We read with interest the Oct. 22 comment, "Russia's Top Economist Needs to Face Reality," by Anders Aslund in this newspaper. While it is gratifying to see that Aslund emphasized the price of oil as the predominant factor in the Russian economy -- an argument we have made for a long time -- we would offer a different interpretation of recent events and their impact on Russia's economy right now.
It's great fun to explain a sudden boom or bust in the stock markets after the fact by alluding to some unique event that happened to occur at just that time. Anyone can do it, and no one can refute you, since the experiment cannot be repeated. Normally, it's also an innocent exercise.