Academician Abel Aganbegyan in his speech during the online conference of the Higher School of Economics of RANEPA “Fighting coronavirus without destroying the economy” made an interesting and accurate cut of the macroeconomic situation in Russia. The blogger Ilya Fedorinin cited the main points of this report:
- You cannot leave a closed business without the support. Otherwise, enterprises will stop paying salaries and go bankrupt. Since 63% of people in Russia do not have any savings, they simply can begin to starve.
- Now 30% of enterprises are stopped and do not pay any money to employees. However, people do not receive unemployment benefits. In terms of unemployment benefits, Russia has one of the lowest rates in the world.
- There is no feeling that the government is aware of the depth of the crisis that is approaching: the scale of increasing poverty and reducing incomes.
- Today in Russia 20 million people are below the poverty line with an income of less than 12 thousand rubles. per month. Over the years of stagnation (since 2014), this number has increased by 5 million people. At present, the Russian Federation does not even have a project to reduce poverty. At the same time, 65% of the poor are working people. In this, Russia is a unique country. In all other countries, the minimum wage is such that if a person works, he cannot be considered poor, because work pays for family support.
- In the incomes of the population of Russia, the share of expenses given to pay to banks is one of the highest in the world. For example, in almost any European country, the population has a debt size, but gives 3 times less due to the significantly lower cost of loans. Banks are tightening credit conditions.
- The forecast of a fall in GDP from the academician in the year 20 is 5% (optimistic estimate). The real drop in income is 10-20%. An increase in the number of people below the poverty line - up to 40 million people (optimistic estimate - up to 30 million).
- The Ministry of Economic Development should have given its forecast by April 9th. Until then, there is no forecast.
- Since the economic decline is underestimated, so far there is not enough money allocated. To date, the government has allocated 3.5-4 trillion. The volume of GDP in 2019 is 109 trillion. Rub. Those. about 4% is allocated.
- For comparison, Italy allocated 20% of GDP only through non-repayable funds. France - 16% of GDP, Spain - 14%, England - 12%, USA - 10.4% (and now about the same amount is being considered additionally).
- In addition to non-repayable funds, assistance is provided in most countries in the form of free or cheap (with a rate of 1-2%) loans from repayments in a few years. These loan funds are the main help to citizens organizations.
- Of similar measures, we have reduced mortgages by several percent, but this does not compensate for the loss of people as a result of the crisis.
- China, finished the 1st quarter with a fall of -6.8%. Such indicators were last seen 50 years ago and reduced the consumption of Russian oil by 30-40%. This is the main consumer. At best, oil will recover in 22 according to an optimistic estimate. Pessimistic - by the age of 24. Losses to Russia's budget from a fall in the cost of oil and gas in the year 20 are projected at 3 trillion. Rub. (15% of the budget). The economic recovery of the Russian Federation to the level of 19 according to the optimistic scenario - also to the year 22.
What to do?
- First of all, it is necessary to take care of the income of the population. We need global, not individual measures.
- Even without the onset of a new crisis, the minimum wage and minimum pension in the Russian Federation are lower than the international requirements to which Russia has signed up (about 2-3 times). Without resuming effective demand, the economy cannot be boosted.
- It is necessary to turn the Central Bank to the problems of social and economic development. In order to overcome the crisis for 20-22, you need to allocate at least 15 trillion. rub. Assets of the Central Bank - the largest "money bag". Bank assets - 96 trillion. rub. If you add up all state money (all budgets, all extrabudgetary funds, etc.), in total they amount to 40 trillion. rub.
- To give a loan in the amount of 1 trillion. rub. at a zero rate, the Central Bank needs to compensate banks only 70 billion rubles. Such lending can extend the existence of many companies now preparing for bankruptcy.
- In 2008-2009, during the crisis, an anti-crisis program was drawn up. In 2020, there is still no such anti-crisis program. Most countries have already done it and accepted for execution.
- During the crisis of 2008-2009, 10.9% of GDP was mobilized to overcome the crisis. 211 billion dollars from gold reserves were spent to maintain the ruble exchange rate.
- This crisis will be deeper than the crisis of 2008. Especially in the field of income. Then, consumer goods turnover decreased by only 5%, while GDP decreased by 7.8%, and industrial production by 10.8%. Now the crisis is not so much economic as social: with falling incomes and unemployment.
- It requires the support of both the population and small and medium-sized businesses. Support is also required for systemically important enterprises. One of the conditions for assistance may be a reduction in the salaries of the heads of these enterprises to certain threshold values (especially for enterprises with state participation).
- Now the state has all the opportunities for help - huge foreign exchange reserves, the National Welfare Fund. In addition, the state has great opportunities in obtaining loans, since the total debt (external and internal) is about 15% of GDP, of which 3% is external debt. This level can be quietly increased to 30-40%. A safe level of 60% is considered. The USA has a total debt of 150%, European countries - more than 80%, China - 257%.
- Additional tools - a deficit budget and investments in fixed assets and in the “knowledge economy”
“Using these opportunities will prevent irretrievable losses.” Creating a vanished business from scratch requires an order of magnitude more costs than avoiding bankruptcies.