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<P><I>I haven't read enough of the <a href="http://robotwisdom.com/">Robot Wisdom Weblog</a></I>, I thought to myself as I was banging away on my MALD thesis tonight, and so I procrastinated a bit by reading <a href="http://www.cepr.net/err/2006_01_09.htm">this report</a> from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. In it was a nice zinger about <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/03/international/europe/03putin-Q.html?ex=1293944400&amp;en=78fb6eee3e99c334&amp;ei=5090&amp;partner=rssuserland&amp;emc=rss">an article</a> in the <i>New York Times</i> about Russia, Ukraine and natural gas:
<P><code>This article reports the dispute over the price of the natural gas that Russia sells to Ukraine. The article notes that Russia has been selling natural gas to Ukraine at far below market prices. It now wants to raise the price to the world market price. The article implies that an immediate rise of this magnitude would impose a severe burden on Ukraine's economy.
<P><code>
While this view is certainly plausible, it is worth noting that the IMF has often argued the opposite, specifically in the case of Russia. Rather than seeking a gradual path from a centrally planned economy to a market economy, the IMF insisted on "shock therapy," the immediate conversion to a market economy. While this policy resulted in an economic collapse in Russia (its economy shrank by more than 40 percent), the IMF has never explicitly acknowledged this plan as failure, and no one publicly lost their job because of their bad advice. </code>

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