2010: ten major economic events of the past year

It sounds naive but still we ask: when does one decade end and another begin? The outgoing year – what decade is it? Is it the “aught” decade (2000-2010) or is it the following decade (2010-2020)? And how will we remember it? Alexander Blagov, the chief-editor of the website venturebazaar.ru, speculates on these issues.

In this comical uncertainty, a significant symbolism is evident. The fact is that the outgoing year was really make-or-break year. Or transitional year, as you like. Personally, I like the second.

Many of us are annoyed by uncertainty; we prefer clarity. In 2010, many issues became clear. Above all, the certainty that the world will never be the same as before: it is impossible to “build” happiness in one separate country, any one nation’s economy is an integral part of the world global system; we are all mutually dependent. This awareness will require all of us to make decisions based on new belief systems, where the place for greed and selfishness is diminished.

Here are the events that I think were the most important in 2010.

  1. Russian economy recovery: while we were all waiting for the “second wave” of crisis, the domestic economy gradually return abandoned lines and even took new ones. For example, according to the data of N. Novgorod statistics, for the first ten months of 2010 in N. Novgorod region, retail trade turnover rose by 7.1%, the volume of industrial production by 15.4 %, and production of trucks by more than 80%.

  2. GDP growth rate: Russian GDP growth in the outgoing year is close to 4% — this is far from a recession. And the domestic economy, according to this indicator, is in the leaders among the Group of Eight, but still ranks last among the four major emerging economies – the BRIC countries, which is also symbolic.

  3. Modernization: it is impossible to not mention the efforts of the leaders of Russia to change GDP structure – the national Innovation Center Skolkovo became one of the most interesting new trends in 2010.

  4. Pension age: while in EU countries active protests were held against the forced raising of pension age, Medvedev and Putin assured us that in Russia this measure will not happen.

  5. Periphery of the EU countries: a new term for the countries of Euro Zone who are going through bankruptcy or are close to it, namely Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. Note, that this derogatory label has been hung on powerful empires in the past. New Monetary Fund was created to help them.

  6. Currency wars: another new modern economic term – it is connected with the attempts of the USA, due to the unprecedented emission of dollar, to “kill two birds with one stone”. First, to add “new blood” to its own economy, which showed the pace of recovery. And second – to slightly weaken the national currency and, as a result, increase the attractiveness of American exports. Now China, EU countries, and Russia have a right to retaliate. Against this background, the price of gold has increased.

  7. Ruble as a reserve currency: instability of the international currency system again prompted the Russian government to claim that the ruble can play the role of one of the world’s reserve currency.

  8. Republican victory: obamamania was replaced by skepticism; the reforms were not to everyone’s liking and on the election to the USA Congress, the Republicans won, with a full intention to insert sticks into the wheels of economic reforms provided by the Democrats.

  9. Apple give the dust to Microsoft: “Three frisky horses” — I-phone, I-pad, Mac-OS – brought Apple to the rank leaders of a global technological revolution. The bright evidence of a recognition of a new status is a meeting of Dmitry Medvedev with Steve Jobs during his visit to California.

  10. World-Cup – 2018: one of the world;s significant sport events – the World Cup of 2018— will be held in Russia. In the competition for this right, Russia drew ahead of the pioneer of football – England, as well as Japan and the USA. At least this event is worth mentioning because of its preparation cost, which is estimated at 10 bln. dollars. It is not a bad end to the year, not to mention the December victories of the Russian football teams in the group stage of Europe League.