This is what the Economist forecasted in 1998:
- Russia would see inflation hit 10,000%
- GDP would collapse by at least 20%
- Communist rioters would storm the Kremlin
- Russia would break up into four heavily armed mutually antagonist regions
- Civil war would ensue
- GDP growth averaged 7.5% p.a.
- Forex reserves reached $600 billion
- 15-fold increase in pensions
- Sharp decrease in poverty
- Demographic stabilization, unprecedented political stability
- World's best debt and equity markets since 2000
While I have my reservations about the style of political stabilization under Czar Vladimir Putin one fact remains undisputed: Russia's resources will become a major political factor in Eurasia in the times to come when China and Europe will compete for it.