December 5th, 2014
07:45 PM ET

What I'm reading: How Ruble crash could strengthen Putin

By Fareed Zakaria

“The rush to hyperbolic commentary about the dire effects of a crashing ruble is just that. It is Ukraine that is in danger of defaulting on its debts, not Russia,” writes Zachary Karabell for Politico. “Venezuela is truly a society on the verge of societal breakdown (if not de facto there already). Russia seems very far from a danger zone, let alone a political and social upheaval brought on by low oil prices. In fact, you could name a dozen other countries in greater peril from this shifting landscape, ranging from Iran to Iraq to Saudi Arabia to Nigeria.”

“Russia is an economy tethered to oil and commodity exports, yes, but it is a society that has withstood much worse in the past century plus. Unlike the United States, it is also a society that on the whole has lower expectations for material affluence, and in times such as these, that constitutes a strength.”

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“Over the last decade (during which visa policies have been relatively constant), the number of tourists visiting India has grown at a steady clip, adding 200,000 to 500,000 visitors each year, leaving out the post-recession years of 2008 and 2009. That’s an average annual growth rate of about 5 percent, on par with the world average,” writes Chandrahas Choudhury for Bloomberg View.

“But shouldn’t a vast country with such a grand past and such a remarkable diversity of landscapes, religions and cultures be seeking to make more of its unique appeal? Could these figures have been much higher if it was easier to get a tourist visa to India? And could the new policy be a catalyst for a higher growth rate?”

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“The numbers don’t lie. Japan’s economy, by many measures, has been in historic decline, causing distress for a growing underclass of workers who lack permanent full-time jobs and for regions far from Tokyo where the population is shrinking,” writes Jacob M. Schlesinger in the Wall Street Journal. “But the country has, by and large, managed a relatively comfortable, peaceful decline. That helps explain why it took so long for an aggressive response, in the form of Abenomics – and why the public has so quickly developed second thoughts.”

“Having covered Japan’s topsy-turvy politics and economics for The Wall Street Journal over the past five years, this is what I see as the defining tension in the country: deflationism vs. reflationism, two starkly different visions of Japan’s future.”


soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. Paid Basher

    I heard that Indians who eat lots of food and take lots of medications get almost as fat and stupid as Americans do.

    December 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • Sense-versus-NonSense!

      It sure would be nice if people of the world would leave intelligent and meaningful comments on the internet that would benefit everyone, but you seem to be someone who is only here to be negative and have a one-sided conversation. That's too-bad, but it's great that human's have a brain and realize they are reading nonsense when they see comments such as yours!

      December 10, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  2. Paid Basher

    Many Hindu women are as fat as suburbanite housewives of America. Is true. Heard it myself.

    December 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • Lavi

      Read you were stupid. Is true. Read it myself.

      December 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  3. Paid Basher

    How many Indian rope trick boys does it take to satisfy one openly gay priest for an entire evening?

    December 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  4. Observer

    Well now philip thats awful hard to do! You keep laying all your stupidness out here for God and all the rest of us to see! All bluster and no muster, so to speak! And in case you're having a hard time figuring out what that means, you talk alot but you can't back up any of it with facts and when asked you just amskray!

    December 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • Paid Basher

      How many Indian rope trick boys does it take to satisfy one openly gay priest for an entire evening?

      December 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Reply
      • Lavi

        Since you're the voice of experience, how many does it for you Monk?

        December 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
  5. Paid Basher

    How much does ENRON charge India for electricity?
    Answer: 3-5 times more than originally agreed upon. (now you know what ENRON did with the 100+ billion dollars they stole from US. Upgraded India's power grid)

    December 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • Lavi

      So what. Lay's dead. What is your point in bringing up stupid crap.

      December 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Reply
      • Old Driller

        Does not lay dead you idiot. Is ongoing enterprise financed by stolen funds you freaking retard.

        December 6, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
      • Evan Jerome

        Enron is essentially dead. Kenneth Lay is definetly dead. You probably shouldn't call people retarded if you don't know your own facts.

        December 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
      • Old Driller

        I said ENRON. Not Kenneth Lay you retard.

        December 7, 2014 at 8:00 am |
      • Old Driller

        ENRON got away with over $100 billion US dollars and got away with using stolen funds to upgrade India's power grid and STILL rip off Indians just as they used to rip off Americans.

        December 7, 2014 at 8:03 am |
      • Evan Jerome

        That was in 2001, and Enron is essentially dead as a company. They no longer own any power plants in India, (because they are not in existence anymore as "Enron") so, no, they're not still "ripping off the Indians." Time to update your "reports."

        December 7, 2014 at 11:17 am |
    • Sense-versus-NonSense!

      People, don't stress out or worry about what people like "Paid Basher" have to say ...it's meaningless and they are only trying to strike a nerve within you.! Get a life and don't worry about these type of people or their comments, as they are useless!!! Move on!

      December 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  6. Blue Saffron☼

    GPS Fareed here is some "dependable" statistics for you re: your nemesis albeit a tenth of size of your motherland India. No I am not Russian.

    SOME STAGGERING COMPARISONS:
    Source: The Economist March 22nd – 28th 2014 issue: Page 88

    India Unemployment Rate 39.9%
    Pakistan Unemployment Rate 6.2 %

    India GDP 4.7%
    Pakistan GDP 6.1%

    India Industrial Production 0.1
    Pakistan Industrial Production 2.6

    December 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Evan Jerome

      Pakistan, pop 186 million, 307,374 sq miles
      India, pop1.267 billion, 1.269 million sq miles
      Bigger, more populated countries have larger problems. You have just compared apples to oranges. Congrats.

      December 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Reply
      • Paid Basher

        Plus India has more cobra snakes to deal with than Morsi the puppet.

        December 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
      • Evan Jerome

        Who is Morsi?

        December 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
      • Evan Jerome

        You mean Egypt's Morsi? Wrong country, sport.

        December 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
      • Old Driller

        Modi. Seen one seen em all. Snakes.

        December 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
      • Evan Jerome

        Or you could say, "I was wrong; I meant Modi."

        December 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
  7. Blue Saffron☼

    Well, let us look at the other side of the prism for India symphatisers.

    Comparing the progress of China with India always amazes me. About same number of people but different results. Chinese raise their kids to be entrepreneurs while Indian hindus as t hugs. Just a cultural difference I suppose. Different DNA.

    China 10% GDP...... India 4.7%
    China 38 Gold medals.... India 0 (2012 olympics)

    December 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Evan Jerome

      India isn't allowed to participate in the Olympics, are they? You're statement about "India sympathizers" aside, I don't believe for one tiny second that you are concerned for India's ordinary citizens.

      I am from the United States and not of Indian ancestry, so save the stupid "hindoo tiffin box" insults for somebody it actually applies to. Pointing out that you're comparing apples to oranges doesn't make me a sympathizer; it is just pointing out the obvious.

      December 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Reply
      • Old Driller

        Business fraud is punishable by death in China. So there is very little fraud for such a huge nation. Only about 2000 get executed in China each year. More Americans write hot checks in one day than that.

        December 6, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
      • Evan Jerome

        And what, Old Drller? You want Chinese punishments? Would you like the China child labor and forced abortions, too? The smog and pollution poisoning its air and water? That's admirable?
        Another apples to oranges observation.

        December 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
      • Blue Saffron☼

        You sound like a disoriented person looking for attention. Your logic is flawed and lacks cohesion. Do you have anything productive to add? Does not seem so.

        December 6, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
      • Evan Jerome

        I am answering you. My post is obviously readable. Do you have a problem with reading comprehension? I'll understand if English is not your first language.

        December 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
      • Blue Saffron☼

        Answering me? Are you nuts? And what is that answer? You have serious mental health issues. If yiu can't add to the debate git back in your cave.

        December 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
      • Evan Jerome

        Your intent is to insult, is that correct? I see: you're a bigot. Never mind. I stay away from those inferior-minded people. Have a pleasant evening.

        December 6, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
      • Old Driller

        @Evan Jerome. Chinese pollution comes from them producing so much cheap crap Americans so desire these days. And there is simply no need for forced abortions to control America's population. There are millions who volunteer each year to abort their unborn prospective American.
        But yeah. I would like to see raype and business and church fraud punishable by death. As well as political fraud and medical fraud. And family fraud, for that matter. Yes. Do execute child abusers along with those who keep it secret from the police. Thank you.

        December 7, 2014 at 8:11 am |
      • Evan Jerome

        Old Driller, If you prefer a repressive, totalitarian rule, China should be your next destination to permanently live. There is nothing admirable about Chinese conditions at all. You realize that you wouldn't be able to post your thoughts on the internet like you do here were you under Chinese rule, right? I prefer clean water, air, and freedom, thank you.

        December 7, 2014 at 11:25 am |
    • Old Driller

      Chinese raise their kids to not shoplift or write bad checks. And made it illegal not to support your aged parents and grand parents. Not just tossing them in an old age home and visiting once a year.

      December 6, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Reply
      • Evan Jerome

        You're misinformed if you think shoplifting not check fraud doesn't occur in China. It does. Parenting style is not universal. I don't know why you think it would be!
        Plus, the law you are talking about merely requires that the children VISIT the elderly and that their physical needs are met. Although I agree there are not many retirement homes in China, the law does not require them to let the elderly live with them, nor does it require to support them. Additionally, the law never specifies how often visits need to occur. The law is very vague, and due to the sheer size of China and the massive numbers of migrant workers there, it is nearly unenforcable.
        You're way off base here.

        December 6, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
      • Old Driller

        Chinese care for their elderly better than Americans do. Markedly better. My point stands.

        December 7, 2014 at 8:15 am |
      • Evan Jerome

        Your point was flawed from the get-go, because the Chinese do not take care of their elderly and better/worse than Americans do. The majority of elderly people are NOT in an "old age home."

        December 7, 2014 at 11:11 am |
  8. Evan Jerome

    Have a good day, all.

    December 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Reply
    • Old Driller

      *Have a good day all, rather.

      December 7, 2014 at 8:28 am | Reply
      • Evan Jerome

        *No, it was correct as written.

        December 7, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
  9. Delia Hernandez

    If you all can't say something nice. Then don't say anything.

    December 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • Old Driller

      Ditto, missy.🙂

      December 6, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Reply
      • Evan Jerome

        Didn't you just call someone a "freaking retard?"

        December 6, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • Old Driller

        Yeah. And would have said,Duck if it quacked.

        December 7, 2014 at 8:19 am |
      • Old Driller

        And didn't you say have a good evening?

        December 7, 2014 at 8:26 am |
      • Evan Jerome

        Some idiot was addressing me so I came back. So? You've never done that? I see your avatar doing that sane thing a lot.

        December 7, 2014 at 11:07 am |
  10. Blue Saffron☼

    Empowering subjugated minorities in India by splitting it into smaller states would trigger uber economic demand for western nations who have given so much financial and technology aid to India with no return to show for the investment. I concur with this approach and with an economic background find the premise to be on solid footing. Central Asian States (CAS) are a case in point on this successful approach.

    December 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Reply
    • Old Driller

      Taking power from educated elite and giving it to the average Joe is a recipe for Idiocracy. Where stupid people decide which way nations go instead of just greedy ones deciding.

      December 7, 2014 at 8:33 am | Reply
  11. chri§§y

    I see i havent missed much! The more things change the more they stay the same. Smh

    December 7, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Reply
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