Russian Asset Prices Today

Ruble down about 7%, sovereign bond yields up 4.7 percentage points in 6 days, stock market down 1/3 in one day.

The policy rate remains the same since being raised on 2/11, and we don’t know what the change in reserves are (see latest observations I have in this post) – although there are reports that the central bank is going to start intervening again, which it hasn’t since 2014.


81 thoughts on “Russian Asset Prices Today

  1. Paweł Skrzypczyński

    This aggression must be costly as it gets for Russia. However, no cost will bring back the lifes that will be lost.

    1. pgl

      Concur. I hear that there are protests of the invasion by Russian citizens in both St. Petersburg and Siberia. What is Putin going to do – put his own citizens in jail?

        1. Macroduck

          You’ve misconstrued Braun’s position. Braun’s stated view is that the West has used tools which are too soft. He didn’t say the U.S. has gone soft. You’ve made the sort of mistake that someone whose brain has soaked in Bannon juice would make.

          In fact, Braun’s position is Biden’s position – that stronger tools should be brought into use. Braun’s view is also objectively correct. If Putin wasn’t deterred by the sanctions threatened till now, and the goal is deterrence, then stronger sanctions are needed.

          We are well past the time when “politics end at the water’s edge”. Bruce Bannon here and others like him see conflict with our foreign adversaries as an opportunity for political gain, no matter the cost to U.S. allies and interests.

          Putin wants the U.S. divided. Bruce means to help him.

          1. Bruce Hall

            Hard to misconstrue this:

            Aurel Braun is a professor of international relations and political science at the University of Toronto, as well as an associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Harvard University. He says so far, leaders in countries like the U.S. have used tactics that are too soft, which is why Russia is escalating its presence in the Ukraine.

            It appears sanctions against Russia haven’t been enough. Braun says the lack of defence armament from other countries makes Ukraine a soft target. Meanwhile, diplomacy talks with the US have only appeared to make Putin more emboldened.

            You eliminate the Biden sanctions and the diplomacy talks and what are you left with, ay?

            Damn “chicken hawk”.

          2. pgl

            “Putin wants the U.S. divided. Bruce means to help him.”

            Brucie is after all a Trump traitor. But did you notice his incredibly lame replies to us? One would think with all of Putin’s and Trump’s money they could hire a better mouth piece!

          3. Macroduck

            Yes, that’s what I said. Funny thing is, you’ve testified against your claim that Braun said the U.S. has gone soft.

            I repeat, you’re are helping Putin in your effort to score political points against your own government.

          4. pgl

            “you’re are helping Putin in your effort to score political points against your own government.”

            Macroduck needs to realize that Bruce Hall’s government would have been led by King Donald I. Bruce is opposed to the old fashion American democracy.

          1. Bruce Hall


            You found one Canadian and you think he speaks for the entire nation? Yep you are an utter moron

            You like to appeal to “authority”. What’s the matter with this authority? Oh, yeah, he doesn’t support your weltanschauung.

        2. Moses Herzog

          There’s no one who supports or loves semi-truck drivers more than me. But it was a misguided effort, some of the semi drivers behaved like undomesticated animals towards journalists, and they chose the wrong issue to oppose. Therefor it was doomed for failure. When truck drivers mature a little more, get some knowledge in their heads beyond FOX news and bad am radio, then they’ll find better things (such as re-forming of a strong labor union) to flex their collective muscles on.

        1. baffling

          you seem to be of the mindset that a violent insurrection and assault on the us capital does not warrant a response. strange. if that had not been maga hatters desecrating the capital, would you feel the same way and give them a pass as well?

          1. Anonymous

            no different than hundreds of mostly peaceful burning looting mayhem mostly peaceful riots ….. ‘scept it scared pelosi

            who is more citizen than george floyd!

            sacred symbols of democracy!!

          2. baffling

            “no different than hundreds of mostly peaceful burning looting mayhem mostly peaceful riots”
            no. it was an assault on our nation’s capital.

            but let me ask you, if that had been a mob of angry Mexican immigrants instead, would you still be defending them? you know, the one’s trump has so eloquently described in the past.

    2. Moses Herzog

      It’s tough to watch. Of course for America there’s a fair share of self-interest involved. But I also believe the U.S. cares for our European neighbors (both Western Europe AND Eastern Europe) more than they imagine. Although militarily America has semi-shamefully abandoned Ukraine, there are complications with NATO etc. America will be there for Europe in her hour of need—assuming MAGA and the Republicans don’t obstruct sanctions legislation. The U.S.A. is going to be there if things get more rough than they are already. Biden is a good leader, you have a much better friend in Biden, than you did with the orange abomination. Biden is gonna lead, bank on it friend.

  2. pgl

    $1 used to buy 60 rubles but now it can purchase nearly 90 rubles. Trump should take his dollars and move to Moscow permanently,

      1. pgl

        “Three correspondents from RFE/RL’s Russian Service have been detained in Moscow while covering a rally against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The journalists were arrested despite one of them telling police repeatedly that he was a representative of the press. According to a video of the arrest that one of the journalists filmed and managed to transmit, he also tells the officer to stop using physical force against him. The nearly two-minute shaky video shows the journalist being escorted away after nightfall on Pushkinskaya Square and being placed into a police bus with more than 20 other people inside.”

        Putin lied to Russian citizens. They are not buying it. Putin wants to suppress the press but these stories are getting out. The best way to stop this thug is to keep spreading the truth. Thanks for this link as it is crucial.

  3. pgl

    FAA has expanded the no fly zone for all of Ukraine, Belarus, and part of Russia. This will mainly affect cargo flights which may delay the shipment of Bruce Hall’s precious caviar. You know – feeding the needs of traitors like Bruce might become too difficult for him.

  4. rsm

    Why are economic constraints no object for Putin, Erdogan, Assad, Maduro? Did economics matter to Mugabe’s long life?

    1. pgl

      I would say good point but then we have Princeton Steve man splaining how his supposed economic solution would have worked.

      1. Moses Herzog

        I think these economic sanctions are going to have more leverage with Putin than people are now realizing. These type things take time. I think if the foreign currency reserves drop quite a bit, and oil prices rise then that when the pain will start to mean something. That doesn’t mean the threat of eventual military force shouldn’t be used in tandem, it just means that the sanctions will have weight over the long-term. It’s certainly the best option if you’re not going to militarily protect non-NATO countries. But because of the potential having his own nation turn on him, I can pretty much guarantee Putin is watching that closer than many people perceive ATM.

        1. baffling

          if people argue that economic sanctions are too weak, they do not seem to follow through on the thinking that the next step is a military confrontation. as you noted, at this point we are not going to send the military into a non-nato country. those arguing against economic sanctions are arguing that we should now have a direct confrontation with Russia. not sure anybody is prepared for that, yet. it will be ugly.

          1. pgl

            Can you imagine Princeton Steve and Bruce Hall leading the fight against the Russian army? Putin would laugh “make my day”.

          2. Moses Herzog

            I just hope they get Germany “on board” on cutting off Russia on the SWIFT. This is a failure in German leadership.

  5. ltr

    February 24, 2022

    Chinese mainland reports 186 new COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 186 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with 85 linked to local transmissions and 101 from overseas, data from the National Health Commission showed on Thursday.

    A total of 112 new asymptomatic cases were also recorded, and 774 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation. Confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland now total 108,380, with the death toll unchanged at 4,636 since January last year.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Meanwhile genocidal leader looks the other way while ally invades neighbor while falsely accusing them of genocide. But not surprising that somebody who makes false accusations and does not apologize is a mouthpiece for such a leader.

        1. Anonymous


          cryptic is not becoming!

          i am at loss whom you call genocidal?

          as to neighbor which country is that?

          why would that genocidal leader care for the neighbor’s national integrity?

          your emotionals are not becoming either

          1. Barkley Rosser


            Are you really so dumb as not to know whom I am referring to here? Which nation has been officially accused of committing genocide in one of its large regions, hint hint, that official accusation coming from the US government?

            You were probably not around then, but at the time I actually questioned the use of the word “genocide,” which has competing definitions. Clearly by the looser definition genocide has been committed in the nation in question (if you are still having trouble here, I note that it is defending the nation claming another is committing genocide, and that would by Putin falsely accusing the Ukrainians of committing genocide and being led by “pur Nazis. Are you getting this yet?). The older and stricter defcinition of gendocide involves outright mass killings as Hitler did in the Holocaust. But many consider actions like sterilizing women to constitute genocide.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      The actual great gate is there in downtown Kyiv. It is not all that big, seems a bit small given the grandiosity of that piece of music. But it is in a very funky looking structurel.

          1. Moses Herzog

            [ in my best Groucho Marx impression ] Your tablet is a Russian Nationalist. [ rimshot ] I’ll be performing in the Borscht Belt next Tuesday.

    1. baffling

      what does this have to do with what is happening in Ukraine,, the point of the post? your repetitive posting of irrelevant material is annoying, ltr. in fact, it is rude. when you hold a conversation with somebody, do you also constantly change the topic to your choice of irrelevant propaganda?

      1. rsm

        Wait a minute, have you been trolled? Has the CCP troll farm got game, or whut?

        Regarding Ukraine, how would dropping a Fed dollar-denominated CBDC basic income on Ukrainians hurt as they flee unchecked Russian aggression?

        Will more stringent sanctions just catch up a lot of harmless business activity in its wide net, having unnecessary unintended consequences, as regulators scrutinize more and more private transactions, or just ban things outright just to be sure?

        Is it too radical to ask why universal basic income, generous and inflation-proofed, isn’t the nonviolent solution to most of your problems?

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          rsm: Let me get this straight. A CBDC denominated helicopter drop in Ukraine will stop the Russian tanks from rolling on to Kyiv? Or the refugees are going to access their funds by way of the laptops they’re fleeing with?

          1. baffling

            I almost would rather get a comment from ltr than rsm. at least ltr does not post incoherent items, for the most part. just propaganda.

          2. rsm

            Doesn’t everyone have a celphone? Can we beam in uncensored internet? How would doing so possibly makes things worse?

            Is basic income simply not dismal enough for economists?

          3. rsm

            Menzie, are you saying we can’t use satellites, drones, balloons, whatever to get internet in despite Russian interference, so Ukrainians would at least not have to worry about money on top of the violence?

          4. Menzie Chinn Post author

            rsm: I’m saying a typical phone doesn’t receive satellite transmission. At least mine doesn’t. Are you asserting that a typical cell phone owned by a typical Ukrainian does?

          5. Baffling

            Unless all transactions are done online, a digital drop of funds does not help. Power is out. You need actual physical cash in those instances. A digital drop does not help with that. But you are making a case for crypto in general, so i can’t fault you too much.

  6. Macroduck

    The weakness of the Ruble means increased inflation and rising interest rates, both of which help bring the cost of the war home to Russians. Maybe Russia’s people will save Ukraine’s people from Putin.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I was thinking mass protest by the Russians, or possibly even better, a large/mass boycott of consumer goods by Russians might really tip the scales. But that is probably pie in the sky fantasy on my part, as asking an already burdened populace to take on even more is really a major ask. It’s arguably unfair to ask regular Russians to do this.

  7. Moses Herzog

    I guess this is a number to keep an eye on?? I noticed one of the Russian officials made a smart-aleck remark about what Europeans “new normal” would be:

    That Russian official’s blanket comment to Europeans and getting some sadistic thrill out of Europeans paying more for natural gas reminded me of Mainland Chinese’ comments about foreigners (usually aimed at European blooded, but also Japanese). It never seemed to dawn on them how they “told on themselves” that they thought 20+ different countries “hated” them, but the problem couldn’t possibly lay within themselves~~It was those 20+ other nations that had the problem. Like the guy who broke up with 20 different girls or divorced 4 wives and never stopped for self-reflection. Well, I imagine, unlike the Mainland Chinese (who really DO take it personal as their own state propaganda insists on it), I imagine the Russian official himself knew what he was spouting was propaganda convenient to the moment and might make Putin happy.

  8. Moses Herzog

    Shall we switch attention, if but for a few moments, on positive news in a depressing stretch here?? Both German PMI data and USA PMI data have been pretty good lately. It can’t hurt to look for mental respite in a dark moment.

  9. pgl

    If you are wondering why Putin has his kill list, he may have already told us that it is related to this Revolution of Dignity:

    Apparently madman Putin has been angry at the people that put this forward. Yes – he is truly insane as Donald Trump. Neither thug should ever be allowed to be the commander of any nation with a military.

    1. baffling

      as Putin gets older, he becomes more dangerous. he knows he has a limited lifespan, but thoughts of everlasting grandeur will begin to dominate his thoughts. that will begin to outweigh materialistic gains.

    2. Anonymous

      i suppose you know about “de-russifications” that started to affect 13 million russians trapped in stalkin’s kluge. the powers that be installed in 2014 even organized a ukraine orthodox church to split the populous like henry viii.

      i suppose you can disprove the allegation that there is a formal neo nazi unit in kiev’s ‘order of battle’ the ideologic descendants of the battalions fighting in france in 1944-5, as well as ambushers of soviet generals beating von manstein back.

      the us wants to ‘balkanize’ everything in the world to maintain the unipole..

      these ideas come from listening to what the enemy says….

      so far 56% disapproval biden is looking at 26% who care about kiev and that 26% knows nothing of substance about what they care about.

      so much propaganda …..

      1. Barkley Rosser


        What on earth are you reading? This is going from incoherent to outright insane.

        I have never heard of 13 milliion Russians being “de-Russified” in “stalin’s kluge.” Yikes.

        And this was followed by a claim that somehow in 2014 “the powers that be even organized a ukraine orthodox church to split the population like henry viii.” This suggests that this church was somehow cooked up in 2014. Sorry, A., that church happens to have been around for centuries, but was long suppressed under Russian rule, which favored the Russian Orthodox Church over it. There have long been disputes over which one should own which church in Ukraine.

        You really should stay away from making comments about Russian and Ukrainian history and society. You make Moses Herzog look like a Harvard professor of those topics.

  10. Bruce Hall

    Now those are good charts, but what is missing are the offsets: the value of Russian assets since 2019 … gold, oil, precious metals, minerals.
    • Gold is near $2,000/ounce; Russia has almost 2,300 tons.
    • Oil is hovering near $95/barrel; Russia has almost $8 trillion in oil reserves and over 100 years of natural gas reserves
    • Russia and Ukraine account for about 30% of the global wheat export market (oh, and U.S. soybean recovery is due to South American drought)

    Most of what Russia imports can be sourced elsewhere, especially China. Suppose Russia started demanding payment in Yuan instead of $US to smooth purchases of needed items from China?
    Would that put Europe in a bind for what they import from Russia?

    Russia is hardly an import-dependent nation like the U.S. so they are not going to be swayed too much by exchange rates with the dollar.

    It’s really boiled down to two things:
    1) Russia wants a buffer between itself and NATO and NATO was unwilling to formalize an agreement that Ukraine would not be included in NATO
    2) The West and especially Biden is highly risk averse and that has emboldened Putin

    Biden is an empty suit to Putin.

    One might ask, since the whole tense Russian-Ukraine situation began with Obama’s administration in 2014 and resumed last year in Biden’s administration, why did Putin not take action during Trump’s administration. It’s really quite obvious: Putin couldn’t get a good read on Trump because Trump was unpredictable. Trump didn’t hesitate to order the killing of Soleimani who had been a thorn in the U.S. side for a long time. Trump said he wouldn’t bring the U.S. into the Syrian conflict and then he bombed the hell out of ISIS in Syria using nearly 5,000 bombs. Even Lil’ Kim in North Korea was hesitant to step on Trumps toes… not so much with Biden. Putin likes predictable milquetoast leaders.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      This is not about what “Russia” wants. It is about what Putin wants, him alone. Latest poll had only 36% wanting unification with Ukraine vs 4% against, and there have been major demos in 50 cities, with this likely to get worse with the worsened economy. Putin has become isolated and taken with the “traditionalist” philosophy of Alexander Dugin, who is also admied by Steve Bannon (yes!). Gugin is the emimense grise behind Putin taking Crimea.

      To folks in general, it has been noted that i was overly optimistic about what might happen, although fully aware of this disturbing situation with Putin, who I think has really lost it. I was probably a victim of wishful thinking, but this was partly because I knew if things went badly it would badly affect my family, not details, except that indeed my wife is currently in the ER. This invasion put her there, and I am not at all surprised that this is what has happened, given ongong health problems she has had.

      So, to Moses, keep that in mind when you strut about pumping your fist on your chest in triumph over the current situation.

      1. Bruce Hall

        Well, yes, what Putin and oligarchs want…. When have the Russian people had much of a say in the past century?

        What do the “American people” want? To most, Ukraine is someplace in the European sticks and the U.S. has no vital interests there. Biden certainly wanted a distraction from his growing list of failures at home and abroad. So, did Biden want a Russian invasion to create a distraction and give him the opportunity to position himself as a “strong leader”. Never let a crisis go to waste.

        The problem is that NATO never seriously entertained what Russia (Putin & Co.) wanted. Oh, and the Russian people?
        Maybe it’s unlikely to last as the article says, but for now….

        1. Anonymous

          what the american people want is no concern to think tank experts like fionna hill and retired corporal* vindman who lead biden .

          if you posed it to the people as “we are out to surround russia, give them a 4 minute warning time to decide to shoot off the doomsday machine” …. let’s see how that goes

          or “do support balkanizing russia like we dissected yugoslavia”? this question is pertinent to countries with “minority populations within”. and some of them (india) are seeing it. those dissections are usually bloody and as there is civil war in bosnia they do not come out well.

          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Anonymous: Isn’t he a former “Lt. Col.” – not a corporal (that was Hitler’s top rank if I recall).
            Also, I don’t recall Mr. Vindman having a position in the current administration.

          2. Moses Herzog

            Neither is Fiona Hill part of President Biden’s administration that I know of. I think she’s at Brookings and promoting her recent book. I think if I was President Biden I would put both her and Susan Rice and my national security team, but strangely Joe never phoned me to ask.

      2. ltr

        I happened to notice the saddening remark about your wife being ill and wish you to know that this indeed saddens me. I hope with all my heart that your wife strengthens quickly.

        I will have your both in my thoughts through this time.

        May you be well.

      3. Moses Herzog

        Oh Damn, it looks like Barkley Junior found my TikTok video where I did my dance around the living room wearing only my boxers when I found out all those Ukrainians were dying. Well…….. this is embarrassing. And all because I am so shallow as to tell Barkley he was wrong on about 4 things related to Russia/Ukraine that he had stated as concrete fact or forgone conclusions. How will I ever live down this deep shame?? Does anyone know how to delete dance celebration videos on TikTok??

    2. pgl

      Did Putin appoint you as his economic advisor? I hope so because that will assuredly bring the Russian economy to its knees!

    3. baffling

      “why did Putin not take action during Trump’s administration. It’s really quite obvious:…”
      it is quite obvious. trump would give Russia whatever it wanted, without the need for confrontation. all those hypersonic weapons? developed while trump was in office. trump did nothing to hinder the buildup of weapons in Russia. as usual, somebody else must clean up the mess.

  11. Anonymous

    petroleum prices today….

    way up in the pre-open hours…..

    by close in ny, back to up a little over 1%.

    biden is threatening to release more crude oil stock from the “reserves” and asking eu members to release some of theirs’ held in the us caverns…….

    my energy speculation has been blunted….. i was busy getting ready for the snow…. milk bread eggs for french toast!

    btw the november (w/repayment and other stipulations) release has not shown up, so is this new release plused up or is it on top when they finally get around to the release…. after heating season?

    inventories should be built in the summer!

    why would opec+ want to plus production when biden tosses out reserves at the smallest geopolitical quake?

    the net us inventory is unchanged by putting reserves in the commercial accounts!

  12. ltr

    February 21, 2022

    We are in an unprecedented era of UK relative macroeconomic decline

    UK real GDP per capita since just after WWII:–tdp9iA9b0p0znjaNhuB6Ky2jjLKzDWdkart5fZDiILLPDc15te4EhDbTtGrLXw_AKFObl2hHUt0M18Ehci_uMHRL0H6Tt6hohX3XN0zNulOcSRgyHiblbc9IntuXYL5GVHFk8z-hzY-vhBqIWFEZ2jvOA=w640-h360

    It shows a remarkably constant trend rise of output/income per head of 2.25% per annum since 1955. The booms of the mid-70s and end-80s, and the recessions of the early 80s are only just visible, but thankfully the trend in GDP per capita always reasserted itself. Until, of course, the period after the Global Financial Crisis, when it didn’t in a quite spectacular way.

    Not only did we not bounce back in any way from that recession, but GDP per head started growing more slowly. (These observations are so much clearer when using GDP per head, rather than GDP which is strongly influenced by inward migration.) I watched and blogged in horror as the gap between the previous trend and what was actually happening to living standards kept growing wider.

    The little blip at the end is the pandemic of course, and once again using GDP per head shows clearly how we are yet to fully recover in terms of living standards. At the end of 2021 GDP per head was almost 4% lower than it was in 2019. (Once again, it shows how misleading using GDP data is if you are trying to gauge anything to do with welfare.) Remarkably GDP per head at the end of 2021 was only around 5.5% higher than it was at the end of 2007! (That is annual growth of less than 0.4%!).

    However, using a constant trend rate of growth of 2.25% as a reference point was a convenience rather than a realistic aspiration. The main reason is that trend growth has for some time been slowing down across the world. What to use instead? In the chart below, I compare the UK to the global technological leader, the United States. I make no attempt to make a realistic comparison of levels of income per head, which is in any case distorted by factors like workers in the US have less holidays than we do in Europe, for example. I’m just concerned with the trend rate of growth in GDP per capita.

    I have scaled US GDP per capita so that it matches the level of UK GDP per capita from the mid-50s until the mid-80s. UK and US living standards were growing at a similar rate over that period. There was much angst in the UK at the time about economic decline, but that in part reflected a dynamic Europe, and also we were not catching up with what is generally agreed is a large level’s gap with the US. You can see by eye that US trend growth in GDP per capita starts to decline as we reach the middle of the period.

    — Simon Wren-Lewis

  13. rsm

    《Suppose Russia started demanding payment in Yuan instead of $US to smooth purchases of needed items from China?》

    Suppose traders ignore what Russian politicians say?

  14. rsm

    Menzie, are you saying we can’t use satellites, drones, balloons, whatever to get internet in despite Russian interference, so Ukrainians would at least not have to worry about money on top of the violence?

    1. Barkley Rosser


      It would appear that he has suggested exactly that, although he did not say so absolutely. Nobody can say it would be impossible, but offhand it looks highly ujlikely. Why on earth do you think that the US would be sending drones and balloons over Ukrainian air space in the midst of an all out war for the purpose of allowing Ukrainians to get money? Frankly, I think this is one of the last things the US government is likely to do, and indeed it would be completely insane to be wasting resources on doing so, given how many other needs the Ukrainian people have in this situation that are far more important.

      I continue to be amazed at how absurd the things are that you come up with. This one reaches another peak of this.

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