Communist Finance Lessons

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov was probably worried about losing his heavyweight title as champion of the soundbite in Russian politics. So this weekend he brought the thunder, and declared that the upcoming elections would be illegitimate because “thieves can’t call fair elections” and said that Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev were “completely irresponsible people.” That seems less than tactful – makes me wonder why it is Mikhail Kasyanov who gets banned… Zyuganov also provided a quick lesson in international finance and economic policy to reporters: “if dollars from the oil and gas bubble dry up or even shrink a little, then the Russian financial and economic system will collapse somewhat faster than some people can imagine.” What is the old joke from 1990s post-Soviet Russia? Something like “everything they told us about communism was a lie, but even worse, everything they told us about capitalism was true.”