Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Russia Suspends Trading in Just About Everything

How's that ninety dollar oil treatin' ya, Vlad?
From FT Alphaville:

On any other day, it might be the dominant story. In the US, we have been seeing what happens to big companies and investment banks when there’s a complete loss of confidence. But Russia is showing us what happens to entire countries when mistrust sets in.

Russia’s Micex Stock Exchange and RTS Exchange suspended trading on Wednesday for a second consecutive day as shares, bonds and mutual funds plunged, the finance ministry rushed to provide loans to the country’s banking system and KIT Finance, a large Russian brokerage/investment bank sought to sell a stake in itself to meet financial commitments amid rumours of impending bankruptcy.

Business daily Vedomosti on Wednesday quoted KIT sources saying the investment bank was in talks with (as yet unnamed) investors to take a stake, reports Dow Jones, and also reported that KIT had failed to settle repo obligations worth R6-8bn ($235-$313bn) with around 15 counteragents, among which were Nomos Bank, Svyaz-Bank Merrill Lynch, Renaissance Capital, Alfa Bank and UralSib.

While the government insisted there was no systemic crisis, Bloomberg reports that the Russian finance ministry pledged Wednesday to lend 1.13 trillion rubles ($44bn) for more than three months to boost liquidity in the banking system...MORE.

People experienced of Russia are not surprised. Here's a taste of the attitude from our post Russia: What a Scam We Have in Carbon

"I don't know if climate change is caused by burning coal or sun flares or what," said the Moscow-based carbon cowboy. "And I don't really give a shit. Russia is the most energy inefficient country around, and carbon is the most volatile market ever. There's a lot of opportunity to make money."

-From "The Bored Whore of Kyoto"

If I were Europe, I'd be a bit concerned that I was dependent on these folks