Money Unmade: Barter and the Fate of Russian Capitalism
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russians have seen the ruble steadily lose ground to alternative means of payment such as barter and privately issued quasi-monies. Industry now collects as much as 70 percent of its receipts in nonmonetary form, leaving many firms with too little cash to pay salaries and taxes. In this ground-breaking book on the Russian economy, David Woodruff argues that Moscow's inability to control the nation's currency is not a carry-over from the Soviet past. Rather, the Russian government has failed to build the administrative capacity and political support demanded by monetary consolidation—a neglected but crucial aspect of capitalist statebuilding.Drawing on a vast array of empirical evidence, Woodruff shows how the widespread use of barter arose as local authorities tried to protect industry against the destructive effects of price increases and crude tax and accounting systems. As businesses fled or were driven from the money economy, provincial governments invented new ways to tax in kind and issued substitutes for the ruble. In turn, the federal authorities, unable to coerce firms either to operate in the money economy or to abandon business altogether, were forced to make accommodations to barter and to ruble alternatives. Woodruff describes the enormous fiscal difficulties that resulted and recounts the intense political battles over attempts to address the problem.Through an overview of monetary consolidation in other nations, Woodruff demonstrates that the struggles of the new Russian state have much to teach us about the political history of money worldwide. Sovereignty over money cannot, he argues, be imposed by government on a recalcitrant society. Nor can it be assumed as a by-product of disciplined policies aimed at market reform. Monetary consolidation is, at heart, a political achievement requiring political support.
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Making Money Multiple 19241933
Things Come Apart 19871991
Benders Revenge 19921993
Money Unmade 19931994
Monies Multiply 19941996
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accepted allow argued argument arrears August authorities barter cash Central Bank chapter circulation command economy consumers created Credit Reform crisis currency customers debtors debts demands effects efforts Ekspert electric power energy enterprises etary February Finance firms fiscal funds Gaidar Gazeta Gazprom Georg Simmel giro Gosbank governor Gregory Grossman hard-state liberal hvestiia in-kind taxation industry inflation institutions interenterprise interview issue January Kommersant Krasnoyarsk loans macroeconomic market reform means of payment ment Michael Burawoy Ministry monetary consolidation monetary policy monetary system money economy money supply monies monopoly Moscow nomic nonmonetary exchange nonpayments October official organization Party percent Perestroika Polanyi political power companies price liberalization Primorye problems production productivist provinces Real Bills doctrine receipts regional regulation revenue ruble Russian Samara sector Segodnia shortage social Soviet economy Soviet monetary suppliers tion transactions Transformation triple movement University Press Vesenkha Vladivostok wechsels Yeltsin
Page vi - ... invented systems of exchange, attempts to turn the word into the world, sign into value, script into currency, code into reality. Of course, everywhere, even in Slaka, there are the politicians and the priests, the ayatollahs and the economists, who will try to explain that reality is what they say it is. Never trust them; trust only the novelists, those deeper bankers who spend their time trying to turn pieces of printed paper into value, but never pretend that the result is anything more than...
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