Decapitalizing Russian Capitalism

As a reform-minded economist in 1990, Grigory Yavlinskii was one of the principal authors of Transition to the Market, a work perhaps better known as “The Five Hundred Days Plan.” He is now a politician, a member of the Russian Parliament, leader of the Yabloko Party, and-according to current public opinion polls-a contender for the Russian presidency if elections are indeed held next year as scheduled. In February of 195, addressing the issue of monetary policy in Russian economic reform during a speech at the Yale Club, Yavlinskii made the following comments: “The shock therapy approach we have applied for three years now is a bad joke. The key policy error of this period . . . has been the supposition that monetary policy alone, or monetary policy foremost, would do the trick. . . . We need to think carefully whether these are the right tools at the opening juncture in transforming the economy.“

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