Russian academicians set to ward off Western financial threat
22 Jan '13
A working group from the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) has drafted a ‘hawkish’ set of measures to protect Russia against what the academicians view as financial threat from Western countries, Forbes Russia reports.
The high-level RAS report will be presented in March at the Academy’s top management meeting and is expected to be also delivered to Russian President Vladimir Putin any time later this year.
The academicians warn against buy-ups of Russian assets by international companies for bargain basement prices in case the oil prices plummet. To prevent that, they suggest that a special tax be imposed on transactions with foreign currencies, thus curbing speculative operations.
In addition, they deem it necessary to clearly separate commercial banks from investment ones, and also draw a line between the banks’ clearing and go-betweens functions; and to decree the 100% deposit reservation rule for financial organizations that do payments. In exchange, it is suggested that the Central Bank of Russia fund such banks at a reduced refinancing rate for a three-to-seven-year period.
The academicians believe that boosting funding without risking an increase in Russia’s government debt will pave the way for tangible economic advancements. The Russian Academy of Sciences suggests that the government launch “revolver mechanisms of state investment,” which may be interpreted as government officials tapping into federal and regional coffers to create production facilities, and then selling the facilities to private investors. The expected proceeds will cover construction of new facilities, the scientists hope.
On January 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Yuri Osipov, the president of RAS, to prepare a report to highlight Russia’s possible scenarios of sustainable development given the threat of a new global economic crisis.