Archive for January, 2017

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Alexei Kudrin wants to save Russia’s economy, but the Kremlin now thinks its model is winning

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Listen, liberal

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Reform in Russia

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The 45th president

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EXPECTATIONS were high last week as Alexei Kudrin, a former finance minister and the informal leader of a moderate liberal camp in the Russian establishment, outlined his proposed economic programme in a packed Moscow auditorium. Russia’s top economic officials occupied the front row. Foreign ambassadors sat behind. Journalists stood in the aisles. The setting was the Gaidar Forum, a symposium named after the architect of Russia’s market reforms in the 1990s. The date, Friday the 13th, was perhaps unfortunate.
Nine months ago, as Russia’s recession deepened, Vladimir …

via Economic Crisis


Hanna Barczyk for NPR

China says it has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. But who’s doing the lifting? And why use the term ‘lifting’ in the first place?

(Image credit: Hanna Barczyk for NPR)

via Economy : NPR

Congressman Danny Davis is a Democrat representing Illinois’s 7th District, which includes some Chicago neighborhoods hardest hit by gun violence. His own grandson was shot and killed last November.

via Economy : NPR

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THE news that average wages grew by 2.9% in December, the final full month of the Obama presidency, provides more evidence that America’s labour market is heating up. For some time, America has been creating plentiful jobs—2016 was the fifth consecutive year with more than 2m job gains. But wage growth has been weak enough to cast doubt on the labour market’s strength. A commonly cited reason for paltry pay rises was the number of 25- to 54-year-olds—dubbed “prime age” workers—who had stopped looking for work after the recession, and hence were no longer counted as unemployed. Wages, the argument went, would not pick up until they were encouraged back to work.

With the average pay-cheque now growing faster than at any time since 2009—when layoffs of low-paid workers were artificially boosting average wages—that argument is getting harder to make. In fact, 2.9% wage growth may be close to the limit of what the economy can produce without sparking inflation. Prime-age labour-market participation surged in the past year or so, and has now recovered about a third of its fall after the recession. Some of the remaining shortfall is almost certainly structural, rather than something stimulus, such as lower interest rates, can fix. After all, the participation of prime-age men has been falling …

via Economic Crisis