The Harvard Boys Do Russia – Brief Article

The Harvard Boys Do Russia – Brief Article – Letter to the Editor

Sir:

I can’t believe that the Naval War College actually gave Harvard’s Jeffrey Sachs space in your publication [“The Geography of Economic Development,” Naval War College Review, Autumn 2000, pp. 93-1061. Where are your heads? You should have published Anne Williamson’s or Janine Waddell’s articles on Sachs, Summers, Hays, Rubin, and the rest of Harvard’s one-world crowd. You need to get hold of Waddell’s article “The Harvard Boys Do Russia” in the Nation–not exactly a right-wing tome–and also Anne Williamson’s excellent testimony before Congress on Harvard University and their part in the rise of the Russian oligarchy.

A George Washington University expert on the Soviet economy, Dr. Waddell has stated that “Harvard professor Jeffrey Sachs and other Western economists participated in meetings . . . to promote a plan of ‘shock therapy,’ eliminate price controls, subsidies[,] . . . [but produced] instead hyperinflation that hit 2,500 percent.” One of the results was that investment capital evaporated, as did the savings of the Russian people. As a result, Professor Sachs suggested that Western aid in the form of money allocated by Congress should be offered in order to stabilize the Russian economy.

It was in an alliance with Anatoly Chubais and the Harvard Institute for International Development–including Sachs, Andrei Schliefer, David Lipton, and Jonathan Hay–that the current Russian monstrosity began to take shape. With the unequivocal support offered by former Harvard professor (now president) Lawrence Summers, the monster had the form of capitalism without the basics necessary for democracy and a free market.

Jonathan Hay’s influence on the development of the Russian economy began during the George H.W. Bush administration. He received a grant from USAID to help form a new free-market Russian economy. In this effort the Harvard Institute raked in $57.7 million to aid in establishing a “new” Russian economy. But what developed instead was a creature without direction or a hope of success.

The Harvard coterie–including Sachs–encouraged Chubais’s deceit and pilfering of massive amounts of Western aid. They did this by circumventing various Russian agencies and the Duma, standing by while Chubais used a form of “executive order,” or presidential decree, to get around the Russian governing bodies. To the delight of the American experts involved in economic policy decisions, Russian economic policy setters took a page from the Clinton administration. This “stroke of a pen, law of the land”–a fatal and corrupt blend of American policy generated by its “experts”–did nothing to establish even the barest form of free-market capitalism in Russia.

Loans were granted with less than sensible oversight, as billions of U.S. and foreign dollars went to what Dr. Waddell calls “tycoon capitalism.” After 1991 approximately $3.65 billion had been given to Russia in the effort to develop a free market economy. In 1996, the IMF, backed by the United States, gave another $10.2 billion. In July of 1998 Russia received $11.2 billion, with more to follow. According to Waddell and Anne Williamson, Venyamin Sokolov, head of the Russian equivalent of the U.S. General Accounting Office, has stated: “All loans made to Russia go to speculative financial markets and have no effect whatsoever on the national economy. And it is the Russian people who are responsible for repaying these loans.” Again, as in other cases of economic interference by large financial institutions, U.S. government experts, and really short-sighted economic policy, the average Russian is very little better off than before.

Dr. Frankenstein, as embodied by the Harvard experts, has merely allowed the enrichment of the experts and a slide toward economic and political chaos in greater Russia.

The bright spots in Russian-American economic cooperation have come from the private sector. Dr. Tucker Hart Adams, president and CEO of the Adams Group in Denver and head of the American-Russian Collaborative Enterprise, has a long history of economic relations with the Russians. However, her experience is not with the Chubais crowd or the Harvard experts; it is with the new class of entrepreneurs in Russia who are involved in the “economy off the books.” She maintains that a significant middle class is growing in Russia. While oligarchs grow rich and a significant number of Russians are impoverished, a multipart economy has developed. The old state sector still exists, with several layers, along with the new, mostly off-the-books, economy. With respect to American expert help, she states, “Most of our foreign aid went to American accounting firms and consulting groups, not to Russian businesses. Russia desperately needs foreign capital.” She insists that Russians are investing in Russia but that because of the onerous tax structure, businessmen route profits to offshore entities, which then return them to Russia as foreign investment. Some Russians are merely investing through an offshore back door.

In an exclusive interview, Dr. Adams stated, “We assumed that things like basic honesty in business transactions with strangers, respect for law, seeing others’ success as validation that you too can succeed, are human nature. They aren’t. I’ve learned over the past ten years, ‘Give me liberty or give me death’ is part of our American culture. The average Russian just scratches his head if you talk about that.”

To give Sachs space in your publication, aside from his free speech rights, shows a want of understanding; I wonder what is up with your editors. Sachs is the last one who should be designing our globalist future.

So seek the services of Anne Williamson or Janine Waddell or Jude Wanniski (a former Reagan advisor), who have a better grasp on the way of the world and the direction it is headed.

DIANE ALDEN

Holly Springs, Mississippi

COPYRIGHT 2001 U.S. Naval War College

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