Cracks are showing in Russia’s leadership as a slowdown in the economy is beginning to cause rifts at the heart of the government, with one academic telling CNBC on Thursday that the economy poses the biggest threat to the country’s leadership.
Richard Edgar Pipes, professor of Russian History at Harvard University, told CNBC that there was a danger that prolonged weakness in the economy could harm Putin, whose popularity among the Russian electorate has been waning for some time.
Putin’s Popularity Wanes as Russia’s Boom Ends
Revolution in China: Slowing growth could cause more internal instability
The Chinese economy, widely seen until the last few weeks as the strongest remaining locomotive that could drag the global economy back from the brink of recession, showed a second month of anemic growth in May and performed even worse than the already lowered expectations of most economists.
Chinese Economy Shows a Second Month of Anemic Growth – NYTimes.com
When your economic model is heavily based on exports, and your export market is falling apart, then one should not be surprised that cracks start appearing in the economy. Attempting to stimulate local consumption is probably not going to work in the short term.
It’s not the booming economy that’s about to burst — it’s bigger than that. Social discontent and, yes, income inequality could rip China apart at the seams.
At the root lies a political system built on a principle of unfairness. The Communist Party ultimately controls the allocation of all resources; its officials are effectively immune to legal prosecution until they first undergo an opaque internal disciplinary process. Occasionally a high official is brought down on corruption charges, like former Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai. But such cases reflect elite power struggles, not a determined effort to end corruption. In a few years’ time, China will likely surpass the United States as the world’s top economy. But until it solves its fairness problem, it will remain a second-rate society.
Bear in a China Shop – By Arthur Kroeber | Foreign Policy
When a country is growing at a nice rate then the cracks in society aren’t really noticeable. When things start slowing down then the problems start to appear. China is now at this point. It’s economy is starting to slow down and its problems are becoming noticeable.
How can a country with massive capitalism be led by a group of communists? This scenario is a time-bomb waiting to go off.
Beware the instability in the Middle East, including Iran. This could be one reason to hasten war in the Middle East in order to refocus people’s attention.
There are growing indications that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is facing his second epic struggle to stay in power since the 2009 popular riots against his election – with his back to the wall. Even the secretive revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran has been unable to conceal the widening fissures in Iran’s ruling elite.
Widening cracks in Iranian president’s grip on power « Global Intelligence Center
Originally posted on Jan. 4, 2011