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Мichael Delyagin: The Most Destructive for the Russian Economy Measures Was Fulfilled under the Banner of Interests of Foreign Investors
Аnna Ivanova 26.08.2009
During celebration of Independence Day of Ukraine president Victor Jushchenko de facto represented his pre-election presidential program - people had to listen to it and accept for action. In particular, in economic block of his program V.Jushchenko promised "assistance to external and domestic investments, especially in context of Euro-2012. It is a question of tens billion dollars of investments, we should generate climate for them through professional power system". So, the question of external investments we decided to discuss with director of Institute of Problems of Globalization, Doctor of Science Michael Delyagin.
- Michael Gennadevich, we here, in Sevastopol listened to performance of our president Victor Jushchenko who promised that in the nearest future good investments from Europe would come to Ukraine (while bad ones from Russia, probably, would leave). How things are going on with investment process in Russia? We haven't heard this word for ages...
- I know nothing about plans of the Ukrainian president, as to all economic policy of the Russian reformers, including effective suppression of the Russian investors, it was aimed at "attraction of foreign investments". As long as I understand, Victor Jushchenko according to his set of mind doesn't differ much from the Russian reformers, only they graduated from the Moscow State University or Leningrad State University, while the Ukrainian president, apparently, something in Ternopol?
- The Ternopol Financial and Economic Institute.
- Well, he really has similar mentality, a kind of "sub-chubays's". The most awful and destructive measures for the Russian national economy - like partition of the RAO "Unified Energy System of Russia" under the pretext of electric power industry reform - were carried out under the banner of interests of foreign investors. Now collapse of this policy is being disguised using all methods including statistical ones.
- Do you have any figures?..
- The Russian statistics together with official propaganda, these are often interconnected things, magnificently calls inflow of foreign capitals, approximately 90% of which being credits which are subjected to return, "foreign investments". About half of what is considered direct investments consists of credits which have been given out by foreign co-owners of enterprises-borrowers (in I quarter of 2009 their share made 37,6%). Therefore substantial improvement of dynamics of private capital movement (flying away of 34,8 billion dollars in I quarter of 2009 in II quarter was replaced by pure inflow of 7,2 billion dollars) should cause only relative relief: yes, situation became better - but not at the expense of investment inflow, only at the expense of credits.
- What are the credits given for?
- These credits are given, as a rule, not for manufacture development, not for new projects, only for refinancing and re-structuring of old debts. These credits urged to develop not so much the Russian business but mainly to hide financial problems of its foreign creditors from regulating them bodies and shareholders. For Russia such "capital inflow" means not development but, as well as in 90s years, immersing in debt bondage. Really: external debt of our country reached maximum (542,1 billion dollars) by October, 1st, 2008 and in the following half a year was steadily reducing: having no external financing the Russian business paid off with the debts. By April, 1st external debt of the country decreased to 450,8 billion dollars and many analysts hoped for its further reduction. However it did not happen: in II quarter of 2009 external debt didn't stopped reduction, it even increased at once by 24,3 billion dollars - to 475,1 billion. It was caused by serious enough, more than 20 billion dollars' (to 294 billion) growth of the external debt of not financial sector, that is the debt of enterprises and population.
- It is clear that the debt of citizens brought much more the smaller contribution in the general dynamics?
- Certainly. It is essential that all types of debts of the Russian enterprises grew: liabilities to direct investors grew from 32 to 41 bln. dollars, credits - from 226 to 233 billion, other debts - twice, up to 5,2 billion, debt securities - from 8,1 to 9,0 billion and even debts on financial leasing - from 5,9 to 6,0 bln. dollars. Comparison with the schedule of external debts payments allow to estimate the scales of the general external financing of the Russian economy - both at the expense of credits and by delays. In I quarter of 2009 banks reduced the debt even ahead of schedule, while the real sector reduced the debts twice less, than it should - by 10 billion instead of 20 billion dollars. Thus, its external financing already then, in conditions of proceeding general reduction of the debt, made 10 billion. In II quarter bank external debt which should be reduced to 11 billion decreased only by 4,0 bln. dollars, while the debt of not financial sector instead of reduction by 16,0 billion dollars increased by 20,1 billion - thus, it received more than 36 billion dollars!
- What do we have as a "dry weight"?
- As a result "anti-recessionary" external financing of a private sector of Russia in the first half of 2009 exceeded 53 bln. dollars which now it is necessary to return. It is clear that in conditions of today conjuncture which improvement is not expected similar means on the whole can not be given for "investments into postcrisis future
- Finally it is mostly the trouble not of citizens but of legal bodies?
- The trouble is that as well as in 90s years it will lead not to "diffusion" but increase of the last which already by the end of next year can turn from corporate into system-wide problem - it will affect not only enterprises but also citizens, both directly and indirectly, owing to the fact that people work at enterprises. Certainly, mentioned things - only a hypothesis, though proved by statistics. It is impossible to exclude that pure inflow of private capitals to Russia is not connected with credits and caused by other reasons - for example, by unprecedented big for this category of money pure inflow in II quarter of 2009 - 6,3 bln. dollars of "black" capitals, not visible for the state. Therefore calculated in the foreign balance in a category called "admissions and errors". Now extrapolate all this on the Ukrainian economy where there is no oil and where condition of industry is even more difficult, than in Russia.
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