In this series we will publish weekly cutouts from the book by Kristian Niemietz
The straw men that were once alive
Those Fishy-Looking Russian Economic Stats Look A Lot Like Those Fishy -Looking Soviet Economic Stats
When Russia's state statistics agency released its initial estimates of 2018 economic growth on February 4, it caught economists, investment bankers, financial analysts, and many others off-guard.
It wasn't because the reported gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.3 percent was earth-shattering, or even that it was the country's strongest showing in six years. It was that Rosstat's figure bettered even the most optimistic forecasts, with experts having predicted something in the range of 1.8 to 2.1 percent.
Sixty years ago, while thousands of Cubans were celebrating the fall of the regime of Fulgencio Batista, a fevered atmosphere filled with a mixture of hype and hate was taking over Havana. Few foresaw what was coming next. On January 1, 1959, the Republic of Cuba was killed. Not many wept for her loss — some were too busy packing their bags, others were taking advantage of the political vacuum by looting the capital’s shops.