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Oil Must Go to $40 and Stay There to Buy Russia Some Reforms

  • $40 crude needed to prompt institutional reforms, survey finds
  • Government policy abroad and at home has tracked swings in oil
Employees pass beneath pipes leading to oil storage tanks at the central processing plant for oil and gas at the Salym Petroleum Development oil fields near the Bazhenov shale formation in Salym, Russia, on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014.
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
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At an oil price of $40 or below, Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced a flat income tax, built a sovereign wealth fund and delivered speeches to the Bundestag in German.

When it was over $100, he fought two wars with neighbors and splashed over $40 billion on a Winter Olympics.