The policymakers who met during the recent Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund faced some somber news regarding prospects for the global economy. Although global recovery continues, it remains uneven in advanced economies, and emerging economies are adjusting to rates of economic growth lower than those reached in the pre-crisis boom and post-crisis recovery.

The FINANCIAL -- The post-communist world lost one of its greatest sons last week – a freedom fighter who devoted his life to the daunting task of cleansing Eastern Europe and Eurasia from the shackles of Soviet thinking and bureaucracy. Like Che Guevara before him, Big Kakha’s legacy transcends national borders. His crusade for liberty and human dignity took him in 2004 from Russia to Georgia, and – in the last year of his life – from Georgia to Ukraine. He was eager to help revolutionaries and reformers all over the world, not sparing his time, money and effort to instill liberal ideas and incubate liberal institutions. He did so in many different ways: through education and public advocacy, advising reform-minded presidents and opposition leaders, and – when given the opportunity to do so in his native Georgia – designing and implementing one of the most ambitious reform programs in recent history.

The FINANCIAL -- In October 2014, the seasonal rally of ISET’s Khachapuri Index came to an unexpected (temporary) halt. At 3.35GEL, the Index dropped 0.1% both month-on-month (relative to September 2014) and year-on-year (relative to October 2013).

The FINANCIAL -- When Armenia entered the Russia-dominated customs union in 2013, fear spread among the Georgian public and policy makers. It looked as if Georgia would be economically squeezed in between Russia and Armenia, the latter being one of Russia’s staunchest allies in the region and, given its geopolitical dependency on Russia, sometimes seen as a little more than a Russian agent. 

Georgian and Western officials reacted with serious concern to statements of now sacked Georgian Defence Minister Irakli Alasania, who last week claimed a series of arrests in his ministry over alleged corruption were “obviously politically motivated” and represented an “attack on Georgia’s Euro Atlantic orientation.”

The FINANCIAL -- After consistent increases in two previous months, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri stayed at 3.35 GEL in October 2014, unexpectedly bringing the Khachapuri Index to a halt. The Index dropped 0.1 % month-on-month (compared to September 2014) and year-on-year (compared to October 2013). 

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