Yeltsin Scolds Tycoons

  • Share
  • Read Later
MOSCOW: Boris Yeltsin may champion market economics, but he learned his politics as a Communist Party boss in the Soviet Union. The scolding he delivered today to the country’s financial oligarchs for not showing sufficient confidence in the markets was redolent of the old days, when the economy did as it was told. “This is very much in keeping with his patriarchal style,” says TIME Moscow bureau chief Paul Quinn-Judge. “I don’t think Yeltsin has much grasp of the idea of a free market.”

Yeltsin had summoned the tycoons to discuss ways of stopping Russia’s dramatic market slide -- the stock exchange lost almost half of its value during May. The market appeared to heed Yeltsin’s words in the early afternoon, recovering half of the 10 percent it lost earlier in the day. But as therapies for the ailing market go, Yeltsin’s admonitions are no match for the soothing promises of IMF chief Marcel Camdessus -- who for now, at least, is keeping mum.