Scandalous results of SPIEF – 2021: Danya Milokhin took the place of Michael Calvey

How Tiktoker Sobchak laid down

Each SPIEF has approximately the same structure. First, there is a starting day (registration of participants and pre-events), then three days of the main program: the first is full of loud economic sessions and business events, the second is Putin and his fellow presidents from other countries, and until the third – few people “live “. This time, the starting day, on which the Creative Forum was held, caused almost more excitement than the key program. The organizers did a good job with the guests of the Creative Forum. For example, 19-year-old TikTok blogger Danya Milokhin was invited to a presidential-level event as a speaker. The guy “put on the shoulder blades” the participants in the session, but not with the talent for leading the discussion, but in the literal sense. He shot Tik-Tok, in which he asked the audience (and the hall was full) to lie on the floor, and Milokhin himself sat on the table. Ksenia Sobchak also took part in the performance. Moreover, she warmly welcomed the young man’s participation in the economic forum – they say, “The future is here.” But youth creativity, to put it mildly, “did not go” to everyone. Internet users, as well as traditional forum participants from among respectable businessmen and financiers, judging by the conversations, did not understand the futuristic message. “Hmmm, the SPIEF is no longer a serious event,” was said on the sidelines.

540 thousand for the color of the badge

The reason for disappointment at SPIEF for many “paid” participants was the cost of the “ticket”. Last time, in 2019 (then the forum was attended by a record 19 thousand people), the standard participation package cost 350 thousand rubles. In this one – 840 thousand rubles. Many people did not like such “inflation”, and even against the background of a pandemic and crisis. For the bonus package (it included a personal visit to the session with the participation of the president) they asked for 960 thousand rubles. But paying a million for a ticket to Putin was not enough. On the eve of the closed plenary session, premium participants began to receive letters stating that they would not be able to attend it due to coronavirus restrictions. As a result, the meeting with the head of state was attended mainly by officials and heads of the largest companies – people with red badges. According to rumors from the lobby, ordinary participants could change a blue badge for a red one for 540 thousand rubles. Well, seeing the president alive in the era of coronavirus restrictions is not a cheap pleasure.

By the way, the ticket for almost a million rubles does not include accommodation, travel, or meals at the forum itself. Prices in restaurants on the forum site are quite consistent with the participation price, that is, inadequate. For example, for a light cheese pan tomorrow you have to pay 1100 rubles, a regular vegetable salad costs 990 rubles. Even the bread and water are “golden” here. A plate of bread will cost 480 rubles, and a bottle of 0.33 ml of water – 550 rubles. Apparently, the logic of the organizers is as follows: if a person paid 800-900 thousand for participation, then he will not regret a thousand or two for a snack.

It remains unknown whether Dania Milokhin, who recently bought a Maybach, paid for participation in the SPIEF. But some of the invited speakers were asked to pay for the opportunity to speak, according to the co-owner of the cafe chain, public business ombudsman for small and medium-sized businesses Anastasia Tatulova. On the eve of the forum, she wrote in social networks that she refuses to pay 960 thousand rubles for the opportunity to speak at the forum and asked to cross out her name in the list of participants with the inscription “Rogue”. Roscongress later clarified that Tatulova applied as an entrepreneur, and that participation is free for public figures. As a result, the Ombudsman got to the session. And made even more noise.

In her emotional speech, she criticized the authorities for not understanding what small and medium-sized businesses need, for increasing tariffs for garbage collection by 5 times and fees for registering an additional agreement to a lease agreement – 22 times, for reducing insurance premiums for SMEs only “on paper “. The audience rewarded Tatulova with loud applause.

However, this was even before the session with Putin’s participation took place. The President devoted a considerable part of his speech to measures to support small and medium-sized businessesa, and the audience of high-ranking officials and holders of “million” tickets gathered in the hall also applauded him.

Overheated economy and dollar abandonment

On the very first day, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov played the role of the chief economic newsmaker. He said that the Ministry of Finance is refusing the dollar in the structure of the National Welfare Fund (there were 35% of them there). Russia will no longer invest in the “American” – it will only leave the euro, yuan, yen, pounds sterling and gold (they will be replaced by the dollar). Siluanov himself did not explain the reason, but First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov did it for him. As it turned out, Russia was offended by the dollar because of the sanctions. Plus, the de-dollarization process is underway, the Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov clarified. The head of the Accounts Chamber, ex-finance minister Alexei Kudrin called the decision “forced”. Independent economists saw this as a political gesture: our response to Washington’s anti-Russian machinations.

The second replicated statement by Siluanov is about an overheated economy. According to him, the growth of inflation (now about 5.9%) speaks of overheating of the economy and signals that it is necessary to normalize monetary policy. Simply put, low key rates are enough for us – they need to be raised in order to defeat inflation. Otherwise, according to Siluanov, we will face the depreciation of money, social benefits, and salaries. “Elvira and I walk in pairs,” said the head of the Ministry of Finance, nodding at his colleague in the macroeconomic session, the head of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina. She did not disclose any plans to tighten monetary policy, but said that it remains soft, despite the increase in the key rate to contain inflation.

Are prices going up? It seemed to you

Accelerating inflation for ordinary people is reflected in a noticeable rise in the price of food and consumer goods. However, according to Deputy Prime Minister Victoria Abramchenko, food prices in Russia have stabilized. According to her, in the last week, only the “borscht set” rose in price, and that was due to the seasonal factor. The largest contribution to food inflation was made by potatoes, which rose in price by 11%. It’s just that the harvest has been harvested.

In general, the thesis that “we are doing well” (with the economy, prices, overcoming the pandemic) ran through all sessions with the participation of government members. Even foreign guests of the forum were imbued with optimism with Russian specifics. Russia was praised by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva for the not-so-critical economic downturn compared to other countries. According to her, our government quickly caught on and averted the disaster. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, also noted Russia for its success in combating the pandemic. Interestingly, outside the walls of Expoforum (the venue of the SPIEF) – how many Russians who are not able to pay 800-900 thousand for participation in it share these laudatory assessments?

The government was also praised at Sberbank’s business breakfast, where all the cream of the Cabinet was gathered. The activities of the tax service and the pace of digitalization were especially praised. All this pissed off the editor-in-chief of “Echo of Moscow” Alexei Venediktov. He “attacked” the head of the Duma’s tax committee, Andrei Makarov, with a caustic remark: “I’ve already heard from you for all ten years that we have a brilliant government. First Medvedev, then Putin, then again Medvedev, then Mishustin. “

Makarov himself was also quite tough, although at such venues he often tries on the role of a provocateur. Speaking about the investment climate that leaves much to be desired, he said: “It’s the third day of the forum, and no one has been arrested yet. Already an achievement. ” Apparently, he remembered the sad fate of a prominent international investor Michael Calvey, who worked in Russia, a former SPIEF frequenter, who was taken into custody on the eve of the previous forum. Makarov also called on the state to think about what is more important: gasification of a small village or the construction of a second skyscraper for Gazprom in St. Petersburg. And he joked that because of the architectural development in the center of the northern capital, the skyscraper was not visible: “We should have built it higher.”

Judging by the mood on the sidelines of the SPIEF, many participants will think about something else: is it worth going here next time. Yes, here they listen to the president live, look for clients, conclude agreements, shake hands with partners and officials. However, the coronavirus crisis has hit even the richest, and for those who know the value of money, such events are increasingly turning into an unaffordable luxury. Although we, whose entire annual salary is equal to the cost of a “ticket” to the forum, the logic of billionaires cannot be understood. Probably, the prestige and the opportunity to “measure themselves” with stands is more expensive than we think.

SPIEF in quotes

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko on “the government’s enlightenment”: “We come in the morning and see on our monitors indicators of all deviations for all the measures that the government is doing. We are rapidly gaining insight, and on the basis of this we have data for making informed decisions, and not once a year when we see Rosstat data ”.

Anatoly Chubais, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Sustainable Development: “There is a widespread point of view that the West came up with climate change. It is completely, 100% inadequate, outdated and distorts reality. Those who advocate this point of view do not understand what is happening … Our business faces a very complex problem that will require deep restructuring. In my understanding, up to 100%. “

The head of the Federal Tax Service Daniil Egorov on the correct interpretation of taxes: “Taxes can be perceived as a tribute, or as an investment in the future.”

The first deputy chairman of the Central Bank Sergei Shvetsov on the future of cash: “Still, paper is an infection. They say – “dirty money”, and so we also received infectious ones. This is probably a waste technology. I think cash will also be marginal sometime in 20-30 years. The digital ruble will have to replace them. “

Ombudsman for SMEs Rights Anastasia Tatulova on the needs of entrepreneurs: “The main requests of entrepreneurs are profitability and safety. The entrepreneur doesn’t need anything else. From the word at all. Most of all he doesn’t need forums. “

Head of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes Andrei Makarov on the investment climate: “Michael Calvey again did not come to SPIEF. And believe me, not because I didn’t want to. Probably I couldn’t. “

Showman and media manager Sergei Shnurov on the mission of bloggers: “Are bloggers mass media? Are. The media is the media. Bloggers inform en masse. “

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