Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Russia continues to save men in Brioni suits

World’s leading countries have already spent 9.2 trillion dollars on anti-crisis measures, FBK Audit and Consulting Company said. Great Britain takes the lead at this point as it spent 37 percent of its GDP on the crisis. The United States follows with 3.5 trillion dollars (25 percent of the GDP), Germany comes third with $893 billion (25 percent). The crisis has so far cost Russia $222 billion (13.9 percent of the GDP).

FBK analyzed several open sources (press-releases of the governments, central banks, the IMF) and prepared a report titled “Russia and the world against the financial crisis.” The authors of the report wrote that the governments of foreign countries paid special attention to such notions as guarantees and insurance as they were choosing anti-crisis strategies.

The amount of state guarantees on the debts of financial institutes in Germany, for instance, was set at 400 billion euros. The anti-crisis strategy in Russia is totally different from those in other counties. The state provides no guarantees, but wires the funds directly.

The Action Plan, which the Russian government approved in the beginning of November, contained guarantee-related measures, but they were developed only for those enterprises executing state orders. However, the state guarantee mechanism can be found in the Russian legislation, particularly in the budget law.

“State guarantees could thus be used as the basic anti-crisis measure. However, it did not happen,” one of the authors of the report, Igor Nikolaev said.

Pavel Brusser of Grant Tornton said that state guarantees could become possible only if the nation had available liquidity. “As our calculations show, the current crude prices and the dollar rate against the Russian ruble allows the state to fully execute its expenditure obligations. The difficulties with executing the budget 2009-2011 may arise only if crude prices drop below $55 per barrel and in the event the dollar rate drops against the ruble.

FBK pointed out the feature that is common to the anti-crisis measures taken by Russian and foreign governments. There was not even a word said about financial regulators’ responsibility for the crisis. It is extremely difficult to make a financial regulator answer for the current situation in the financial world, Renaissance Capital chief economist Elena Sharipova said. “How could it ever be possible to raise a claim to Finance Minister Kudrin, if he is right in his own way – he was saving money for a rainy day,” she said.

The USA has a certain mechanism which stipulates responsibility of companies. TARP program says that those top managers, who lead their companies to critical situations, would have to be deprived of all bonuses. In Germany, the recapitalization of banks envisages a refusal to make dividend payment to shareholders.

Top managers’ responsibility is the subject that does not actually exist in Russia. FBK believes that business must carry a share of responsibility for the current events. “They have acknowledged it in the world, but not in Russia. We continue to save the men dressed up in Brioni suits,” the authors of the report concluded.