St. Petersburg Forum on Russia's Economy: 'What Is To Be Done?'
May 24, 2014 • 11:11AM

On the first day of the May 22-24 annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), a public debate among Russian government officials and advisors, on countering the British Empire's credit cut-off of Russia, was held under the title "What Is To Be Done?" according to the New York Times' account.

The paper said the conference's more than 6,000 attendees, including business executives, economists, and government officials, came "mainly from Russia and China" due to imperial pressure for a boycott. Other accounts, however, said that most expected German CEOs came, although those from U.S.-based banks and major corporations did not.

The Times article, titled "Competing Visions for Russia's Future," describes strong arguments for de-dollarization of Russia's economy from Presidential advisor Sergey Glazyev and Russian Railways head Viktor Yakunin. The Times called them "isolationists [who] favored relying on state banks" for credit rather than international financial markets; economic partnership with China, and government infrastructure investment to replace lost private funding.

According to an ITAR-TASS wire, Glazyev also said that the sanctions would trigger import substitution in the Russian economy, including for high-technology imports which have been cut off by U.S./NATO sanctions; and "the need for Russian monetary authorities to increase domestic lending for economic development."

The Times quoted Anatoly Chubais saying "I am categorically opposed" to such state bank credit expansion as Glazyev demanded. "This is suicide," claimed Chubais. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, in the same debate, opposed capital controls to "de-offshore" wealthier Russians' wealth, but said, "We are waiting for the government, or more specifically, the President" to decide policy.

Despite President Obama's efforts to get all big American corporations to boycott the St. Petersburg forum, Exxon sent top executives to the event, and used the occasion to sign a large joint-venture deal with Rosneft.

Implicit in the Times coverage is a growing worry that Russia, bolstered by the recent mega-deals with China, and facing the long-term consequences of relying on London-centered foreign investments, could take up Lyndon LaRouche's longstanding call for Russia to take a Hamiltonian credit approach to its economic future. Some astute Washington observers have noted London's hysteria against LaRouche, and partly attribute it to the clear influence that LaRouche has been having on Russian policy debates, including, but not limited to, the Ukraine issue. Little noted during the Putin-Xi Jinping summit this week in Shanghai, was the fact that Moscow has thrown its support behind China's drive to make the Eurasian Land-Bridge a reality.