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Rescuer Seeks Rescue

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Vnesheconombank, or VEB, is the Russian state bank that has, over the past months, acted as the main instrument for implementing the government’s anti-crisis package, approving a massive $9.8 billion in rescue payouts just this week, on top of having already paid out over $7 billion in refinancing schemes.  Apparently, VEB’s mammoth transactions have scuppered its balance sheet, and the bank is in trouble.

Forbes has the story:

“It seems that everyone needs a bailout, including the people doing the bailing. Vnesheconombank, the state-controlled development bank in charge of the government’s $200.0 billion aid package, is asking for $34.0 billion from the state, according to Russian press reports on Wednesday. Fortunately for the bank better known as VEB, this is a request that has little chance of being thwarted, given that the chair of its board is none other than Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.”

A Vedomosti report points out that Russia’s international reserves total $449.9 billion, which means VEB is asking for over 7.5% of the country’s gold and foreign currency.