Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Russia's currency and Russia financial system itself is under full siege ( December 16 , 2014 ) -- Connecting the dots between the Ukraine situation and Russia's financial travails as oil falls and the ruble plunges !

Connecting some dots..... Updates since the Original post immediately below...

Must read pice from Brandon Smith may give insights as to part of the rush to axe Russia seemingly now ! IMF Spring Meeting set for 4/17 to 4/19 - 2015

IMF Now Ready To Slam The Door On The U.S. And The Dollar

Blacklisted News ....


White House officials are openly expressing happiness with their siege/war tactics that they say are throwing Russia into an economic collapse and are, as a scholar defending the siege notes, “hurting the Russian public’s ability to buy food or heat homes”. This eagerness to starve and freeze children is particularly relevant given the recent publicity of the US’s tactics of starving and freezing innocent detainees as well as people claimed to be “suspects”. 


Lurking behind the mainstream media's portrayal of a diplomatic victory lies the real story. On the surface it appears as if the Obama administration has finally done some needed landscaping on its backyard but this is more of a vehicle to remove allies from Russia and damage it economically. The Ruble is in free fall after the oil cartel took a hit albeit most likely a temporary one to damage its rivals. The most powerful government agency you have never heard of the Office of Foreign Assets Control has used sanctions like the most deadliest weapon on Putin associates and oil conglomerates. Cuba has deep relations with Russia going back decades and has much to offer the US otherwise there would be no reason for any relations. 


“A full-blown currency and financial-crisis scenario seems to be unfolding in Russia in what was supposed to a quiet week as we head into the holiday season,” Slava Smolyaninov, deputy head of research, wrote in an e-mailed report today. “There is a risk that the economy will come to a sudden stop, along with the banks and the overall financial system. Hence, we may have underestimated the level of financial risk in the event of a full-fledged panic. A bank run could be in the cards.” 


On Wednesday, the frazzled Russian Ministry of Finance tried to get a grip on the currency crisis that is annihilating the ruble by announcing through the Russian news agency Interfax that it began selling its crown jewels, the already dwindling foreign currency reserves, in order to buy rubles. It had an impact, at least for the day. This came after the utterly desperate Central Bank of Russia announced after midnight Tuesday Moscow time that it increased its benchmark rate by 6.5 percentage points to 17%, after having already jacked up rates last week to 10.5%. It was supposed to put a floor under the plunging ruble. 


In the news

  • SHARES. Russia's Finance Ministry said on Wednesday it was starting to sell its leftover ...

  • Anti War....

    White House Brags Sanctions Put Russia On ‘Brink of Collapse’

    Crippling Russian Economy Could 'Force' Putin to Obey US

    by Jason Ditz, December 16, 2014
    Confirming that they intend to impose a new round of sanctions on Russia, White House officials are seeking to claim “credit” for Russia’s recent economic woes, bragging that they have put Russia on the brink of an economic collapse.
    Russia’s current economic problems center around weakness in the ruble. Russia’s central bank raised interest rates yesterday to try to stave off further inflation, but the weakness continued in today’s trading.
    Wilson Center scholar Matthew Rojansky defended the sanctions, saying the logic behind them is to damage the Russian economy so much that it “starts hurting the Russian public’s ability to buy food or heat homes,” forcing Putin to act in the face of the crisis.
    Russia’s economy is far from pushing the average citizen to the brink of starvation, however, though a new round of sanctions at this point makes it clear that is indeed the US goal.

    Obama Will Sign New Russia Sanctions Bill

    Kerry Says Sanctions Could Be Lifted If Putin Takes 'Steps'

    by Jason Ditz, December 16, 2014
    The White House has confirmed today that President Obama will sign a bill into law imposing a new round of economic sanctions on Russia and authorizing military aid to Ukraine. The bill was “passed” by “Congress” earlier this week, which is to say the three members of Congress present at the time unanimously agreed to it.
    The bill gives President Obama the ability to waive the sanctions against individual companies if he thinks it is in national security interests, and officials said he was pleased with this “flexibility.”
    The sanctions are nominally punishment for supporting the rebellion in eastern Ukraine, even though Russia has brokered a ceasefire in the region that is holding.
    Despite Russia being the primary driving force behind the ceasefire, and the US not being keen on the truce at all, Secretary of State John Kerry says that the US could lift all sanctions on Russia in a matter of days if they take the “right steps” toward resolving the crisis in eastern Ukraine. What exactly these steps are from the US perspective remain unclear.

    Ukraine - looking at not just the restive East Regions but the restive rest of Ukraine ... Illustrative items of note... Ukraine simply couldn't vanquish the Separatists and Putin and Russia became the villain of the set piece..

    Putin discusses Donbas situation with Merkel, Hollande, Poroshenko: Kremlin

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    Ukraine, Separatists Fail To Agree On New Round Of Peace Talks

    Ukraine suspends social welfare in benefits in East after separatist election.Read on elections & reforms ?

    Ukraine financial strains prevent victory over the Separatists and things seem likely to fall apart at the seams..... ...


    Businesses sustaining losses due to emergency 

    power outages across the country

    Businesses sustaining losses due to emergency power outages across the country
    Many retailers and restaurateurs are forced to work without power for hours
    Photo: Konstantin Melnitskiy

    Over the last week, Sky Mall, which is one of the largest Ukrainian shopping malls, has been emptying out for a few hours every day. This is an unusual situation on the eve of the holiday season. “Electricity is being cut off for a few hours from Monday to Friday,” says representative of Sky Mall Olha Tkachenko. Power is cut off suddenly, at different times of the day, which immediately blocks operation of the mall. This means tenants cannot provide services to customers.
    Kyivenergo is limiting the consumption of power and is cutting off power to industrial enterprises, the company’s official statement reads. In this way Kyivenergo is fulfilling the requirements of the Ukrenergo National Energy Company. It ensures that for consumers electricity will be cut off for no more than two hours. “Kyivenergo demanded that Sky Mall reduce power consumption by 20%, which means it is forced to turn off certain systems,” says Tkachenko.
    Faulty operation
    The tenants in Sky Mall are not the only ones facing power outages. CEO of the Ultra Group of Companies (Baldinini, Levi's, Pierre Cardin, Lagerfeld and Guess) Andriy Makarov says the power is cut off from time to time at the Promenada Shopping Mall.
    Tenants of premises and facilities outside the shopping malls face the same problem. “Last Monday, power was cut off at 11:00 am and turned back on around 4:00 pm. The refrigerators in the kitchen, the cooling system in the bar, the coffee machines and the electric heating system were left without power,” says co-owner of the ProRock Pub Denys Novikov. He said the managers had no choice but to close the establishment because working in the kitchen with candles is a violation of fire safety regulations. Power is being switched off even in the downtown area of Kyiv, adds co-owner of the Fanera Project Company (fan-bar Banka, Zheltok) Anton Beletskiy.
    “But the greatest difficulties are in the regions, particularly in Dnipropetrovsk,” says co-owner of Zeebra (Butlers, Six, I am, Glossip, Peacocks) Dmytro Yermolenko. Makarov says that Ultra was forced to close its stores in Odesa and Zaporizhzhia for some time.
    “According to our observations, this week power outages were non-systemic and affected some districts in the cities in the Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Poltava, Odesa and Sumy oblasts,” said Chief Operating Officer at Rush (EVA chain of stores) Oleksiy Zozulya. Power outages were also observed in Kharkiv.
    Given the force majeure circumstances, business owners are not daring to count their losses. Managing Partner at the Retainet Consulting Company Oleksandr Lanetskiy believes that 2–3 hour power cuts in grocery supermarkets lead to losses of several thousands of dollars per day. The most important thing is that the equipment does not fail. Indeed, the press service of the Varus grocery store chain said that power is often cut off without fair warning.
    For restaurateurs the average revenue drops by 50% when electricity is cut off at night and the restaurants cannot prepare hot meals, CEO of the Restaurant Consulting Company Olha Nasonova estimated.
    Seeking a solution
    Such a situation may affect retail sales during the holiday season, which is considered to be the most profitable time of the year. Yermolenko says that traditionally chains of stores sell 100–150% more goods in December compared to other months of the year. But now stores in shopping malls are not only facing power cutoffs, but also calls from “bombers”. “Ocean Plaza alone was checked for explosives more than ten times,” said the expert, adding that in such cases the stores and markets have to close their doors for half a day or even a full day. The situation is aggravated by the fact that since the beginning of the year the sales of chain stores have declined by nearly 50%.
    Business owners have not yet devised a unified strategy for minimizing potential losses. During power cutoffs many non-grocery retailers use “soft checks”, which they issue to buyers. The situation is much more complex for grocery retail chains and restaurateurs, which use all kinds of equipment for proper operation, for example, refrigerators. “In extreme cases we use a generator and light candles on the tables,” says Beletskiy. However, in most cases buying a generator is not always justified.
    For full-time operation the pub needs a generator with a capacity of no less than 50 kW, which costs approximately UAH 95,000, according to Novikov’s estimates. For its maintenance the establishment will have to spend UAH 4,800–5,000 per day and the current cost of electricity is UAH 600 a day. “This is hardly a rational solution to the problem,” he says. Co-owner of the Furshet chain of supermarkets Ihor Balenko is also not ready to buy generators for all the stores. “Each one costs US $30,000–40,000, so it is virtually impossible to buy such equipment for 100 stores,” he said.
    Many tenants are trying to persuade their landlords to lower rents until the situation stabilizes. For example, Makarov is writing letters to all landlords with a request to lower the rent due to the problems with the power supply. Tkachenko says a decision on discounts has not yet been made – Sky Mall is examining the situation. Nonetheless, Makarov says managers of shopping malls are willing to hold talks assuming that they will achieve some concessions.


    's Juncker says will need $15bn more in financial aid as 5yr default probability seen by markets at 81%.

    Today is the day when we may find out if Ukraine is default or not (officially). Ukrainian govt bonds 2023 traded around 58 already.


    Credit Maidan' protest under Rada : Ppl took loans in foreign currency, now devastated bc of hryvnia devaluation

    Dollar at the black market now sell for 20 hryvnia

    denies Ukraine immediate financial aid. Popular unrest across EU sets limits to geopolitical ambition.

    Ukrainian PM appeals to EU for immediate financial aid


    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has pledged help to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as the former Soviet republic seeks billions of dollars to avert a default. The U.S. is committed to working with partners, including the International Monetary Fund, "to ensure that Ukraine will have the macroeconomic support it needs," Biden told Poroshenko in a phone call, according to an e-mail statement issued by the White House.

    Blackouts continue for several hours pr day: 25 power plants out, 20 are disabled because of low coal reserves

     Tore retweeted

    Talks with IMF have started in : Focus on public sector cuts, which acc to Yatsenuk, will be around 10 percent.

    Country on brink of disaster: Yatsenuk just said he wants to spend 5% (!) of GDP for defence, build army acc to NATO standards

    Poroshenko expected to announce Fourth wave of mobilization next week. prepares for more war | 112.ua

    Donetsk governor: We cannot leave ppl without light and heat . We have no choice,we have to buy coal from separatists

    MORE: Risks in gas transit via Ukraine remain 'extremely high' in winter - Gazprom Chief

    MORE: Russian, Austrian leaders discussed energy issues - Kremlin

    Ukraine War with Separatists going nowhere fast , Ukraine financial straits getting worse , time to turn the heat up on Russia !  Note how Russia's currency problems really began in the Fall . Shortly after the East Ukraine Separatists announced and then held their own elections in Lugansk and Donetsk ! 

    vs : AKA a chart directly related to how much we need to GTFO of Russia

    Updated chart. Russian ruble continues to collapse relative to the dollar. This probably won't end well.

    Of course , Tuesday was just nuts !

    Chart: Russian 5yr gov. bond yield. At these rates any lending or private sector bond activity grinds to a halt -

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    Russian government works out measures to stabilize currency market — minister

    Kuwait oil minister: OPEC meeting will not take place before June. Time to refresh Venezuela CDS

    Obama To Sign Off On Lethal US Aid To Ukraine By End Of Week, Russian Response To Follow

    "The USDRUB Pair Will Be Discontinued Due To Recent Instability Of The Russian Ruble"

    Turmoil Spreads: Ruble Replunges, Crude Craters, Yen Surges, Emerging Markets Tumbling

    USDRUB back to 72

    Rouble hits 80 to the dollar and 100 against the euro !


    RUB in free-fall ..... now USD > 68

    While everyone is talking about Ruble, Krone is down vs. US dollar. Dramatically.

    Oil sinks, Russian moves fail to quell nerves: LONDON (Reuters) - A plunge in oil below $60 and the failure of...

    Russian Stocks Plunge on Rate Rise, Resumed Ruble Falls: Russian stocks plummeted on Tuesday after the Central...

    ( from 58 after interest rate hike last night back to 66 today ! ) 
    Rouble hits new all-time low despite rate hike

    Rouble just hit 66 to the dollar, bad day ahead


    GOOD GRIEF! Rouble slides to new record low despite massive overnight rate hike

    Rouble is tumbling again after briefly holding up, and signs of elite battle breaking out. Kudrin criticising Sechin, Rosneft criticing CB.

    Russian Market -5.6% Gazprom -9.7% Lukoil -8.6% Vtb -6.3% Sberbank -9.7% Rosneft -9.6% Surgut -10.6% Sistema -18%

    Turkish Lira vs $: 2.3389
    Canadian Dollar vs $: 1.1656 Indian Rupee vs. $: 63.43 Brazilian Real vs. $: 2.6958 Ruble vs $: 62 - Ouch

    Whoosh! Ruble is strong after the last night affair. - Elvira, don't be shy next time. See you on January 30.

    All the interest in the ruble appears to have crashed the Moscow Exchange website, , this morning.

    OPINION: Declining oil prices: vs. (future) Shale? Columnist Afshin Molavi writes:

    Brent crude trades below $60/bbl for 1st time since Jul2009. WTI below $55/bbl.

    Central Bank's decision to raise key rates to 17% in current conditions necessary, correct - Kudrin

    No comments on sharp rise in key rates by Central Bank, Central Bank is independent - Kremlin

    still reviewing legislation for harsher on