Bremmer and Roubini's Faulty Russia Analysis

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 6/06/2012 10:26:00 AM
It's nice to find new blogging talent every once in a while, and boy this fellow is impressive. I had never heard of Mark Adomanis before coming across his neat riposte to famous political risk analyst Ian Bremmer and economist Nouriel Roubini on why the West should "blackball Russia." Partly it's because his The Russia Hand blog is country-specific and its host Forbes isn't quite the first name you think of in terms of geopolitics. But don't be fooled: his wide-ranging analysis that considers much beyond that goes on in Russia is spot-on and I find very little to disagree with in his commentary. Here, he takes exception to rather lazy characterizations of Russia as (a) exceptionally authoritarian, (b) having doomed demographics when authorities have actually succeeded in boosting its population as of late and (c) a development laggard compared to other BRICs.

To be honest, I find navigation of Forbes blogs leaves much to be desired. This is a real shame since Adomanis is a really prolific blogger who makes long, detailed posts nearly daily. I hope Forbes pays him well for this kind of output! Again, he's a real up-and-coming talent not afraid to take on much more ballyhooed figures.

On the basis of their FT article, I doubt whether many will be encouraged to solicit political risk analysis from Bremmer's Eurasia Group--or economic analysis from Roubini's RGE Monitor, for that matter. While conducting political risk analysis, your job is to tell clients about prevailing risks to investment and how to address them should they decide to enter Russia, not to increase such hazards by inviting a "blackball" of the nation. What an attitude. Meanwhile, misstating trends alike demographics isn't the sort of thing that produces top-notch economics monitoring.

It really is a devastating but spot-on critique. And no, I certainly don't think blindly applying standards of Western capitalist democracy to others is going to cut it in this day and age when most OECD nations are in varying stages of distress.