Capitalism Russian-Style

Capitalism Russian-Style

Capitalism Russian-Style

Capitalism Russian-Style

Synopsis

Capitalism Russian-Style provides a progress report on one of the most important economic experiments going on in the world today: the building of capitalism in Russia. It describes Russian achievements in building private banks, companies, stock exchanges, new laws and law courts. It analyzes the role of the mafia, the new financial empires, entrepreneurs, business tycoons, and the shrinking Russian state. Thane Gustafson tells how the Soviet system was dismantled and the new market society was born, and examines the prospects for a Russian economic miracle in the twenty-first century.

Excerpt

As the new millenium begins, one of the biggest questions for the emerging global economy is the role that Russia will play in it. Russia's power and wealth are at their lowest ebb since the 1920s. Yet for how long can it be counted out? Its enormous natural resources and talented people, spanning eleven time zones, and its vast strategic position, argue that Russia could be a major player in tomorrow's world. But in what role? Will Russia be an important and constructive player in building tomorrow's global economy and a world order based on peaceful technology? Or will it be left behind, nursing bitter resentment over a lost empire and a dead ideology, concentrating its meager resources on rebuilding militarily? The answers depend on the outcome of the new Russian revolution. At the beginning of the twenty-first century—almost eighty-five years after the Bolshevik Revolution that sent such shock waves through the twentieth century—Russia is again caught up in a revolution. It is partly political—the effort to establish secure foundations for democracy. And it is partly economic—the struggle to transform the very archetype of the centrally planned economy into a market system that is anchored in the new global economy.

What will be the outcome? That depends on whether Russia can make good on its historic bet to build an open market economy, founded on private property, contract, law, and enterprise, and on the free movement of people, capital, and ideas. Only a market economy can generate the wealth and the dynamism that will renew Russia. Only a market economy will enable it to be a major force in contributing to the global society that is transcending the old boundaries of nation-states and empires.

All that is the story that Thane Gustafson tells in Capitalism Russian-Style. This book is an absolutely essential companion for anyone in the West seeking to do business in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union. It provides the framework and insight they need to understand the business environment in which—and with which—they are seeking to work. Simple prudence requires that they read it to understand the risks and . . .

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