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Billionaire warns financial crisis is only going to get worse across Russia

By The Siberian Times reporter
26 January 2015

Siberia aluminium magnate blames Central Bank for failing to stem problem and says they would be better off ruling economy 'from Space'.

Oleg Deripaska, whose aluminium firm RUSAL has most of its plants in Siberia, said Russia faces the biggest challenge of any global nation. Picture: Russianlook

One of Russia's richest men has painted a dark picture of the country's economic future and warned: 'The worst is yet to come'.

Oleg Deripaska, whose aluminium firm RUSAL has most of its plants in Siberia, said Russia faces the biggest challenge of any global nation, mirroring the uncertainty of the 1990s.

And in an outspoken attack on the Central Bank of Russia, he said that bankers and those in charge of financial institutions would be better off running the economy from space.

His comments came at the weekend’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, attended by leaders in business, technology and science.

In an interview for Rossiya-24 TV, Mr Deripaska said there was an air of 'optimism' for the general global economic position after many years of austerity in the West.

He said delegates believed America is 'in a very good economic situation' and European leaders 'expect growth', while China and India are now stable after a decline in growth.

But the 47-year-old said: 'They are all optimistic. As for Russia it is, of course, a hard situation as everyone forecast not only zero growth but a decline and I think that perhaps their forecasts will come true.

'In order to solve such a complicated issue [as the economy] there must be a program, a team, and we should bring back the operational issues commission like we used to have in the middle of the 1990s.

'We've got to understand that now we are somewhere between 1993 and 1995 by how hot and complicated this is going to be.

'The worst is yet to come.'

He added: 'The crisis will not miss a single industry. It is only a matter of time of which one it will hit first, and which one will be hit second, third and so on. The manufacturing sector, too, just as the rest of economy, feels 'confidently stressed', with declining demand.'

Oleg Deripaska

'I think if a new Russian space station is created it would be easier to take the whole of the Central Bank and send them up there so that they comment from above.' Picture: Vesti.ru

Mr Deripaska, who made his fortune selling natural resources, last week told he has ambitious plans to create a string of data centres using the cost-effective hydroelectric energy source.

His first new data centre is set to be completed later this year in Irkutsk, beside Lake Baikal where his En+ Group already operates three dams.

And while he is more than happy to invest his billions securing jobs and trying to help stimulate the economy, he says much of the blame for the current deepening crisis lies with the Central Bank of Russia.

Many investors have also recently accused the bank of failing to step in early enough as the rouble plunged, and now independent economists say a 2015 recession is inevitable.

Referring to the Central Bank, Mr Deripaska said: 'They are celestials, spacemen.

'I think if a new Russian space station is created it would be easier to take the whole of the Central Bank and several other, let’s call them, 'confident economists', confident in tomorrow, and send them up there so that they comment from above. 

'They would have a better view of the Russian economy from the space.'

He added: 'What the government and the Central Bank aim at is zero inflation. I think the lowest inflation possible can be found at a graveyard, when no-one needs anything.'

Krasnoyarsk aluminium plant


Krasnoyarsk aluminium plant

Krasnoyarsk Aluminium Smelter, one of the largest smelters in the world. Pictures: Dela.ru

Deripaska, who made much of his wealth from aluminium in the 1990s, is Russia’s 13th richest man with a net worth of more than $8billion (524billion roubles). His aluminium company RUSAL is the largest in the world, with a number of sites in Krasnoyarsk.

With a geographical location closer to China and Mongolia than Moscow, he believes his data centres will seek customers from both within Russia and Asia, which fits in with the Kremlin’s recent strategy of looking eastwards for business instead of to the West and US.

But, speculating about the success or failure of Putin's alignment with Beijing, he said: 'Asia doesn’t seem to have noticed yet.'

Mr Deripaska is no stranger to courting controversy and last year proposed moving the Russian capital to Siberia to stem the 'corruption' in Moscow and help create closer ties to the Asia and Pacific region.

Comments (4)

What the Russian Far East needs more is a new Paper Mill with the last technic (oxygen instead of chlorine, for example) and ready to export to Japan, China and S.Korea.
Enrique, Spain
03/02/2015 04:27
2
1
Deripaska lecturing us on economy is a bit like Captain of the Titanic telling us iceberg can be tricky chaps.



Central Banks..most of which are privately owned. They create money out of thin air by giving (interest bearing) debt to others. The only way to get extra money into the economy is to borrow it from banks, leaving us all trapped under a mountain of debt(by the way real wealth resource rich Russian paper fiat currency debt is tiny, so NO PROBLEM there). Just becouse you cannot see the forest for the trees does not mean the forest is not there, I hate to see what losing looks like, Where is Jaker, Dundalk(completely lost his mind) and his warlocks when you need them?
Lazar, Moscow
01/02/2015 23:25
1
0
Are you reading this? Lazar?





Well it reflects mostly of what I've been saying for ages, "Here, There & Everywhere"!
Jaker, Dundalk
27/01/2015 08:16
0
0
Good idea. Like to hear more about these concepts.
Glenn Edgar, California, California
27/01/2015 03:53
0
0
1

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