Steering an economy through treacherous waters

Professor Richard Portes talks to the New York Times about the leader of Russia’s Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina

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In an interview in The New York Times, London Business School's Professor Richard Portes talks about Elvira Nabiullina, the Central Bank of Russia’s leader since 2013 who is credited with shoring up the ruble and Russia’s defences against global sanctions.

“She’s been the very model of a modern central banker,” said Portes who has shared panel stages with Ms. Nabiullina at conferences.

“She was doing what she had to do,” he said, even when it was politically difficult. “If you want a demonstration of the alternative,” Mr. Portes added, “you need look only at Turkey,” where years of political interference in the central bank have allowed inflation to run out of control, reaching 70 percent this month.

Described as personable, focused, always well-prepared, an advocate of market forces despite her Soviet-era economics education, Ms Nabiullina became a rising star for using orthodox policies to manage an unruly economy often tethered to the price of oil. In 2015, she was named Central Bank Governor of the Year by Euromoney magazine. Three years later, Christine Lagarde, then the head of the International Monetary Fund, effused that Ms. Nabiullina could make “central banking sing.”