We thank Mitch Mokhtari for useful discussions and providing the price data used in this study, Jean-Francois Richard for his comments and Michelle Haigh and Steven Lehrer for research assistance. Berkowitz gratefully acknowledges financial support from the National Science Foundation under grant SBR9730499. 1 " As winter looms and food runs low, Russia's regions are growing hungry – for power. Behind worries that Russia might not have enough to eat lies a more menacing shortage. The central government doesn't have enough authority to stop tree lines and hedge lines and hedgerows from turning into borders between rival fiefs and would-be statelets… What haunts Russia today isn't the passionate separatism that galvanized the Baltic Republics into revolt in the last years of the Soviet Union and fired Chechen fighters in the 1994-96 war with Moscow. It is instead the banal and often bungling defiance of Soviet-bred barons eager to keep bread cheap, sausages plentiful and their own interests secure.