Opinion

Since the mid 30s of 20th century, pollsters from all over the world have been asking people about the most pressing issues that their respective societies are facing. In most instances, economic issues top the list. This is especially true for the countries of the former Soviet Union, where unemployment, inflation, low pay, inadequate social benefits and the like have been enduring issues that governments struggle to address.

The FINANCIAL -- The bouts of sharp lari depreciation in the recent months caused much anxiety among the population, prompting fears of inflation, loan defaults, bank failures, and the typical Georgian political speculations over “who is to blame”. 

The FINANCIAL -- Bubbles belong to the most fascinating phenomena in a market. Suddenly, people are willing to pay prices which are completely out of touch with the fundamental economic values of assets. In the stock market bubble of the 1920s, persons who had never before considered to become investors borrowed money and bought shares, so as not to miss out on the chance to become rich. Euphoria grew and grew, until even housewives, dock workers, and cleaning personnel had no other topic to talk about but the news from the stock markets. All this went on until in 1929 the bubble burst, triggering off the infamous World Economic Crisis.

The FINANCIAL -- In November 2014, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri varied across Georgian cities from 3.23 GEL, the minimum observed in Telavi, to 3.51 GEL, the maximum observed in Tbilisi. The average price was 3.34 GEL, 0.2% lower compared to the previous month (October 2014) and 2.4% lower compared to November of last year.

The FINANCIAL -- The average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri in November 2014 was 3.34 GEL, which is 0.2% lower month-on-month (m/m, that is compared to the previous month), and 2.4% lower year-on-year (y/y, that is compared to the same month of last year). However, Khachapuri became even cheaper for foreign currency earners because of a sudden GEL depreciation (m/m and y/y) relative to USD and EUR during the last two weeks of November.

The FINANCIAL -- The post-communist world lost one of its greatest sons last week – a freedom fighter who devoted his life to the daunting task of cleansing Eastern Europe and Eurasia from the shackles of Soviet thinking and bureaucracy. Like Che Guevara before him, Big Kakha’s legacy transcends national borders. His crusade for liberty and human dignity took him in 2004 from Russia to Georgia, and – in the last year of his life – from Georgia to Ukraine. He was eager to help revolutionaries and reformers all over the world, not sparing his time, money and effort to instill liberal ideas and incubate liberal institutions. He did so in many different ways: through education and public advocacy, advising reform-minded presidents and opposition leaders, and – when given the opportunity to do so in his native Georgia – designing and implementing one of the most ambitious reform programs in recent history.

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