South Africa: Russia Rescued the Rouble - What Does That Say About the Rand?


Most pundits considered the capitulation of Ukraine to be inevitable. Its resilience was lauded, but the outcome of a conflict was deemed inevitable. A country of 44 million was not going to be able to resist a country of 144 million forever. And yet, Ukraine is resisting with enormous fortitude and skill. So chalk one up for the Ukrainian side -- at least, so far.

But for supporters of Ukraine, there is an uncomfortable truth; Russian finances are holding and, with enormous skill and creativity, the Russians have dealt with what could easily have been a financial implosion. Or have they?

Ostensibly, the measure for these things is the exchange rate. As South Africans know all too well, the exchange rate embodies three things: trade, political confidence and economic robustness. The rouble had been trading between €85 and €95 for some time. At the start of the war, it suddenly leapt to €144, in what can only be described as a rand-like gyration.

Not only this, but Europe and America have snookered Russia's best-laid plans by freezing all the Russian-held dollars and euros outside Russia that have been carefully boosted precisely to support the rouble.

Nobody knew you could do...

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