#20 - JRL 7066
February 18, 2003
Russian Business Ethic: Give Your Money and Get Out!
The unbearable investment climate in Russia is created by oligarchy itself
Alexandr Artemov, Candidate of Technical Science
Special to PRAVDA.Ru
Not long ago, Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin shared with mass media his surprise with the fact that tax decreasing does not guarantee investment attraction and economy development. The most surprising fact however is that the finance minister, who has for so long been occupying two chairs in the government at once (he is also Vice Prime Minister), only now has understood it, but it is positive, that this finally has happened.
As a rule, among reasons of too low business activity in Russia, “unfavourable investment climate” is called. On the other hand, with all Russian taxes and corruption, there is still the highest income level, which is impossible somewhere else. Law-makers do their best to keep this situation: they allowed to businessmen to obtain basic funds during Russian privatization practically gratis, tax scale is low in Russia, and the law on control over private incomes is intended to be cancelled. All this looks very favourable for investments. Though, there are still no investments. Why?
I can build a kind of logical chain: Who does possess money? – Oligarchy. - Who can invest in economy? – Oligarchy. Others do not have money. – What is the reason that the investment climate is bad? – It is bad not because of big tax pressure, but because of the risk, that a businessman could be swindled. Mass media are overfilled with repots about intended bankruptcies, extraordinary share holders sittings with reelection of directors, disputable emissions, mysterious asset transmitting, many-billion debts and so on. - Though, who is guilty? – Oligarchy. It establishes the rules of behaviour in the market. That are their financial resources “investment” firms use, specialized in forced bankruptcies. That are they, who “recommend” to independent and irremovable judges to issue decisions, based on the law, first day in favour of one part, and next day – in favour of another part. That are they who support powerful guard structures, which are able to break off doors, following court decisions. These financial empires can be created so soon only at the expense of unbalanced exchange and mutual non-payments. - So, from whom these potential investors (oligarchy) should be protected? – From oligarchy! – And who could protect them? The state? But the state is a protection tool of the ruling class (the richest class), in other words, of the oligarchy. The circle is locked.
The drama of Russia is that huge investment resources belong to people who have themselves created this unbearable investment climate. They are aware of true scope of Russian economical space, and they will not at any price invest their money in Russian economy. So, they do not.
And there is no way from this situation. This is why, all poorly economical models which do not take into account social situation are senseless. Unfortunately…
P.S. From the editors. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, a bank direction chairman, whom I visited in the performance of my journalist duty, asked me: Do you want to see, how this large amount of money is being earned? I agreed. He suddenly took a AK-47 submachine-gun plastic cast from his drawer and cried: Money on table, bitches! It sounded very impressively. You know, in every joke, there is a portion of joke. This bank is still prosperous. Should I add something?
Translated by Vera Solovieva