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"People don't believe in the future". As the government tried to persuade the economy to return to growth
Material posted: Publication date: 21-04-2016
Exchange forum in Moscow to discuss the possibility of turning Russian economy to growth, attracted a record number of participants. Officials from the economy, assured the audience that there is no reason why the economy grew and oil prices. All depends on our optimism.

Ready to take off

At the date of the forum — 12 April opening the event the head of Moscow exchange Alexander Afanasiev found deep symbolism. First, it is cosmonautics Day — it is supposed to symbolize the cosmic challenges that lie ahead. "Sometimes charts stock quotes and exchange rates resemble the trajectory of the blast-off", — he joked.

Noting that the number of guests to the forum have set an absolute record — 1 940 persons, which could not accommodate not the small hall of the hotel "Ritz-Carlton", — Afanasyev said that in the forum of the Russian economy, held in new York, London and Shanghai, is also going the crowds — the people have to stand in the corridors.

The exchange President recalled that the situation in the economy, was a unique set of negative factors. The fall in GDP, the decline in the prices of the main resource of Russian exports, a sharp fall of the national currency, international sanctions, and rising interest rates in the United States. However, said Afanasiev, the market is not observed panic moods, many problems people have encountered, and the authorities are not going to impose restrictions on the movement of capital. The share of foreign participants in the Russian market not only did not fall, and even increased, including the share of investors from North America, and, as noted by the head of the exchange, "not at the expense of Canada". In his welcoming speech Afanasiev quoted one of the market participants, who said: "I have become more cautious pessimist".

In addition to the cosmonautics Day, the forum coincided with the birthday of the Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, announced by the moderator, his former boss and now Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Moscow exchange Alexey Kudrin. Instead of giving gifts to the birthday boy, the panelists asked for gifts from him, mainly in the form of reducing or at least maintaining taxes at current levels.

Meanwhile Kudrin offered the audience to discuss options for the future of the Russian economy. According to some opinions, the growth we will see in the last few months of the current year. According to more pessimistic forecasts (in particular, this is the opinion of experts from the Higher school of Economics), even if the price of oil at $ 50 per barrel we are looking at best stagnation, and at the price of 40-45 dollars — provided economic decline for at least three years.

Not by oil alone

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich strongly urged the audience to be optimistic regarding the Russian economy. "There is no obstacle to growth this year", — he stressed. According to him, the growth potential is there in almost all key sectors of the economy, ranging from traditionally important raw material to machine building, agriculture and the related food industry.

Dvorkovich expressed confidence that Russia's GDP can grow at 30, and at 40 dollars per barrel. "We should not assume that we will have a recession! If the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank will proceed from the fact that there will be a recession, it is sure to be!" — said Deputy Prime Minister.

The speech left the impression that they were attending the training NLP — neuro-linguistic programming. The main thing — to tune in to economic growth, program it in your thoughts, speech and behaviour and thus "attract" to yourself the desired results in the form of volume of industrial output, foreign trade balance and balance of payments.

The birthday boy Anton Siluanov agreed with the hope that the success of the domestic economy does not depend on oil, and the efficiency and quality of the labour market. "The change of the price of 10 dollars per barrel gives a GDP growth of just 0.8-0.9 percentage points," — said the Minister. He presented as a gift to the audience the news that the Finance Ministry is preparing once again to introduce a fiscal rule. This means that the extra revenue (if any) will go into the Reserve Fund. The Minister also noted that in the present circumstances the government can neither raise taxes nor increase the deficit.

The question arises, what is to be done in the case of a sharp drop in income? For example, the statement of government officials that oil prices don't matter much, true. But what if they fall? Purely logically it turns out that there is nothing left other than a serious devaluation of the rouble.

This is indirectly testified and the speech of the head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina said that the regulator remains true to the idea that the main thing for economy is the control of inflation. To stimulate economic growth due to the growth of prices, the Central Bank Chairman considers erroneous and dangerous idea. And since the control of inflation and control exchange rate — excluding, her statement means that in the event of serious shocks, the ruble no one to save won't be. That is, a devaluation is possible.

The optimism of the civil servants was diluted by the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of alpha Bank Peter Aven. He noted that macroeconomic policy, which officials hope can only destroy the economy. It is possible to improve only by creating a competitive environment by limiting the role of the state and providing predictability for business. "People don't believe in the future," said Aven, explaining that the volume of deposits now exceed loans — this means that the population hid and saves money. The banker lamented the ubiquitous state-owned banks, the growth of gray schemes and entered into a hard controversy with Dvorkovich on acceptable interest rates. While Aven agreed with the position of the Central Bank that what is important in the current environment, curbing inflation and combating it decreased.

Hedger in the fog

The derivatives market is feeling quite well, told "" the representative of the infrastructure of the organization in the derivatives market. "This is not the first crisis we are experiencing, she explains. — We understand that he is different, not like the previous, more protracted, more systemic... But in General, we understand that you need to do." According to her, market participants are far from panic: "it is Clear that directly in the stock market, which reflects the economy as a mirror, — the recession. And we have quite the contrary — people learn new "smart" tools — who wants to hedge (to protect — approx. "The") from the risks anyone make money on volatility."

The mood was good and the Executive Director for market of innovations and investments of the Moscow stock exchange Gennady Margolit: "Maybe someone does seem strange, but in the segment of innovative companies is undergoing a revival. We have some fairly large issuers that prepare IPO (initial public offering — approx. "The")". According to him, if before the company tried to raise money in London, now — partly because of sanctions, partly because of the deterioration in overall business conditions — began to place securities in Russia. So in this sense, the crisis affected the local market positively.

Pandemonium on the forum is directly linked to the crisis. In difficult economic years, the interest in the stock market, reflecting processes that occur in it, traditionally increasing. People want to clarify the situation and to understand what to do next. This time on the forum including the professional participants of the market, which as a result of the crisis lost their jobs.

The Chairman of the National Association of securities market participants (NAUFOR) Alexey Timofeev in conversation with "" said that the optimism of officials do not yet backed up by concrete action plans: "They talked about everything, said that the economy is critically important structural reforms, but then it would be good to tell exactly what reforms the government intends to undertake, if they're so important. And not a word was said".

Some would say that the officials in the government of despair turned into a shaman, he is a ruler of the Russian GDP growth, while some will argue that belief in success — is already a step to success. In the end, using the techniques of NLP many achieve real results.

Gregory Kogan


Tags: Russia , Exchange

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