Before counting on attracting Western investments, the state itself must learn to spend money. The need to attract Western investments in the Russian economy has already become, perhaps, a common place in various kinds of discussions. The same common place was the traditional complaints of potential investors against gaps in the legislation, insufficient protection of their rights and"Purely Russian risk"generally. As well as the promises of the state to correct everything, protect everyone and ensure the prosperity of the population of almost one sixth of the world.
Meanwhile, it is very similar that, as often happens, it is not discussed at all what should have been discussed. Moreover, the events of the last year showed that attracting private investment is a problem for Russia is far from the main. There are quite a lot of money in the country now, including the state. However, the methods of their expenditure are able to scare away rather than attract foreign investors. In fact, let’s see what a potential investor is looking at, deciding whether to invest in Russia. Naturally, first of all, the state of the budget. And not only because he is afraid that the state will not return the money to him – after the crisis of 1998, few of the foreigners generally come to our government. But even investments in the private sector depend on the general state of affairs in the country – if only because possible devaluation and inflationary effects can seriously reduce the expected profit.
And what does the investor see, analyzing the state financial policy of Russia? In fact, nothing good. Judge for yourself. The latest negotiations with the IMF were clearly unsuccessful, which dramatically reduces the likelihood of debt restructuring both to the Fund itself and to the Parisian Club of creditors. Despite this, the Chairman of the Central Bank Viktor Gerashchenko states that he does not see anything catastrophic in this (the Central Bank is really not able to hurt), while government officials are in no hurry and prepare for the next, it seems hopeless, round of negotiations.
At the same time, everyone understands that the difficulties with the 2001 budget are becoming increasingly likely: if it is not possible to agree with international financial organizations, then, despite the expected additional income, in it, according to expert estimates, will remain"hole"about 50 billion. rubles. Not much, of course, but still unpleasant. Much worse than another. It is at this moment of uncertainty that President Vladimir Putin, one after another, signed several decrees on a 20 percent increase in salaries to various categories of civil servants. At the same time, it is completely uncommon where to get money for this next year in the event of a disruption of negotiations with the IMF.
Moreover, such actions are not quite correct this year, despite significant additional budget revenues. Since these income is received not quite honestly. Not in the sense, of course, that is illegal, but in the fact that the state of this money actually did not earn, but printed.
Indeed, we recall that it was provided by such a high tax collection this year. Obviously, first of all, the emission policy of the Central Bank. He continuously printed money to buy petrodollars coming to the country. And then the state received a significant part of this money in the form of taxes, but already to the government accounts. All this ultimately led to a significant surge in inflation in this summer. After which the authorities were frightened and began to talk about the need to reduce monetary liquidity. The Ministry of Finance even began to extinguish the debt to the Central Bank and, in addition, accumulated significant funds (according to our data – about 100 billion. rubles) in his account in the Central Bank and did not produce this money on the market. Now you have to fork out to the salaries of state employees. And come to terms with the growth of inflation. At the same time, it is interesting to note the following. In the described scheme, the Central Bank itself would be more profitable to lower the dollar a little in order to pay less for the buying currency. However, he continued to keep the course high and thereby, in fact, he acted as the main strategic investor of the Russian economy. But how their recipients disposed of this money in different ways!
Exporters who received additional profits willingly allowed it for technical modernization and new investments in industry. The state all year only consistently raised the salary to its managers (that is, officials), its plans for the recapitalization of the banking system and the creation of the Russian Bank of Development are still only on paper. That is, the country’s leadership showed himself a rather weak manager, ready to neglect the interests of investors and the long -term interests of the state for the sake of growing their own popularity. And the representative of the Ministry of Economy was right, who approved the conference"Kommersant", that the main reason for the lack of investment in Russia is poor management, and advised businessmen to hire Western specialists. With the only reservation – the authorities need to start solving this problem from themselves. Then foreign investments will go. Or maybe you will not even need.