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Ah, the old days

‘Moscow is full of Del Boys now’: Putin’s war economy lurches towards full-blown crisis

Knowing the right folk – and being willing to do something a bit dodgy – makes a fortune in such places. As it did back when. Routing oil around, arranging the re-smelting of gold, there will be people making fortunes. And getting shot for them too….

17 thoughts on “Ah, the old days”

  1. BiND – Cue Putinverstehers to come along and tell us that actually Russia’s GDP is increasing.

    Here’s the Putinverstehers of the International Monetary Fund telling you that actually Russia’s GDP is increasing (2.2% in 2023, while the UK economy grew by 0.4% which is less than immigration).

    https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2023/10/10/world-economic-outlook-october-2023

    By signing a three-year draft budget last month, Russia’s president is preparing next year to spend more than 6pc of GDP on defence for the first time in the country’s modern history.

    The scale of this outlay is reflected in that a third of government spending in 2024 will just be on the military

    Yes, Russia is serious about winning this war and we are… less so.

    Analysts believe this has left Russia in a precarious position, with a combination of higher inflation, lower investment and a demographic crisis posing threats to the country’s economy.

    Benjamin Hilgenstock at the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), says that while the Russian economy faces a multitude of risks, predictions of a “catastrophic collapse” have failed to materialise.

    Higher oil prices and trade diversions to China and India have ensured the country has outperformed many doom-laden predictions.

    Russia’s central bank recently upgraded its growth forecasts to above 3pc this year, double its prediction a few months ago.

    The Putinverstehers are coming from inside the Telegraph!

    Tim – Knowing the right folk – and being willing to do something a bit dodgy – makes a fortune in such places. As it did back when. Routing oil around, arranging the re-smelting of gold, there will be people making fortunes

    Skills that will be sorely needed here as the digital currency and Net Zero (60% reductions to your living standards) kick in.

    Black markets are proof that God loves us. As long as you don’t money change in the temple natch

  2. The Curious Putinverstehery of Colonel Richard Kemp of the Daily Telegraph:

    A total Russian collapse is surprisingly close – 28th February 2023

    Putin is terrified of Ukraine’s counteroffensive – 28th May 2023

    Putin’s downfall is only delayed. It’s coming -25th June 2023

    Russia’s time has almost run out – 3rd July 2023

    Ukraine is finally attacking Putin’s weakest spot. It could break him -7th August 2023

    Nothing can save Vladimir Putin’s Russia now – 18th October 2023

    Ukraine is losing, but the UK must stand by it – 28th December 2023

    Any other Putinverstehers getting a “Napoleon’s march on Paris” feeling?

    Sacre blues.

    — 9th March, the Anthropophagus has quitted his den

    — 10th, the Corsican Ogre has landed at Cape Juan

    — 11th, the Tiger has arrived at Gap

    — 12th, the Monster slept at Grenoble

    — 13th, the Tyrant has passed through Lyons

    — 14th, the Usurper is directing his steps towards Dijon, but the brave and loyal Burgundians have risen en masse and surrounded him on all sides

    — 18th, Bonaparte is only sixty leagues from the capital; he has been fortunate enough to escape the hands of his pursuers

    — 19th, Bonaparte is advancing with rapid steps, but he will never enter Paris

    — 20th, Napoleon will, tomorrow, be under our ramparts

    — 21st, the Emperor is at Fontainbleau

    — 22nd, His Imperial and Royal Majesty, yesterday evening, arrived at the Tuileries, amidst the joyful acclamations of his devoted and faithful subjects

    It’s like poetry, it rhymes.

  3. Now, I don’t mean to be unkind to Colonel Richard Kemp CBE, or any of our other square jawed simpletons who used to be orifices in the army.

    But when every British military “expert” they wheeled in front of the press turned out to be full of shit and random Putinverstehers on the internet were right again, it really makes me glad I don’t have a CBE to prove how dumb I am.

    And perhaps a country whose armed forces spent 20 years in Afghanistan and still lost to the Taliban should be less quick to credit its Colonel Blimps?

    We have this idea that the British Army – despite all evidence – is still competent at warfare. But it’s the uniformed wing of a horribly failing civil service / state, it pays peanuts, and hires eejits.

  4. It’s not hard to work out what’s going on over there, Steve. Hardly any of that “exports to Asia” or oil money will be ending up in ordinary Russian’s pockets. Sure, you can buy whatever you want. If you have the money & if you have the connections. It’ll be going back to what it was at the end of the USSR & the aftermath.
    This is, in no way, an efficient economy. GDP figures are certainly not going to tell you anything about it.
    You’re right about one thing, though. They’ll be falling into the same hole as the UK is. Why bother about working hard & being productive if you don’t benefit from it? Do as little as you can get away with.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    Wow, that touched a raw nerve.

    I never said anything about his downfall, just made an oblique reference to the broken windows fallacy and received a Mott-and-bailey fallacy response.

    As it happens I don’t see Putin falling in the near future, too many vested interests aka gangsters around him would fall as well.

  6. Yes, Russia is serious about winning this war and we are… less so.

    Lol, yeah, very much less so in your case since you’ve been trying to persuade us to surrender to the pikey twats since the start. It’s just a tiff between slavs and none of our concern (apart from when it was all our fault, of course). Notions of Putin’s Russia being a danger beyond the latest current non danger were dismissed by triple Godwins with haughty snark on top.

    Well, your fellow voices in the lockdown-demented right chanting “current thing, current thing” have entered mainstream electoral politics in the US, and now everybody is sat on their hands waiting to see if a foreign policy equivalent to defund-the-police is adopted.

    So now you’re praying to God to help us, and lamenting the fact that our evil military industrial complex isn’t producing enough artillery shells for our useless armed forces.

    Your clown nose never actually came off.

  7. @ BiS

    They’ll be falling into the same hole as the UK is. Why bother about working hard & being productive if you don’t benefit from it? Do as little as you can get away with.“.

    This is a consequence of being too well off. We started to provide benefits to those in need and then the do-gooders expanded that to just about everyone (including people on £50k+ who get tax credits!).

    It’s not so much that people don’t benefit from working hard and being productive, it’s that the marginal difference isn’t worth it. As you state, people can have a comfortable life doing as little as they can get away with (see all of the public sector for the canonical example).

    Problem is that we’re now becoming poorer because of this and it requires people playing by the rules to keep the cart on the road. Once the people still stupid enough to be paying tax think “fuck it, why bother” then the wheels will come off.

    I predict the very people who can’t be arsed to put in the effort will be the most vocal when their cosy little existence comes crashing down around their ears. Of course, they won’t blame themselves – it’ll be the rich wot did it!

  8. BiS – Hardly any of that “exports to Asia” or oil money will be ending up in ordinary Russian’s pockets. Sure, you can buy whatever you want. If you have the money & if you have the connections. It’ll be going back to what it was at the end of the USSR & the aftermath.

    I have no idea, but I doubt the Russian populace is going to be Net Zeroed. I think they’re in a better position than we are, but we’re all in for years of horrible shit and only the very rich will be untouched.

    BiND – Wow, that touched a raw nerve.

    You didn’t, but I am grateful for the opportunity to discuss the latest Putinversteher updates. Partly because Putinverste (and Net Zero, and Replacement Migration) are among the most important things affecting us in the world today
    (while Pishy Rishi and the MSM hope to keep us at the kids table worrying about disposable vapes and laughing gas.)

    But also because, candidly, Colonel Kemp’s journey of discovery is quite funny and watching the media update The Narrative in real time is always fun.

    It won’t stop “experts” like Col Kemp from continuing to bray their “expertise”, mind. But at what point do people on the centre right realise the British army is yet another useless woke, joke institution? They’re not on our side and we’d get better value out of burning our £50Bn per annum defence spend.

    Britain is completely undefended and currently being invaded in real life, and for that we award gongs to these posturing twats who were chased out of the sandbox by Muslim goatherds, and allow them to talk people into more disastrous wars.

    Summat’s rotten in the state of Britain. We are in no position to win any wars while losing our country. KnowhatImean, Arry? If we were winning, everything wouldn’t be so shite. I would like us to win for a change,

  9. PJF – Lol, yeah, very much less so in your case since you’ve been trying to persuade us to surrender to the pikey twats since the start. It’s just a tiff between slavs and none of our concern (apart from when it was all our fault, of course). Notions of Putin’s Russia being a danger beyond the latest current non danger were dismissed by triple Godwins with haughty snark on top.

    Narp.

    I said Ukranians should surrender, because they’re not going to win on the battlefield. I also warned they were going to be squeezed dry by NATO, before the inevitable ignominious Western cut and run.

    Hundreds of thousands of dead Ukranians later, the US State Department is now trying to convince Ukraine to start thinking about a frozen conflict that will leave them much worse off than the peace offer Boris Johnson flew into Kiev to prevent.

    So they should’ve listened to Steve, no?

    I also said Ukraine’s borders are NOMFUP, which they are. Getting involved in their border dispute has cost the Western European economies trillions and inflamed what could have been a short conflict into the biggest slaughter of Europeans since 1946.

    I’ve no idea if Putin is a “danger beyond the current non danger”, because I don’t know what you mean by “danger”.

    It’s obvious to me that our government and media are our most proximate enemies, so is Putin dangerous to them? I’m not that hopeful.

    Well, your fellow voices in the lockdown-demented right chanting “current thing, current thing” have entered mainstream electoral politics in the US, and now everybody is sat on their hands waiting to see if a foreign policy equivalent to defund-the-police is adopted.

    Doesn’t it give you any pause whatsoever to see the United States government desperately trying to do anything it possibly can to sabotage its own borders?

    America is being invaded by millions of third worlders every year. The Regime could have all the money for Ukraine it wants, if only they provide some small change for border defence. They won’t do it, but apparently it’s the voters who are wrong.

    So now you’re praying to God to help us, and lamenting the fact that our evil military industrial complex isn’t producing enough artillery shells for our useless armed forces.

    I’ve always been praying for us.

    You misunderstand me again tho. I have described the serious deficiencies in our unserious armed forces because we were talking about how you win wars.

    I’m not exactly Tsun Steve for noticing that, to win wars, you need more men, material and munitions than the other guys. This shouldn’t be a controversial thing.

    On tother, I’m relaxed that our current CW regime government is setting itself up for failure. They’re not serious about anything except raping your wallet with Net Zero, so… fuck em.

  10. I’ve no idea if Putin is a “danger beyond the current non danger”, because I don’t know what you mean by “danger”.

    Oh come on, Putin’s Russia being a wider threat to the West is a major theme of pro-Ukrainian support.

    The rest of your comment is bullshit whataboutism. To paraphrase the other Donald, you go to war with the government you’ve got. If you wait for one that isn’t a bunch of corrupt, or worse, ideological wanktards, you’ll never stand up to outside threats. But then, if you’re caught up in a judgement day doom cult, standing up to real threats isn’t a big part of the playbook.

  11. PJF – Oh come on, Putin’s Russia being a wider threat to the West is a major theme of pro-Ukrainian support.

    You tell me, the official line can’t make its mind up whether Russia is

    (a) a pathetic, perennially collapsing mafia state whose bungling generals have been steadily losing for nearly 2 years

    (b) A vast and potent Slavic threat poised to conquer half of Europe and win every election in the world whose outcome the BBC/NYT/CNN disapproves of

    I take a medium view: Russia is a threat to people on their borders who piss them off, and a threat to us all if we make Ivan think it’s nuke time. Apart from that, phht. They have limited capabilities to project military power, and the Ukrainian war itself has been a costly disaster for Russia whatever positive spin they put on the “liberated” territories (much of which is rubble and refugees). It took about 20 years of bear baiting to start this war. If people keep poking the bear, don’t be surprised if it bites. If they leave it alone, we’ll be fine.

    This is the part where the supreme function of statesmanship is for everyone to calm down and stop threatening each other.

    And preferably a nice mental hospital for Victoria Nuland, and all the other blood-crazed fruitcakes in the American establishment who want Atomic Hoholocaust to satisfy their weird ethnic grudges against 18th century Cossacks.

    The rest of your comment is bullshit whataboutism. To paraphrase the other Donald, you go to war with the government you’ve got. If you wait for one that isn’t a bunch of corrupt, or worse, ideological wanktards, you’ll never stand up to outside threats. But then, if you’re caught up in a judgement day doom cult, standing up to real threats isn’t a big part of the playbook.

    I don’t know whataboutery, it’s hard enough to focus on the hereaboutery. You go to war with the government you’ve got… I don’t even know what that means. I’m against wars, and not too keen on the government, as you’re aware no doubt.

    Are you sure it’s me who is in the cult? I’m not the one habitually lying to you, forcing you to give tithes, demanding your allegiance, or dragging you into wars.

    I’d offer you a cup of tea instead.

  12. This is Russia we’re talking about. The only non-bogus number among all the stats in that article is the central bank’s interest rate – they can’t lie about that – and it’s 16%.
    The Russian state is having to pay interest rates of 16% to borrow money to pay for military equipment which it then sends to be destroyed in Ukraine.
    And Steve/Russia Today think they can still convince the people of Ukraine to stop sinking Russian ships and downing Russian aircraft in return for being part of this “Russian World”!

  13. And Steve/Russia Today think they can still convince the people of Ukraine to stop sinking Russian ships and downing Russian aircraft in return for being part of this “Russian World”!

    No, not at all. I think the governments of Ukraine and the United States will either agree to peace/ceasefire talks with Russia before the UAF’s front collapses, or after.

    The opinions of the people of Ukraine have nothing to do with this war and the billionaire gangster-oligarchs who run Ukraine don’t give a fuck about plebs anyway. But since you asked, look at how many Ukrainians voted with their feet.

  14. Missed this one as was having a nice evening last night away from the blogosphere – in the ‘debates’ here, it’s Good to see American taxpayers money being well spent as ever….

    – Is Russia the ‘real threat’ when thousands of Islamic terrorists and sympathisers openly demonstrate on the streets of London on a weekly basis, and the police apparently feel no response to be adequate?

    – Is Russia the real threat when almost the entire public sector seems to want to allow children to be abused openly ?

    – Is Russia the real threat when all parties are committed to the complete and unilateral destruction of our economy and mass starvation masquerading as concern for the environment?

    I think we know the answer – and frankly the sooner we exit the Ukrainian theatre the better.

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