Russia Tries To Modernize Its Economy
As some Western governments auger in austerity measures, Russia is still struggling with the basics.
Years ago, the Russian state effectively commandeered every profitable large company from the robber barons, shifting the oligarchical structure of the economy within the government. Now the government is reversing this somewhat, moving ahead with a plan to replace the ministerial heads of state-owned corporations with private directors.
It remains to be seen whether this fiddling will make much of a difference. The real problem with Russia is corruption, which siphons off $300 billion in bribes from the economy per year and helps put the country in 146th place out of 180 in the Corruption Perception Index.