Banking in the blogosphere

Talk of a financial crisis is in the air. Banks have stopped pushing credit schemes and started promoting saving plans. Russians are recalling the troubles of 1997 when the government redenominated the rouble to get rid of excessive zeros - and a year later the currency crashed.

President Putin has gone out of his way on two occasions in recent months to denounce talk of a potential financial crisis. Live journal has been making their voices heard on the threat to their wallets. Bloggers tend to look at downside of most scenarios when they can, yet on this subject they are reasonably upbeat. doma_u_domovogo even took a light-hearted approach, looking back to the crisis in 1998 by claiming "there will definitely be [a crisis] because it's such a good way to generate starting capital". besson was more critical of the media on this topic. I first heard rumors of default from journalists. Considering that there are very few topics these days which are sufficiently interesting for TV or newspapers, I am ready to believe that many editors came to the conclusion that the coverage of a default was a good way to go." The best explanation was offered by blogger grofaz who said that "there are no prerequisites for a crisis, but there is one important `but'... the crisis comes if enough people will it. Unfortunately, Russians want a crisis, they dream of one. The last 90 years have created an adrenaline addiction among Russians and the years of stability produce dumb aggression... Russians want things to go badly so there's a reason to blame the whole world, pity themselves and demand pity." This comment was echoed by svyat0s, who said: "If those hysterical people who raise panic over this issue calm down, there won't be any crisis." All in all, it seems that Russian bloggers prefer a more level-headed approach to the question of impending crisis or possible rouble denomination. If only this view was taken by more people, the Russian economy would be insulated from crises by trust, which can be as tangible as the sky-high oil prices. As the situation stands right now ,financial crisis just may happen in one form or another because enough people believe it will.

The Russian blogosphere has almost tripled in 12 months. These summaries have been taken from recent posts on the special community set up for this newspaper, http://community.livejournal.com/opinion_ru, and compiled by Marina Pustilnik.

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