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Russian mathematician had 'calculated' global slowdown

Russia's Victor Maslov had predicted the current economic global slowdown through his calculations. He says US shold focus on saving smaller banks who service individuals.

world Updated: Mar 13, 2009 16:37 IST

Viktor Maslov, a mathematician who is known for his accurate predictions on Russia's 1998 financial crisis and the break-up of the Soviet Union, had also long back predicted the current global economic slowdown through his calculations.

Maslov, a member of Russia's Academy of Sciences, said the processes now taking place in world economics are similar to certain phenomena in physics, Russia's government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported on Thursday.

"I am referring to what is known as phase shifts, when a situation worsens abruptly, not gradually, and transforms into a different state, like an avalanche," Maslov told the daily.

"Such processes are well known in physics, and are laid out in formulas of mathematical physics. They can also be applied to economics."

"Whether a crisis will break out or not, and even when this will happen, can be predicted," he told the paper.

Maslov said he had sold his apartment and country house in the summer, and sent the money to his children living abroad, advising them on how to invest it to survive the crisis.

Asked what advice he has for the US, where the crisis originated, Maslov said they should not rescue large banks whose debts have long exceeded the "critical level", but focus on helping smaller banks that service individuals.

However, he was short on recommendations for Russia: "Our economy is too closed, and a large share of it is a shadow economy. It is therefore impossible to calculate critical figures and have a clear picture."

First Published: Mar 13, 2009 15:45 IST