Fri, 4 March 2022
Featuring on Flash Back Friday today is episode CW 384 first published last June 12, 2014.
In 1991, the Soviet Union blew apart at the seams when Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev resigned and handed over the nuclear missile launching codes to Boris Yeltsin, president of Russia, the largest republic. No one knew what would happen next. It was an exciting and scary time to for an American to visit, but that is just what Phaedra Fisher decided to do a few years later, in 1994.
Jason Hartman welcomes Ms. Fisher, author of Vodka Diplomacy, to the microphone of The Creating Wealth Show to discuss her time spent in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union. With degrees in Russian and economics, recent graduates like Fisher were in great demand as this former superpower tried to figure out how economic reform would play out after nearly a century of communism.
Could these economies that had never experienced even a whiff of capitalism survive privatization and inflation?
From the back cover of the paperback edition:
In the pages of “Vodka Diplomacy,” Fisher talks about the two years she spent working on aid projects in the former Soviet Union.
* Why she was so eager to dive into what was perhaps the most chaotic point on the globe directly out of graduate school
* How the World Bank, the United States, and other countries hoped to build a democracy and, more importantly, why their efforts were doomed to fail
* Proving property ownership in the complete absence of a title registration system
* The reality of the Soviet Workers’ Paradise – not a paradise at all
* Conditions on the ground: no credit cards, only cash, and a national currency (ruble) that tanked at an exponential rate
* Laws were more like suggestions, depending upon whom you could influence
* And much more…
This firsthand account of how a global superpower turned into a banana republic on the world stage is a fascinating listen.
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