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dijous, 14 d’abril de 2016

Elvira Nabiullina, la competente mano derecha de Putin

ELVIRA NABIULLINA’S first encounter with capitalism came during her university days, when she enrolled in a course called “Critique of Western Economic Theory”. It was an unusual start for a modern central banker. These days she embodies another contradiction. Russia’s economy has been held back for years by corruption and rent-seeking, and more recently by Western sanctions and the low price of oil and gas, the country’s main exports. Yet the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is a model of competent, technocratic policymaking. Since Ms Nabiullina became governor in 2013, the CBR has kept Russia’s economy, awful though it is, out of worse trouble.

The soft-spoken Ms Nabiullina has humble roots. Her mother worked in a factory; her father was a chauffeur. For years she has been at the centre of Russia’s turbulent transition to a market economy. When Vladimir Putin became president in 2000, he proclaimed a break with the chaos of the 1990s. But when it came to economics “Putin didn’t have clear ideas,” says Yevgeny Yasin, a former economy minister. He thus entrusted economic policy to a cadre of professionals with orthodox views, including Ms Nabiullina, who became deputy economy minister in 2000 and minister in 2007, an experience she calls “the most influential” on her approach to economics.
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