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In relation to the Soviet empire's demise, I came across some new insights in a book called _Investment Biker_ by Jim Rogers who is an investment banker and was, in this book at least, a fairly devout Republican.

As he rode his motorcycle through the waning pieces of the Soviet empire in the early 90s before the coup, he frequently noted that much of the Soviets' demise was due to falling commodity prices of the late 80s. While many Americans like to think Reagan's tough talk let the Soviets back down, the USSR's relative lack of funds due to low oil prices had a crushing effect on their economy--kind of like the Texas economy of the late 80s. Their crutch had been kicked out beneath them

Now the ex-KGB chief Putin has begun to flex Russia's muscles once again as oil and commodity prices rise.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Absolutely correct. All commodity prices fell due to CHINA joining the world's economies.

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