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Front End

Brawn triumphs over class, Schroders touts track record, Last orders please, They live to roadshow, Privitization gives Mongolians the hump.

Anatoly Chubais left the Russian government on January 16 the same way he served it for over four years, with quiet class.

"I hope this has to do only with one individual, not a whole economic policy," the reformer remarked, tendering a resignation already ordered by president Boris Yeltsin.

The future of sound economic policy is far from clear, however. As head of the State Property Committee and later first vice-premier, Chubais quietly endured the slanders of every major post-Soviet blowhard from Ruslan Khasbulatov to Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Now Boris Yeltsin has added his name to the list.

Yeltsin's chief economic adviser Alexander Livshitz, a man of whom one generally expects better, kicked off the scapegoat campaign. First he patted history's greatest (by volume) privatizer condescendingly on the head as a "young man who will undoubtedly still do more for his country". Then he blamed him, among other things, for state workers being paid months late.

Yeltsin personally expanded the indictment to absurd proportions a few days later, announcing that but for the odious Chubais, the semi-official Our Home is Russia political bloc would have doubled its score in the December parliamentary elections, from 10% to 20%.

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