. count on what they have earned without going into a budget deficit. I admit that even in 2022 it will be possible to bring the budget into a surplus. The budget rule will be reincarnated in a new edition from 2023.
The doctrine of the liberal economy will remain - all the acting architects are in the field. Emphasis on private business and freedom of enterprise. All this is good and right in the conditions of a stable macroeconomic and geopolitical situation, but it absolutely does not correspond to the spirit of the times now. It was decided to give economic recovery to business.
The use of old tools and principles is an adjustment to the conjuncture. An ancient principle well developed in Russia is the inertial approach, i.e. actions in response to an impulse rather than the formation of an impulse. In other words, a problem arises - we solve problems as they come up slowly and methodically, without haste. Preventive measures are not expected, as well as proactive actions.
No New Economic Policy expected. The situational principle of point adjustment, therefore, there will be no sharp steps, no high-quality jerks, no change of course. Everything is within the framework of the previous paradigm + adjustment for circumstances. We act carefully with minimal risks, without jerks.
Hope for the lifting of sanctions, the normalization of relations. This obviously was not announced directly, but was announced indirectly. Western partners - if you suddenly decide to return, we are waiting for you. There was a comeback spirit, a desire to turn everything back, back.
Everyone understands in their heads that this is impossible, but at heart many comprador Russian elites are still with the West. It is good that they are forcibly nationalized through the seizure of foreign accounts and real estate, otherwise they would never have begun to work in the interests of the country.
Contradictory external vector - decoupling from the West in order to become attached to the East? From one addiction to another? So far, I have not seen concrete intentions to develop the domestic economy. There are many declarations and slogans, few textures.