Tuesday, November 25, 2008


RUSSIANS ARE CUTTING BACK on personal spending and trading rubles for dollars as the collapse of world oil prices cripples an economy that just months ago soared on the strength of record prices for its petroleum exports.

Even vodka sales are down.

Economists are especially worried by the mounting flight of capital and increased dollarization of the economy—something that last happened a decade ago when the government defaulted on its foreign debts.

"Some of my friends have converted all their savings into dollars, leaving just 500 rubles to pay the phone bill in their account," said an administrative assistant at a bank, who asked that only her first name, Olga, be used because she was not authorized to speak to the press.

"I've been telling my friends for months to buy dollars while they were cheap, but some of them just wouldn't listen," she said.

A recent World Bank report documented the extent to which the decline of oil prices from a high near $150 a barrel to about $50 is wreaking havoc on the Russian government's budget and depleting its foreign-currency reserves.

This is a wicked turn of events just weeks after we have been on the edge of our minds fretting the absolute collapse of the dollar, and after a snarky Vladimir Putin tried to threaten the West with strong words and stronger acts of aggression against its own former satellites. So it seems that national confidence is always resides on a floating scale. At least the Russians still possess a fiscal reserve, despite the relative spoilage of their currency, which is something the United States can't boast as we continue to roll up debt.

Wonder what bad news Putin will have for Hugo Chavez in the near future, as the Russians rush to stop the bleeding while the Venezuelan regime suffers from the same impact of oil prices on its own ego-driven economy?

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Monday, November 10, 2008


WATCHING THE HYSTERICAL REACTIONS to Barack Obama's election win, one would think Obama had been the first person of African descent to ever have an opportunity to succeed any where, any time in history. But one look at the globe would tell us otherwise. People of African descent are in complete and utter control of vast sections of the world. Most if not all of Africa proper is completely controlled by indigenous Africans, depending on how you classify North Africa. This land mass by itself is several times larger than all of Europe. Head over to the new world, we see most of the Carribean islands are controlled by people of African descent. Go to South America, we see a large part of Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. Up in the United States, several of its largest cities are run by African Americans, including the nation's capital.

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