Articles by Kim Iskyan



Why the Stock Market Is Doomed to Be Cheap

Russia's stock market is one of the cheapest in the world. As the conflict with Ukraine drags on Ч or escalates Ч it will only get cheaper.

Sri Lanka Is Good Example for Russia to Follow

It may be worth Putin's while to sit down with the Sri Lankan president to brainstorm.

5 Tips for Nabiullina and the Central Bank

She should ignore the independence debate. After all, Central bank independence is like vodka, soap or water: It's never completely pure.

Sorry Medvedev. Putin Won't Sell Off Sberbank

Late last week, President Dmitry Medvedev began to lay the groundwork for the state to surrender its controlling stakes in state banks, including the country's two biggest lenders, Sberbank and VTB. If implemented, this would be the most dramatic reconfiguration of the landscape of the country's banking sector in 20 years and possibly signal a wave of far-reaching reform in Putin 2.0.

What Happens When Putin's Krysha Leaks

The word in many quarters is that Putin 2.0 portends an era of tranquil stability for Russia, that investors should not fret over how Russia is run because real stability is on the horizon. Following the announcement that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will in essence succeed himself, self-interested brokerage houses breathlessly hailed the productive predictability that the next one or two rounds of Putin as president will bring, paving the way for waves of portfolio and direct investment.

The Upside of Privatization

ItТs easy to dismiss Russia's privatization plan for 2011-13 Ч in which 11 state-controlled firms are to be sold to raise as much as $30 billion Ч as a public relations snow job that will benefit only a small cabal of insiders. But there is a chance that this time it may this time turn out better.

Building Moscow So They Will Come

If Russia tries to force its global financial center concept on investors, it will deter the very capital it  is trying to woo.

Turning the Loan Spigot On

If Russian banks banks donТt start lending soon, the economy may continue to struggle to grow. But what should role should the government have in lending policy?

Fossil Feuds

Both East and West keep their eyes on the prize in Steve LeVine's history of oil in the Caspian region.

Fossil Feuds

Both East and West keep their eyes on the prize in Steve LeVine's history of oil in the Caspian region.

Going Native

Abandoned on Chukotka's arctic shores, a Canadian sailor learns the ways of an untouched tribe in Yuri Rytkheu's newly translated novel.

Going Native

Abandoned on Chukotka's arctic shores, a Canadian sailor learns the ways of an untouched tribe in Yuri Rytkheu's newly translated novel.

Fish Out of Water

There's no bridging the divide between Westerners and Central Asians in Rob Ferguson's memoir of his crusade to save the shrinking Aral Sea.

Fish Out of Water

There's no bridging the divide between Westerners and Central Asians in Rob Ferguson's memoir of his crusade to save the shrinking Aral Sea.

The Escape Artist

Was the author of Azerbaijan's national novel a Jew? A Muslim? A Weimar literary light? Deception was a matter of survival for chameleon Lev Nussimbaum.

The Escape Artist

Was the author of Azerbaijan's national novel a Jew? A Muslim? A Weimar literary light? Deception was a matter of survival for chameleon Lev Nussimbaum.

Russian Bear Ignores Celtic Tiger

The chances of President Vladimir Putin achieving his oft-repeated objective of doubling the size of Russia's economy within a decade might improve if he looked to Ireland as a source of inspiration.

Specter of Genocide

Getting to the heart of the Caucasus debate, five new books on Armenia reveal a country focused on its past and a future yet to be decided.

Specter of Genocide

Getting to the heart of the Caucasus debate, five new books on Armenia reveal a country focused on its past and a future yet to be decided.

Tug of War

Tracking the Caspian's history from different perspectives, two books draw a common picture of foreign imperialism.

Tug of War

Tracking the Caspian's history from different perspectives, two books draw a common picture of foreign imperialism.

Recognizing Armenia's Past and Its Present

Saturday is the 89th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, a dark episode of history indelibly carved into the souls of the 5 million people of Armenian descent scattered throughout the world and the 2.5 million people living in Armenia today.

Armenia's Opposition Has a Bloody Baptism

Until a few weeks ago, Armenia was a bedrock of stability compared to its neighbors Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Armenia in Russia's Embrace

Armenia is one of a small and dwindling number of former Soviet republics that assuages, rather than aggravates, Russia's hurt ego in what used to be its geopolitical backyard.

Covering Up Potholes Doesn't Fix Corruption

Corrupt activities in the developing world -- government ministers controlling local industry cash cows, traffic cops shaking down random motorists for a buck or two, tax inspectors squeezing small businesses until they bleed -- tend to be homegrown.

Armenian Oligarchs: Goldfish in a Puddle

Russia has many oligarchs -- not least the 17 Russians who made it onto Forbes magazine's list of the world's 500 richest people. No Armenian national, however, made the grade.

Blocks and Contortions In Armenia's Economy

Try this: Block one of your nostrils, cover one eye, put one arm in a sling and stand on one leg.

How Armenia Got All The Wrong Numbers

Mobile telephony is a ringing success in the otherwise deeply imperfect Russian (per)version of capitalism.

Revolutionary Bug Is Not Too Contagious

Opposition leaders throughout the former Soviet Union paid close attention to Georgia's recent ""Rose Revolution"" -- and no one took more copious notes than would-be revolutionaries in neighboring Armenia.

The Merits of Political Instability

The increased volatility engendered by the Yukos affair and its fallout, coupled with the collapse of the system of oligarchic capitalism, may ultimately prove salutary for the long-term development of Russian democracy and civil society.