Welcome to the new economic cold war. Emboldened by soaring oil prices and America’s oil addiction, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev makes no bones about who is responsible for the global economic mess: the United States. Also, he’s pleased to announce that there’s a new world financial centre: Russia. Reuters:
“Failure by the biggest financial firms in the world to adequately take risk into account, coupled with the aggressive financial policies of the biggest economy in the world, have led not only to corporate losses,” Medvedev told Russia’s main annual event for international investors in St Petersburg. “Most people on the planet have become poorer.”
The Kremlin leader said investment by cash-rich Russian companies abroad, promotion of Moscow as a major financial centre and use of the ruble as a reserve currency were part of the answer.
These could help solve problems created by what he said was a gap between the United States’ leading global economic role and “its true capabilities.”
Nothing like overheated nationalist rhetoric to soothe global tensions. On the other hand, if oil prices stay in the stratosphere, the US will continue to reel and Russia will continue to thrive (Russia is the world’s biggest gas producer and its second-biggest oil exporter).