The ruble collapsed. It depreciated by 10% this Monday and 20% this Tuesday. The total depreciation this year has exceeded 50%. The Russian stock market also collapsed, with the RTS index plummeting 19% on Tuesday, the biggest drop since 1995. The crash of the ruble and the Russian stock market is the biggest event in recent days, and the international crude oil price crash is related to each other and echoes each other, and has become a global hot spot.
Yesterday, we explained in detail on WeChat that the West’s strangulation of the ruble led by the United States is a long-planned event, and the United States is preparing to do the same in Hong Kong against China. The latest news once again proves that the rope that strangles the Russian ruble is being tightened further.
According to reports, the White House announced on the early morning of December 17 that President Obama will sign a new aid to Ukraine bill, which includes further sanctions on Russia’s weapons and oil industries. White House spokesman Josh Ernest said he expects Obama to sign the "Support for Ukrainian Freedom Act" by the end of this week.
In fact, the U.S. Senate passed the bill unanimously last Saturday. The content of the bill is to approve the U.S. government to impose new sanctions on Russian weapons companies and investors in high-tech oil projects. The Ukrainian government provided 350 million U.S. dollars in military assistance, hoping to further pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin. Republican Senator Bob Kok, one of the initiators of the bill, said that the unanimous passage of the bill by the Senate shows what he called "resolute maintenance of Ukraine's sovereignty." However, before the Congress voted, the White House stated that unilateral actions taken by the United States may cause differences between Washington and Europe.
From the above news, we can see that this bill was passed last Saturday, and the fall of the ruble on Monday and Tuesday is obviously directly related to this. Because the funds for shorting the ruble and international oil prices are mainly from the West, led by the United States. At this time, the two parties in the United States passed such a bill unanimously in order to put pressure on Russia and at the same time encourage the Ukrainian government to continue fighting the civil war to delay and consume Russia. From this we can see that the United States has increased its wire rope for strangling the Russian ruble.
Prior to this, Deutsche Bank issued a warning to Russia: “Deutsche Bank believes that the reduction of sanctions in the West and the improvement of liquidity in the foreign exchange market are necessary conditions for the stabilization of Russian asset prices.” From this sentence, it can be said. What to read? It can be read that this is the threat of the West against Russia, that is, only when the West reduces sanctions can the Russian economy truly stabilize. In other words, only when Russia surrenders to the West will the West narrow its sanctions. Of course, if they do not yield, the West will continue to increase sanctions.
How did Russia express its stance?
After the United States passed the new sanctions bill last week, the Russian side made a strong statement. According to information reports, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement on the 12th: "The "Support for Ukrainian Freedom Act" has a blatantly confrontational nature. It won the U.S. Congress without debate and normal voting. Approval, this will only arouse our deep regret." The statement also said: "We will not bow to threats, will not give up our national interests, and will not allow interference in our internal affairs."
Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on the 13th that if Washington imposes new sanctions on Moscow because of the Ukraine crisis, Russia will take countermeasures.
It can be seen from the above that Russia has shown sufficient toughness in the face of the noose headed by the United States. Russia's uncompromising determines that the West's currency war against Russia will not stop soon, but will continue to increase. Of course, for Russia, even if it compromises, it will inevitably choose the opportunity to get rid of Russia based on the habits of Westerners. Because, in the eyes of the United States, Russia is now the biggest stumbling block to the United States’ national strategy, and it must be removed before it can fully deal with China. Putin's government is well aware of its own situation, because Russia has experienced it once in the 1990s. For Russia, only by being tough enough can you get the packageWith the support of non-Western forces including China, Russia will not be defeated by the West.
How is the situation in Russia now? Although there are media reports that there has been a panic buying in Russia and shelves being emptied, this is not the case. Although the ruble and the stock market collapsed, Russian society did not collapse as expected by the West. According to the clarification made by the Moscow correspondent Lu Yuguang, the order in Russia is normal. In addition, many netizens contacted friends living in Russia, saying that there had been no large-scale panic buying incidents, and there was no chaos in social order.
In fact, Russia has also taken a series of measures, including heavy penalties for price hikers, and even criminal responsibility if the prices are raised illegally. At the same time, the Russian government has also taken administrative measures to reduce oil prices and stabilize agricultural prices. Wait. However, due to the collapse of the ruble, there are still a large number of people rushing to buy imported goods and line up for exchange to avoid risks.
Regarding the Russian currency and stock market crashes, we have already analyzed the situation in Ukraine and the US-Russian conflict earlier, that is, the probability of Russia’s economic collapse is relatively large, but we have also given the analysis conclusion before, that is, the Russian country There will be no collapse due to economic collapse (for specific analysis content, please refer to the analysis of Zhanhao WeChat in the past, WeChat ID: Zhanhao). In fact, although the ruble and the stock market have collapsed, the Russian economy has not collapsed.
Then, in the face of the inevitably collapsed currency, the stock market, and even the Russian economy on the verge of collapse, why does Russian society not collapse because of the rouble, the stock market, or even the collapse of the economy?
Why did Russia collapse?
We know that in the 1990s, the Russian economy collapsed because of believing the West, and even during most of the 90s, the Russian economy and society were in collapse Or on the verge of collapse. So, why did Russia collapse and not collapse this time? According to Zhanhao (WeChat ID: Zhanhao), there are four reasons:
First, Russia’s strength is not the same as in the 1990s. Same day.
In the 1990s, the Soviet Union had just disintegrated. Although Russia inherited most of its legacy from the Soviet Union, due to the collapse of the entire economic system of the former Soviet Union, the country was divided, and its economic operation was in a state of semi-paralysis. At that time, Russia had a serious shortage of supplies, and on the other hand, it had no experience in learning from the West to engage in marketization, so it blindly believed that the United States used the so-called "shock therapy" to "treat" the economy (for details, please refer to the book "The Great Game: The Crisis of China" Analysis of the relevant chapters of "The Machine"), after the shock, Westerners hid from the side and watched haha. As a result, the Russian economy was in complete shock, and the GDP was seriously regressed. Before the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the Russian economy had been experiencing negative growth. At the same time, Russia was also trapped in the Chechen War. However, the past 10 years have been different. The Russian economy has grown rapidly due to the sharp rise in oil prices. With the exception of 2009, the GDP growth has been positive, and the strength has been strong.
In the 1990s, Russia basically had no foreign exchange reserves. Today, Russia has almost 400 billion US dollars in foreign exchange reserves available. In addition, it also holds more than 1,000 tons of gold, which is also related to the international people’s livelihood. Much better than in the past. Although Russia has always had relatively serious inflation, it has been able to be controlled within 10% in the past four years. More importantly, although the sharp drop in oil prices has put tremendous pressure on the Russian economy, Russia's oil exports have not been affected in any way, and the large-scale energy cooperation with China has also reduced Russia a lot.
It is an objective fact that a large country with reserves for more than ten years is now facing huge economic difficulties, but it is only huge economic difficulties and will not be easily defeated.
Second, the international environment is very different from that at that time.
In the international environment of the 1990s, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the United States launched the Gulf War and the Yugoslav War. At that time, no country was capable of daring to challenge the United States. A Russia that lingered in the ruins of the collapse of the Soviet Union did not A few countries are watching, and everyone is only looking forward to the United States.
Today in 2014 is quite different. The US military and economic crisis have greatly reduced its strength. At the same time, it is the rise of other major countries in the world. Today, China’s economic strength is the second in the world, and its GDP is more than half of the US’s GDP. According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund’s calculation of GDP based on purchasing power parity, it has surpassed the US; the EU’s overall GDP is objectively the world’s first With the rise of Germany, Europe also has its own abacus; other rising countries include India, Brazil, Russia and other countries.
Unlike the United States in the past with its eloquence and monopoly, the multi-polarization of the world is becoming more and more obvious nowadays. Moreover, the BRIC countries headed by China and Russia have begun to take the lead in the United States as one of the Western-dominated world economic systems.Start another outside. In the past few years, China and Russia have cooperated in the Shanghai Cooperation Development Bank, the Golden National New Development Bank and the emergency fund, and China Sea has established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and proposed the "One Belt One Road" strategy that will have a huge impact on the future world. Compared with the past, countries such as Africa, Latin America, and Central Asia are more inclined to cooperate with China and Russia.
Based on this general environment, we see that when the West, led by the United States, imposes sanctions on Russia, Russia can get corresponding support from the BRICS and other emerging market countries. For example, the import of food, daily consumer goods, and some equipment will not truly be "cut off" because of Western sanctions.
In the 1990s, there was basically no country in the world that could really help Russia (China has helped a lot within its capacity, which is the basis for mutual trust between China and Russia today), and no one is willing to help Russia. Today is different. Many countries, including China, can not only help Russia, but also benefit from the process of helping Russia. The series of economic sanctions and blockades carried out by the West led by the United States have indeed exerted tremendous pressure and destructive power on the Russian economy, but Russia will not appear as lonely and helpless internationally as it was last time. Based on the current overall environment, the so-called blockade can only seal one side of the West, while still having good economic and trade relations with Russia on the other side. This will not really cause the Russian state and society to collapse. A North Korea that has been blocked for so many years has not collapsed. Can a Russia that is N times North Korea collapse in a short time? That is impossible.
Third, public opinion in Russia is completely different from that at the time.
In the 1990s, Russia was deceived by the West and accepted Western "shock therapy". As a result, the aid promised by the West was not fulfilled after the economic shock. In addition, because the Russian people at the time still had many illusions about the West, Russia's national policy has always been the first rat at both ends, and it is difficult to be effective. After 10 years of dismal life, the Russian people woke up from their illusions about Western countries. Today, we can see that the anti-American and anti-Western President Putin has a very high approval rate in Russia. Even if it is extremely difficult now, Putin's support rate is still very high. Such a high level of national patriotism in Russia, coupled with the super-high support rate of national leaders, makes Russia's domestic political situation completely different from that of the 1990s. Russia, from the government to the people, has generally accepted the reality that the country has to face pressure and challenges, and is ready to face this challenge together.
Just this week, in the face of the collapse of the ruble, the Russian people rushed to buy imported goods and luxury goods, and rushed to exchange foreign currency to avoid risks, but the basic survival guarantee products were not large-scale. Panic buying, supply is no problem for the time being. Some Russian citizens said in an interview: We are used to (Western sanctions) and we are not afraid.
Putin's government has such a support rate, and the West cannot completely block Russia. As a big country with the world’s most abundant resources, how can Russia be easily crushed and collapsed?
Fourth, Russia has adopted a correct response policy.
In the case of continuous sanctions by the West and the slump of the ruble, Russia did not take measures to cut interest rates and release liquidity to hedge, but adopted a drastic increase in interest rates to control inflation. Why did Russia adopt such a method instead of lowering interest rates to inject liquidity? There are two fundamental reasons:
First, Russia’s domestic real economic system is very weak, and methods such as interest rate cuts and the release of liquidity cannot make Russia’s domestic economy turn around. Good; the second is that the ruble itself is depreciating. The Central Bank of Russia is trying to prevent the devaluation. If interest rate cuts and liquidity injection can only cause the ruble to depreciate faster, it will be counterproductive. The measures taken by Russia are determined by Russia's economic structure.
In addition to the above-mentioned monetary policy, Russia has also stabilized food prices by reducing refined oil prices and using administrative orders. If merchants hoard or increase prices sharply, they will be severely punished by the Russian government and even held accountable for them. criminal responsibility. This series of measures has prevented Russia from experiencing a particularly large-scale panic buying, and there has been no chaos in the social order.
For Russia, as long as it can maintain social stability and maintain overall price stability, and considering that Russia still has three to four hundred billion US dollars in foreign exchange, the quality of life of the Russian people will decline due to the downward pressure on the economy. , But it will not have much impact on food, clothing, housing and transportation for a while. This reality determines that the Russian economy may undergo a phased collapse, but the country and society will not collapse due to this.
When will Russia counterattack?
Western public opinion believes that Russia has no choice but to face the collapse of the currency and stock market, as if Putin will soon surrender. Is this really the case? The answer is obviously no. Needless to say, the attitude of the Russian official two days ago, even at the currency level, Russia does notThere is no way. After all, Russia has three to four hundred billion US dollars in foreign exchange and more than one thousand tons of gold. It is really determined to stabilize the currency at least for a period of time. However, from the perspective of Russia's actions, although many methods have been used to try to stabilize the ruble, it has not really done so.
Why did Russia watch the ruble collapse and not make a major counterattack? There are three reasons:
First, the international oil price has not bottomed out, and the counterattack timing is wrong at this time.
To suppress oil prices is to suppress the seven inches of the Russian economy. As we all know, the United States has grasped this point and committed a cruel move. Judging from the current posture, it is entirely possible that international oil prices will eventually be suppressed to around US$40. Just a few days ago, UAE officials have made it clear that OPEC will not cut production even if the international oil price drops to $40. This means that oil-producing countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, are ready to suppress international oil prices to $40 a barrel. Judging from the current situation, including the Saudi royal family and Middle Eastern countries, they must have shorted international oil prices on Wall Street. Therefore, although oil-selling countries have losses, they also hedge against shorting futures.
Today, the international oil price is still at a price of more than 50 US dollars a barrel, and I am afraid there are still 15 to 20 US dollars before bottoming out. In this case, if the Central Bank of Russia consumes foreign exchange reserves drastically in order to stabilize the ruble, as oil prices fall, more short sellers will inevitably join, which will consume foreign exchange in vain and damage its national strength.
It is impossible for oil prices to fall indefinitely. OPEC members can tolerate low oil prices for a while, but no one can consume them for a long time. In the future, once oil prices fall below US$40, many countries will have to cut production due to cost reasons. At that time, the ruble may have fallen to the end, and the motivation of Western capital to short the ruble will be almost consumed. Only then will the time for Russia's counterattack really come, and the counterattack at that time can really be stabilized.
Therefore, in essence, Russia's "inaction" is now due to the lack of time. For Russia, whose economic strength is not strong enough, it is very necessary to seize the opportunity to counterattack. Only when the "bad" is exhausted can Russia have a chance to reverse the situation, which is basically the same as the principle of operating stocks.
Second, saving the ruble at this time is like giving a blood transfusion to Western capital.
The determination of the West to withdraw assets from Russia has been made, and it is impossible to return it in the short term. In this case, maintaining the value of the ruble currency and the market value of the stock market will help Western capital to cash out at a high level. Regardless of whether the ruble or the Russian stock price, a fall may be more conducive to the Russian government and Russian allies to obtain low-priced assets at a low price.
3. Currency devaluation is conducive to the Russian government to ensure fiscal balance.
The ruble has depreciated against the dollar, which means that the Russian government can receive more rubles when exporting oil and gas. Objectively speaking, this is conducive to Russia's use of financial means to pool more national funds into the hands of the government, and the government has the ability to maintain social stability by mobilizing more materials (the advantage of the planned economy comes out at this time, and when resources are relatively scarce) , Through planned allocation is conducive to support for a longer time).
So, when will Russia really fight back?
Compared to Russia, there will be more countries that cannot afford a drop in oil prices. When most members of OPEC members start When it is unable to withstand low oil prices, Russia will definitely call for production cuts again. At that time, it will be possible to respond to each other and achieve smoothly.
In fact, does Russia really have no resources available? No! As the most important partner, China has money, and Russia itself has resources. As long as Russia is willing to exchange resources, there is no problem with China providing funds to Russia. Now China is waiting to buy cheap assets. What's more, China and Russia have formed a quasi-ally, and they are global strategic "small partners". The major strategic interests of both sides are the same. For China, it is impossible to watch Russia fall. However, we have seen that Russia has not reached out to China for assistance even though it continues to attract investment from China and conduct various cooperations. Don't forget, whether it is within the SCO or within the BRIC countries, there can be financial emergency funds. However, Russia has not made any requests so far. This fully illustrates two points: First, Russia believes that it can support it now, there is no problem at all, and does not need external help; second, Russia believes that the time to counterattack has not yet arrived.
However, as long as the time comes, Russia, as capable of countering the West, will not let it go. As a quasi ally of Russia, China knows that China and Russia are close to each other, so it will never stand idly by. Nowadays, international oil prices have plummeted, and Russia is unable to stop it and is not prepared to stop it. China, as a major gas consumer, is of course happy to see it.
Predictably, bySince Russia is not prepared to compromise with the United States and the West, and the United States is ready for new sanctions, Russia will inevitably endure greater economic pressure in the future. Then, as the most important global strategic "small partner", when Russia is under greater economic pressure in the future, China will inevitably take action to save Russia. So, when will China make the move? We will continue our analysis tomorrow.
Finally, let us appreciate the current emojis of the great powers.
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