Gerashchenko and Nabiulina

Victor Gerashchenko est une légende dans le monde bancaire russe. Après avoir occupé diverses positions dans des banques soviétiques travaillant à l’étranger, il fut gouverneur de la Banque Centrale de Russie de 1992 à 1994 puis de 1998, à la suite de la crise d’août, jusqu’en 2002. Il a contribué à sauver la Russie lors du défaut de 1998. Il a donné un interview à deux journalistes de Business Insider, Yelena Kolebakina and Alexander Gavrilenko, interview en russe sur le site BiznessOnline (le mardi 16 décembre) que l’on peut lire ici.

Voici une partie de l’interview traduite par Russian Insider.

Asked what he had done at the CBR and would do now, Gerashchenko said: “Firstly, introduce certain controls. At the time [we] allowed to leave 50% of foreign exchange earnings for exporters to remain in their foreign currency accounts. In order not to lose, especially if they had to buy things to improve our own products, machines or other things. Here the CBR began to allow these foreign currency accounts. Then, when we started to improve things, we reached the point where 75% could be left on the foreign exchange accounts. But then came the transfers through offshore companies [by those] fearing a change of power. Then the Yeltsin gang was in power — the guys who understood the economy. Neoliberals — people who read books, but who had never worked in any real economy, neither our own nor abroad. But now the whole world is fighting with offshore companies…

Secondly, it is necessary to deal with speculators. After all, we have a lot in this case involving speculators. And so were we. So, in 1998, we got hooked with our T-bills… Foreigners got involved, and transferred hard currency to buy rubles, and made forward contracts – they were for three, six months, these T-bills. With the ruble profit they bought currency. And at first the Central Bank did the forward contracts. And then, as the amount increased, they were shifted to the commercial banks…”

Regarding Nabiullina’s decision to raise the key rate to 17%, Gerashchenko responded: “What kind of loans can you give businesses here so that [the state policy of] import substitution can be carried out — at 17.2%? But then, say that the Central Bank must fight against inflation. Yes, it has to fight, but how?.. In general, I would like to note that we have lost the management approach to exercise control. Well, what is [Prime Minister Dmitry] Medvedev, except that he is married to the daughter of a submarine commander at Kronstadt, when they were in high school? Was he involved in the economy? No! He was in the legal department at Sobchak [‘s St. Petersburg mayoralty]…And how did that end? It is still in the court to settle who would pay for the theft. They were scandals. And then the whole team, the gang so to say, gradually came here [Moscow] to work. [Deputy Prime Minister Arkady] Dvorkovich [below 1]- is that a great economist or what?…

“If we take the western countries, there is the same Parliament [as Russia has]. There are business people, industrialists, financiers and lawyers at work. And what we have, basically, are gymnasts [2], ice hockey team goalies [3], other athletes or actors. What can be done in the Duma?”

Asked what he would do if he were in Nabiullina’s place and in the Central Bank now, Gerashchenko answered: “I would ask for a gun and shoot myself…”

“Still, I don’t want to lash out at her and criticize. There is a big combination of circumstances. And, in my opinion, she probably has too many different advisors. It’s hard to be one of those, of course, especially because she started to shake up the veterans, people she didn’t know…As for advice, just so you understand my position: I don’t stick my nose where it isn’t my business.”


Jacques Sapir

Ses travaux de chercheur se sont orientés dans trois dimensions, l’étude de l’économie russe et de la transition, l’analyse des crises financières et des recherches théoriques sur les institutions économiques et les interactions entre les comportements individuels. Il a poursuivi ses recherches à partir de 2000 sur les interactions entre les régimes de change, la structuration des systèmes financiers et les instabilités macroéconomiques. Depuis 2007 il s’est impliqué dans l’analyse de la crise financière actuelle, et en particulier dans la crise de la zone Euro.

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