Putin’s Economic Team Plays Houdini

The prestigious US data and media company Bloomberg analyzes the gradual economic recovery of Russia and moves of Putin’s economists that have led to that, emphasizing above all the successful measures taken by the Governor of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiulina.

Last week, the Russian central bank’s currency reserves increased for the first time since last July, showing that the economy may have moved past the panic caused by last year’s oil price slump. Perhaps Russia’s improving indicators will convince Western governments that economic sanctions are having no discernible effect and that President Vladimir Putin’s regime and the country it runs aren’t facing imminent collapse.

Russia has lost a little more than a quarter of its foreign reserves since mid-July 2014:


The decline was particularly sharp last December, as the central bank frantically sought a way to stop the ruble from losing value against the dollar. The much gentler slope on the chart — beginning in January — says more about the structure of Russia’s foreign reserves than about chronic depletion.

In January 2014, Russia held $131.8 billion of U.S. debt. As its relationship with the U.S. deteriorated after the revolution in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, Russia began shrinking its dollar reserves and increasing the share of euros and gold. While the reserves as a whole dropped 23.9 percent in 2014, the holdings of U.S. debt fell 37.6 percent, to $82.2 billion. Russia now holds less U.S. Treasury securities than Ireland, Turkey or Singapore.

Russia remained a “big market economy” that can not be destroyed by several restrictive measures, concludes Bloomberg’s analyst.


Source: Bloomberg view

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