Bruno S. Sergi, PhD, teaches International Economics at the University of Messina and “The Political Economy of Russia and China” at Harvard University (June-December 2012), and he is a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Fall 2012. At Messina he also coordinates the PhD program in Economic Sciences and Quantitative Methods.
Sergi is an economic expert to the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels, a Fellow of the Lab-Center for Competitiveness at Grenoble School of Management, and he is a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for EMEA Banking, Finance and Economics at the London Metropolitan Business School.
In addition, at the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels Sergi coordinates two networks of trade-union economic experts: the Southeast Europe Trade Union Economic Experts’ Network and the Eastern Europe Trade Union Economic Experts’ Network, both of which are under the framework of the Pan-European Regional Council of the International Trade Union Confederation.
He has been adjunct professor, visiting professor, fellow or researcher at Harvard University, New York University, the IMF, CERC-University of Melbourne, the University of Latvia, Prague International Business School, City University (Slovakia), ISM University of Management and Economics (Lithuania), Warsaw School of Economics, University “Aleksandër Moisiu” (Albania), several central banks in Europe, and the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels. He has been an Honorary Fellow of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne (2010- 2011).
Sergi is author and editor of books on transition economics, international macroeconomics, and global business. Some include Economic Dynamics in Transitional Economies (Routledge 2003); Global Business Management (Ashgate 2007); The Political Economy of Southeast Europe from the 1990 to the Present (Continuum 2008); and Misinterpreting Modern Russia: Western Views of Putin and His Presidency (Continuum 2009).
Sergi’s work has appeared in quality international journals such as Global Economy Journal; Journal of Post Keynesian Economics; Global Economic Review; Problems of Post-Communism; Russian and East European Finance and Trade; Frontiers of Economics in China; Transition Studies Review; Économie Appliquée; Eastern European Economics and many others. His primary research interest is international macroeconomics and the political economy of transition countries.
He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Trade and Global Markets; International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies and International Journal of Monetary Economics and Finance.
Paradoxically, Russia has very low central government debt – around 10% – and external debt a bit over 2%. Therefore it is unnecessary to use devaluation as a tool to minimize the national debt. Instead, the biggest reason the ruble is continuing to slide is the reduction in export earnings and increasing capital outflows. Devaluation, as long as it occurs on a large scale, could help Russia’s export sector, since Russian policymakers probably expect the global commodity market will continue slowing in China and the rest of emerging and advanced countries.
The crisis in Western Europe at its core consists of low economic growth, poor economic and political governance, and high sovereign debts of European countries, but the effects of international speculative attacks on the EU could easily spillover to Russia. If Russia were to dramatically reduce its oil exports to Western Europe, the effects will be severe on the economy of the West as a whole.
The world economy deserves financial stability and a strict and coordinated policy on the financial side. Having a new world currency, in addition to the US$ and the Euro as key reserve currencies at present, would be beneficial as long as it meets the need for more world stability.
Russia is about to move toward even a much slower economic growth until 2014, which will be inadequate and close to actual stagnation. This is one more confirmation that despite higher oil revenues in the past, no one in Moscow or elsewhere has ever tried to elaborate a truly credible strategy for economic growth.
Healthy electoral competition between Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin could be the natural end of the “dual power” relationship in Moscow, giving Russians the final choice on who should reside in the Kremlin for the next six years.
In the Russian Federation and across the post-Soviet space the ruble is currently of fundamental economic importance. Its role in the European context and at the global level is no less significant, and remains coherent with the country’s political, economic and geographical position. Enjoying “reserve currency status” would involve a strengthening of Moscow’s role in the region, it would benefit the internationalization of Russia’s economy, and would help foster stronger economic and financial ties with other economies in the region and worldwide.
Russia has seen foreign direct investment shrink dramatically: levels have halved since the economic boom, and due to the current downward pressure, are now virtually at a standstill. This fact is indeed discouraging. Russia needs to take resolute action to attract more foreign investment, Russia’s Finance minister and deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin said recently.