Snob, № 04 (44)
The story of the Hotel National is closely related to the history of Russia. It is the rallying point for the most disparate events: from the decline of the Silver Age, to the War Communism, Stalin’s Terror to the Intourist opulence, the Thaw Period of the late 1950’s to hard times of 1980’s. What is particularly amazing is that despite all these trials and tribulations, the National managed to not only preserve its name but its status as the most prestigious hotel of the Russian Capital as well. Snob magazine publishes Elena Kotova’s exclusive investigation of the fight for the ownership of the National that lasts for twenty years already.
«Russian Reporter» № 11 (240)
The author, Elena Kotova, worked as an Executive Director for Russia at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2005-2011, at the IMF and the WB (1992-1997), i.e in the key world financial institutions. She had to resign her post at the EBRD due to a political scandal, which led to the criminal investigation in England. But Elena Kotova is not only a former high-level international financier, but also a writer (her novel “Keeping It Easy” published recently by AST publishing house). Due to this combinations of qualifications the “RR: reader has a unique opportunity to see how the world financial backstage operates, to learn why Gazprom is an empire of evil, how the EBRD is connected to the Khimki forest and many other secrets.
«Оgonyok», № 4
However, what Standard&Poor’s did was something bigger than just the downgrading financial soundness of a third of Europe and of the EFSF, its main tool to maintain financial stability. It also redrew the balance of power in Europe. For the entire past year, Europe was run by the «Merkozy Tandem». There was parity between German and French leaders. The German desire to teach every EU nation how to love financial austerity and an (ideally) deficit-free budget was shared only by the Northern European nations. This endeavor was balanced by France, which turned a blind eye to both the profligate ClubMed (Southern Europe) and its own lavish lifestyle. But let’s be frank: among other things, this extravagancy stimulated the economic growth of the thrifty northerners.
I mean Mikhail Prokhorov. Some might consider it a bold assertion; others, a strange one, for there are still many who feel that even if as a businessman he may well know how to run a company, running a country is an entirely different matter.
«Оgonyok», № 50
It wasn’t a sudden conversion either for our «tandem Government», nor for «United Russia», nor for the majority of Russians into market liberals and believers in free competition and the free movement of capital, goods and services. It had simply become impossible to remain a G8 country while ignoring the rules.... And within the G20, as it regulates the world order and establishes its rules, Russia will sit very awkwardly if it is the only country not to recognize the rules for world trade.... The liberal and technocratic elite has reached a greater and greater understanding that Russia is too rich, too educated and open to be as corrupt and bureaucratic as she is. People’s lives today are in some ways worse than they were under the USSR, or at least not much better, and the nationalist rhetoric so appealing to many in the 2000-ies loses its popularity and its hold over the people’s minds more and more.
However, we still have a blind spot about real reforms. As it turns out, we have forced them on ourselves by joining the WTO, possibly against our own will.
«Russian Pioneer», № 6 (24)
People who shape the history jump into the water not always knowing the strength of the current. They make decisions, deliver results, change the countries and solve problems which cannot be solved piece by piece. They are driven by the need to gain the momentum, to put to use the energy of the political will which — if you wait — will drain out, will drown in the reasoning of the clever, will get broken against small obstacles which — if only you lose the momentum — start to mount in concrete walls... «Only the one who runs falls. The one who crawls does not fall», said Vergil.
The Crying Bankers...
«Оgonyok», № 49
Will the financial Armageddon happen? I don’t think so... But it will take about ten years to fully overcome the present crisis. For about that long, the bankers will continue to cry, the people will feel exhausted from the Great Depression of the XXI century and the bubbles of prosperity of those years of 2000, which were so beautiful and are so far away now, will be going down
Do You Like Snobs?
When a superficially educated modern intellectual, who reads everything without selectivity and spends days in nights in the net, has judgments about everything, dropping names of the people, books, films, which are «a must-know» — this is snobbery it its Wikipedia version. When a person can talk with knowledge about many things, but either remains silent, or talks only about what his interlocutor can or want to talk, it is different. When such a person bumps into the interlocutor’s lack of depth and stops the conversation, the interlocutor experiences discomfort, and understands that he is dealing with a snob. Such snob is the true one. Not only he guards his own world, but also he hates shallow discussions. He know the price of his world, and if his interlocutor feels uncomfortable because he does not understand that world, it is perfectly fine as well, since all people are different, aren’t they?
«Оgonyok», № 42
The closest analogy of «Occupy Wall Street» were probably the protests during the Great Depression of 1930’s, when people’s misery and outrage expressed itself in the waves of strikes and rallies, many of which were even more primitive and mob-like than the «Occupy Wall Street» actions. People had no specific political demands, but they demanded recognition and changes in the relations between the government, the people, and the corporate sector. The parallels between the present day and 1930’s are striking. The economy plunged into a vortex of unheard hardships and unemployment. Economic crisis is global again.
«Оgonyok», № 39
Assessment of the troubles that hit Europe and America in summer of the last year – is a question of perception. The glass is always both half-full and half-empty. Eurozone will not fall apart, America will not go in default. The fundamentals of the EU and Russia are still strong, and even in America they are reasonably healthy. But the crisis develops, because the market perception of reality, reflected in declining DowJones, Nasdaq и DAX, in declining commodity prices, including our oil, Brent – is as unambiguous as a verdict of the jury.
We remain poor and bereft of rights because rightlessness and poverty are a deliberate policy. In my world-view, that is the only possible explanation for poverty in such a rich country. .. The power system is inefficient and unstable as any uncontrolled monopoly. The potential for effective government can be «unstoppered» by strengthening it through citizens, through small and medium business, through all who are still capable of thinking, of uniting, of doing something for themselves and for their country.
The government is not so stupid (or so I want to believe) as to fail to understand that unless it chooses the option of sensibly dismantling its own monopoly, that has become so inefficient, the only alternative is riots like the one on Manezh Square, renewed chaos and all the other horrors of spontaneous protest by people who do not really know what they want but are legitimately angry about so many things
The Stress Test
«Literary Gazette», № 29
What purpose serves the great idea of the common European house? The purpose of turning the fairy tale of libert?, ?galit?, fraternit? into reality, of removing unreasonable limits to freedom: the freedom of working in that country, where you are most competititve, the freedom of capital movement, of competition of not so big Europe with the Americas, Russias, Chinas of the world. The European common house is based on the history of Europe, which turned the romanticism of libert?, ?galit?, fraternit? into a behavioural norm of a human individual. What is natural and rational — is stable. Europe is a holistic socio-cultural system, and it has paid a huge price for the freedom of its economy and its people... I believe that the great idea will pass the stress test. European Union as a subject of human history has established itself.
Eurozone Pays for its Pride rather than for Greece
What does it mean «the crisis of euro» and what will happen to eurozone?... European Union looks to be rather a trusted partnership than a subject of the international law". "Now eurozone pays not for Greece but for its own pride...