And here we all thought that the global economy actually depended on the United States and the solid status of the dollar as a reserve currency. It may come as a shock to you to find out that we’ve actually been the problem all along. In fact, we’re essentially little more than ticks on the Bichon Frise of global finances. And what more reliable source for such thoughtful analysis than… Vladimir Putin?

“They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy,” Putin told the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi while touring its lakeside summer camp some five hours drive north of Moscow.

“They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar,” Putin said at the open-air meeting with admiring young Russians in what looked like early campaigning before parliamentary and presidential polls.

Let’s not mistake this for anything other than what it really is. Russia has elections coming up and Putin is positioning himself for either another run at the presidency or to be the kingmaker in the background. His tune hasn’t changed in a very long time either. Putin has a long history of rattling sabers and cranking up tension, increasing his popularity by trying to remind voters of the glory days of the Soviet Union. And it’s not too far fetched to imagine that many younger Russians long for the days they never knew when their country was a co-equal superpower on the world stage.

Putin’s calls go past bravado and into farce territory, though, when he suggests that perhaps the ruble should be the back-up currency of choice as a world standard. In terms of stability and strength, the ruble is approximately as solid as cottage cheese on a New York sidewalk in July. But, again, it’s easy to understand how he would want to pump up the national pride of a youth group like that as he seeks to marshal support for his future plans.

(ED: Even better if Putin “marshals” support.)