Tag Archives: Politikk

At det finnes fornærmerlser i politikken? Oh, ja da.

David Cameron kalte Nicolas Sarkozy en ‘gjemt dverg’. Angela Merkel har kalt Sarkozy ‘Mr. Bean’. Spanias statsminister Jose Zapatero er ‘for rosa’ ifølge Berlusconi. Han mente Zapatero hadde for mange kvinner regjeringen.

Jeg har mistet tellingen og burde hatt alle politiske og diplomatiske fornærmelser på post-it lapper.
Heldigvis for meg har Bloomberg oversikten (kul grafikk).

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Russlands FinMin går av og dette, tro det eller ei, påvirker landets kredittverdighet.

Alexei Kudrin 167x220
For å forstå hvorfor Alexei Kudrin er var så viktig for Russlands kredittverdighet må du forstå hva han har gjort og under hvilke forutsetninger:

Having worked in the Yeltsin administration during Russia’s 1998 sovereign default, when he came to the helm of the finance ministry in 2000 Kudrin instilled fiscal discipline lacking in the country. He is widely credited with maintaining spending restraint and ensuring Russia had sufficient reserves to ride through the financial crisis of 2008/2009.

HSBC Russland-desk skriver:

Fiscally, without such an influential person as Alexey Kudrin, the state budget would likely become distressed suffering from a series of incremental expenditure decisions. We see an appetite for more liberal and responsible economic policies to resurge only with a substantial decline in oil prices, as it has always been in Russia in the past.

Her er hele artikkelen:

Kudrin in the line of fire – Medvedev forces resignation – FT Tilt: Alexei Kudrin, Russia’s well-respected finance minister who was instrumental in instilling fiscal discipline in the country that defaulted just thirteen years ago, resigned on Monday evening in what could be a significant blow to the integrity of the country’s public finances and its creditworthiness.

Earlier in the day, president Dmitry Medvedev, in retaliation to comments made by Kudrin over the weekend that he would not serve in a Medvedev-led government when the president swaps jobs with prime minister Vladimir Putin in March, forcefully suggested the finance minister resign if he did share his boss’ views on the economic issues of the day.

Kudrin had told journalists in Washington at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings that he would “definitely refuse” to work with Medvedev in the new cabinet as a result of differences of opinion on government spending. As a well-respected fiscal hawk, Kudrin opposed attempts from Medvedev to force through increased military spending.

In addition, Kudrin is also believed to have harboured hopes of becoming prime minister if Putin became president again, a job that is expected to be filled by Medvedev.

Late in the Moscow evening on Monday Kudrin confirmed he had resigned from the post he has held for almost 11 years.

Having worked in the Yeltsin administration during Russia’s 1998 sovereign default, when he came to the helm of the finance ministry in 2000 Kudrin instilled fiscal discipline lacking in the country. He is widely credited with maintaining spending restraint and ensuring Russia had sufficient reserves to ride through the financial crisis of 2008/2009.

Euromoney dubbed Kudrin the «Finance Minister of the Year» in 2010, and in what looks to have been a rather prescient commentary, said at the time:

Kudrin has been acknowledged a finance manager of the highest order, not only in the West, but also in Russia, the country that has always had a rather chilly attitude towards reformers
Jochen Wermuth, CIO of the $400m AUM Wermuth Asset Management and a former advisor to the finance ministry under Kudrin’s tenure, said the minister’s influence on Russia’s finances has been monumental. As he told FT Tilt:

Alexei Kudrin is a great professional who deserved the “finance minister of the year award” several times. [Kudrin] single-handedly turned Russia from a banana republic in terms of debt levels into one of the best credits in the world. Losing him would be a huge loss to Russia, its debt and equity markets.
With Kudrin out of the picture Russia might embark on a spending splurge and put reforms on the back burner, warned HSBC’s chief Russia economist Alexander Morozov. He said in a research note:

Fiscally, without such an influential person as Alexey Kudrin, the state budget would likely become distressed suffering from a series of incremental expenditure decisions. We see an appetite for more liberal and responsible economic policies to resurge only with a substantial decline in oil prices, as it has always been in Russia in the past.
Nomura analyst Tatiana Orlova even said a Kudrin exit could weigh on Russia’s credit rating (which has been kept supressed due to the question of whether Putin or Medvedev would stand for election next year). This is because Russia’s budget is no longer based on conservative oil price assumptions — the average Urals price required to balance the 2012 federal budget is $116 a barrel — and Kudrin is one of only a few people capable of keeping a handle on Russia’s budget, she said.

In short then, Kudrin is a big player – both in Russia and on the global scale. But he was not untouchable, as the manuevring demonstrated.

The finance minister had earlier said he would first consult Putin before making a decision. And even with the current PM seen as the senior partner in Russia’s ruling tandem (as the weekends’ announcement testified), Medvedev has shown before that he has the stomach for a fight and is not afraid to use the powers at his disposal.

In September last year Medvedev took what appeared to be the risky move of sacking Yuri Luzhkov, the powerful Moscow mayor. Whoever thought Medvedev had become a lame duck for his last six months in the Kremlin looks likely to be proved wrong.»

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Hvordan bruke over 200 000,- på 4 dager når hotellrommet koster 6000,- dagen?

Svaret er: Det kan du hvis du er leder av Europakommisjonen.

Fra The Bureau of Investigative Journalism:

EU Commission spends millions on ‘luxuries’::The Bureau of Investigative Journalism: «The Bureau’s latest investigation reveals that the European Commission has spent millions of taxpayers’ money on private jet travel, luxury resorts, parties and expensive presents.

Our investigation shows that Commissioners were travelling by private jet and handing out gifts of Tiffany jewellery to guests as Europeans faced budget cuts and IMF bailouts.

The figures

Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal:

  • Over €7.5m was spent on private jet travel for Commissioners between 2006-2010.
  • President Barroso and eight assistants ran up a bill of €28,000 for a four night stay at the New York Peninsula Hotel, where the delegation stayed in suites costing on average €780 per night.
  • The Commission spent over €20,000 between 2008-2010 on gifts, with guest speakers being presented with gifts from the jewelers Tiffany.
  • Over €300,000 was spent on events the EU described as “cocktail parties” in 2009. One bill totalled €75,000 for an event subsidised by the EU’s Research Executive Agency in Amsterdam, boasting a “night filled with wonder like no other…state-of-the-art technology, challenging art, combined with trendy cocktails, surprising performances and top DJs”.

The Bureau’s study comes as the Commission has called for a budget increase of 4.9% for the EU budget as a whole, whilst European nations are grappling with record national debts, embarking on extensive privatisation programmes and appealing for IMF bailouts worth hundreds of billions of euros.

Luxury spending

In 2009 the Commission held away-days for officials and their families at beach resorts in Papua New Guinea and Ghana. On one occasion a Vietnamese delegation flew 44 staff to the five-star Palm Garden Resort for an event to “facilitate internal co-operation”.

Martin Ehrehauser, Independent Austrian MEP, said: “It is extremely disappointing to see how easily the Commission spends the EU taxpayers’ money – millions of euros – on private jet travel and luxury hotels. This makes the gap between citizens and the EU bureaucracy even bigger and deeper.”

Iain Overton, editor of the Bureau, said: “Our findings raise questions not just about taxpayers’ money being wasted, but also about how accountable the EU Commission is for its spending.”

The EU Commission is made up of 27 Commissioners, one from each of the member states, and about 25,000 European civil servants. It acts as the EU’s cabinet and some of its main purposes are to implement legislation for Europe and the day to day running of the Union and its funding programs.

The Commission sits in Brussels, and is entirely funded by the EU taxpayer.»

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