Immobile Capital and the Politics of Corruption: An Interview with Lawrence Markowitz

In April 2015 we had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Lawrence Markowitz, Assistant Professor of Political Science & Economics at Rowan University. Dr. Markowitz has researched and published extensively on the politics of state failure and authoritarian rule in Central Asia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of State Erosion: Unlootable Resources…

Kazakhstan announces shift to floating exchange rate in 3-5 years

The Central Bank of Kazakhstan’s governor, Kairat Kelimbetov, tantalizingly announced once again that it intends to move away from its currency peg to the dollar and move towards what it called an “inflation targeting” method, implying a switch to a floating exchange rate regime. Bloomberg conducted an extensive interview with Kelimbetov where he explicitly stated…

Kazakhstan: Country Votes in ‘Hardly Visible’ Election

Presidential elections are being held in Kazakhstan this week. Though there is a multiplicity of candidates in the running, only one is expected to receive a significant percentage of the vote: incumbent Nursaltan Nazarbayev. Nazarbayev, the first and only president of Kazakhstan following the collapse of the Soviet Union, published an op-ed in a prominent…

Kazakhstan: Government Mulls Snap Election

Kazakhstan appears poised to hold a snap presidential election. The group that govern the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan (APK),the organization that represents Kazakhstan’s ethnic groups, has called for the election on the grounds that holding it now would allow Kazakh president for life Nursultan Nazarbayev to focus on issues most pressing to the country.…

Kazakhstan: President Declares Readiness for $40/Barrel

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his government’s readiness for oil prices as low as forty dollars per barrel. The Kazakh leader convened a press conference which was broadcast across the country seemingly to reassure anxious Kazakhs that the company does indeed “have a plan” should oil prices continue to drop. The speech, while replete…