Barkley Rosser on Russia (from the comments)

Yes, they are clearly going to have a recession, and probably a pretty bad one. But, oil prices may well be near their bottom. Russia has a lot of foreign exchange and little sovereign debt and is running a current account surplus, ironically reinforced by western sanctions. Yes, much of the private sector will face refi problems that could still blow up, and that would be the most likely mechanism for a severe collapse worse that Putin and others are forecasting. But, as of now, Putin’s popularity rating has reached an all time high after his latest press conference, 85% approval. You of all people should understand that he has successfully prepared the Russian people for bad times ahead by convincing them that they are in some replay of The Great Patriotic War and the Cold War combined, phoney baloney as that appears to us outsiders. The chances are in fact pretty good that they will tough it out without a major collapse, and the public will be willing to accept the likely privations that will arise due to the impending stagflation.
His comment also discusses Greece.  Alternately, here is Leonid Bershidsky, arguing that a Putin dictatorship is on the way.


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