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Devaluation and Fear

Russia probably should devalue the ruble, but can’t afford to inspire a massive round of withdrawal and conversion panic. From the Financial Times:

Managing the rouble poses a similar challenge. The currency’s recovery has symbolised Russia’s Putin-era regeneration. Spending billions of dollars at a time, the central bank has in recent weeks kept it within its target range against a dollar/euro basket. But Russia has burned through $70bn of reserves since August, and cannot go on at a similar rate; crude prices are now below the $70-a-barrel balancing point for the 2009 budget. There is a case for Russia to allow the rouble to weaken to make manufacturers more competitive. For now, however, fears of a uncontrolled run on the rouble have made officials prefer to stress they have no plans for devaluation.