Recently there was speculation in the press about a possible abdication by Russia’s strongman, Vladimir Putin. Having dominated Russian politics for more than 15 years, Putin is being confronted with a harsh reality. A recent Bloomberg survey polling economists indicates that Putin’s economic policy was scored an “F”, the lowest possible grade, by 27 per cent of respondents. Another 50 per cent awarded him the next two poorest grades. Bill Clinton’s famous dictum, “it’s the economy, stupid”, which he used to explain his victory over President George Bush the elder, could be equally valid for Putin.
August 1, 2016 - Marcel H. Van Herpen