Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back to Baku

I'm back in Baku - after a month in Moscow. Uneventful trip back. Easy - in fact.

On the way into town, I was seeking updates from the taxi driver - who said not too much has been happening. The elections were a month ago - and really not much happened after that. Everyone knew the results of that election months earlier. One interesting observation: I asked if the "financial crisis" had affected Azerbaijan much. He said no. Not at all.

In Russia, it's the subject of many conversations and more headlines. But not so in Azerbaijan. Why? Fewer loans? Less economic development - and hence an economy that is less integrated into the world economy? Azerbaijan's economy - like Russia's - depends on its gas and oil wealth - but somehow the drop in prices don't seem to have shaken Azerbaijan as much.

Or - maybe it just seems that way.

4 comments:

JTapp said...

Russia's capital markets are much more open and bigger than Azerbaijan's, that's one reason. But, the drop in oil is affecting all kinds of things in the state budget, I'm sure. Nothing concrete yet on the IMF website, but it won't be long.

Parliament voted to pull their 150 troops out of Iraq.

JTapp said...

Actually, the first place you should see something come up is NBA.az, the Central Bank website. It's a nice tiny bit of government transparency.
I'm eager to see what their US dollar foreign currency holdings are for October, when the data is released. If you see it drop from the previous months, then you know they're working to defend the currency.

Eric said...

Interesting. Thanks for the tip. I notice that the dollar if anything has weakened a little against the manat over the last month - but it was getting noticeably stronger vs. the ruble in the last week or so.

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