The dead man grasps the living. The corpse of the old world is
decomposing among us, poisoning everything alive. That corpse stinks!
It may be autumn, but metaphorically it seems to be springtime in
Russia once again. Boris Yeltsin is back, in fighting form, after an
eight month absence due to heart surgery and subsequent pneumonia. He
has given a free hand to Anatoly Chubais and Boris Nemtsov, who were
installed in March as first deputy prime ministers with a mandate to
revive market reform. These two men are the sort of politicians
Western observers like to see at the helm in Moscow--young,
forty-something technocrats who are healthy, telegenic, and fluent
both in English and in the language of IMF stabilization programs. It
is 1992 all over again: what some Russian commentators are calling
"the second liberal revolution." International markets are
enthusiastic, and money is pouring into Russian shares and bonds at
the rate of $1.5 billion a month. The Moscow stock exchange has risen
150 percent since the beginning of the year.