Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Larry Posted An Importnat Observation.

I  concur. 

I am more sanguine than the New York Times about Russia’s economic prospects. The war has stimulated a vast acceleration in Russia’s production of all things military. This is going to heat up the economy. Because Russia is self-sufficient in food and energy — the critical expenses that can hurt a family — the negative consequences of inflation are likely to be muted when it comes to the Russian consumers. I think the economic analysis proffered by the NY Times is based on the assumption that Russia remains vulnerable to Western economic pressures. That is no longer a valid benchmark. During the last 18 months Russia has been busy forging new economic ties with non-Western countries and establishing new trade dynamics.

At home, Russian workers have seen wages increase and Russian factories are struggling to keep up with demand. Instead of shuttering factories, Russia is building new ones and stepped up dramatically its production of tanks, combat aircraft, cruise missiles, hypersonic missiles, artillery ammunition and military vehicles. Russia enjoys one advantage the West does not — it is virtually self-sufficient in essential commodities, rare earth minerals and energy.

Here is an important point. Russia dedollarized dramatically. In mid 2010s banks would accept USDs outright, now--unless it is a brand new clean straight bill (such as $100) they will not even bother. Ruble rules and if 10 years ago you still could use USD sometimes as a payment say in taxicab, now--forget it. Only Rubles. The volatility of the exchange rate, now getting under control of Russia's CB, didn't affect overwhelming majority of population. Speculators and rich fat cats? Nobody gives a damn about them. 

The other thing of note: Western cars' service. Well, Russians simply started to produce parts themselves. No, not just buying from China, but domestic production. One of my closest friends drives (what a maroon, LOL)) 2020 Land Rover. Well, naturally he had to change both the water pump and some electric gizmo--both made in Russia. Guess what, he thanks God non-stop that these are Russian-made parts, work beautifully. Mind you, this is roughly $60,000 car. Again, when you have resources and massive machine building complex--this is all you need. And now NATO wants to freeze SMO. Well, no. SMO continues and we ain't seen nothing yet.

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