Bloomberg Foresees Russia's Demise?
By Staff News & Analysis - December 17, 2014

Russia's Problems Are Everyone's Problems … "Cyprus with nukes." That's how someone, maybe me, referred to Russia in an IM conversation this morning. It's not really a fair comparison; Russia is a vast country loaded with natural resources, not a tiny island banking haven. But it does express a very real fear: that the world is about to experience a major financial crisis in a country that seems to deal with its internal troubles by slicing off bits of neighboring countries. – Bloomberg

Dominant Social Theme: Russia is imploding and the price of oil is the culprit.

Free-Market Analysis: Bloomberg was in full cry last night regarding a failing Russian economy. We've never seen anything like it on Bloomberg: The front page of the website carried a box on the top left hand corner filled with blaring stories.

The Collapse of Putin's Economic System

U.S.-China Economic Role Reversal Roils Emerging Markets

Russian Crisis Hits Pimco Fund Wipes Out Options as Ruble Sinks

Apple Stops Online Sales in Russia Over Ruble Fluctuation

Is the Russian Collapse Wrecking Your 401(k)?

Rate Jump Fails to Stop the Ruble Crash

Russian Stocks Drop 12 Percent

View: Russia's Problems Are Everyone's Problems

It is this latter editorial that we are focused on in this analysis (View: Russia's Problems Are Everyone's Problems). And this is surely a meme, a sub-dominant social theme of sorts. It has exploded in the past six months. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Vladimir Putin himself has annoyed top men in the Western banking system and that the ruble is suffering as a result.

We wrote about this on Sunday, commenting on points made regarding Russia from interviewee and top commodity trader Jim Rogers. Perceptively, he noted that the ruble's fall was linked to the price of oil, which was also falling. He stated that these twin events were likely being engineered by the West, something we've also suggested.

Here's how Rogers put it: "Oil, which is the largest and most important commodity for everybody, is down. The Saudis are dumping oil because America told them to. America's having negotiations with Iran and a situation with Russia so they're trying to put pressure on both of them."

Jim Rogers: Choose Farming for Your Family and Finances

It is the globalist banking system apparently that now sees Putin as an impediment to a more aggressive internationalist regime. From what we can tell, Ukraine was used to create a state of tension between Russia and the West that justified the application of sanctions against Russia.

And now, as the sanctions become more severe, top Western officials behind the scenes are applying other kinds of pressure to destabilize the Russian economic system.

Putin, from what we can tell, has fought back. We've reported recently that Putin and the central bank had taken to buying gold with dollars, using the depressed price of gold against the dollar as a way of acquiring more gold than would have been available otherwise.

The West, in other words, was burning through a good deal of currency to suppress the price of gold – as central bankers have indicated from time to time – and Russia was taking delivery of gold at these prices in order to shore up the price of the ruble.

And thus, from what we can tell, a more aggressive attack was launched against the ruble via the price of oil.

It's our hunch that the FX market despite its size can be manipulated like any other market, and in this case, traders have been targeting the ruble. The falling price of oil has provided the proximate cause to pound the ruble down. And down it's gone.

But none of this background – speculative though it may be – is being mentioned in the mainstream media. From the major media we receive only a meme: that dictator Putin has played fast and loose with his ravaged economy. This is certainly the impression that Bloomberg is encouraging with its alarmist headlines.

Here's more from the editorial …

The ruble is plunging, for reasons that have roots in the falling price of oil. Yet the trouble now runs deeper than that, so the ruble's problems will continue even when the price of oil recovers a bit. As our own Leonid Bershidsky explains, markets are no longer just worried about oil prices, but also about the Russian Central Bank's apparent decision to bail out a suffering oil company by printing money:

"Central Bank technocrats have been worried that the government would force them to print rubles for the direct funding of industries, primarily the military industrial complex and the state companies run by Putin friends. The Central Bank's obvious complicity in the Rosneft deal means the pressure is on, and the Central Bank is caving. It cannot prevent the funds loaned to corporations in special deals such as Rosneft's from destabilizing the currency and fueling market panic. Besides, the Rosneft deal sends a clear signal to market players that some of them are more equal than the others. That is a sure way to foster distrust and send the ruble into a speculative tailspin regardless of what happens to the oil price.

"The central bank tried to make up for this action by ratcheting interest rates up to 17 percent. It hasn't worked; the ruble continued its plunge this morning. This tells us many things, all bad: that the central bank is not strong enough to resist President Vladimir Putin; that Putin is desperate enough to print money to cover Rosneft's problems; that capital controls may well be in the offing (so oligarchs and traders are eager to get their money out of the country); that Russia's financial situation is spinning out of control."

… Bershidsky suggests that capital controls may well be next for Russia, though the central bank governor denies that they are being considered. Whatever Russia does next, we'd better hope it works. Because if not, the rest of us may be using our newly cheaper gasoline to fuel up for a very bumpy ride.

So much angst in such a short article. Russia's situation may be "spinning out of control," but this alarmism has arrived with surprising suddenness. A month ago there was little hint of the possibility of a global currency crisis that would render Putin "desperate" and facing such a dire situation.

In fact, this sort of language returns us to speculations about "directed history" and the idea that many international tensions and crises are both premeditated and exaggerated. In a global environment such as this one where so much money power is concentrated in the hands of so few people – mostly central bankers – crises can surely be generated with little notice.

Are these crises completely without merit? That's a conundrum that individual observers will have to decide for themselves. But the concentration of capital and control surely means that the potential for unnecessary crises is more pervasive than ever.

This returns, of course, to our observations that people need to prepare themselves in advance for the unexpected. Who is to say, after all, that this current Russian episode cannot deepen and become more severe economically and even militarily?

Second passports, physical possession of gold and silver – firearms, too – access to agricultural land or ownership of farmland, second homes … all these sorts of resources are potentially important in an era of rapidly emerging crises.

We don't know where or when this current episode of Russian destabilization will end. One far-fetched possibility is that Putin could put the ruble on some sort of quasi-gold standard, which would presumably stem its slide.

But if it did so, we wonder if this would merely advance the cause of those who want to implement a truly global currency, a basket of currencies plus gold and silver, perhaps.

In that case, we could present the idea that this crisis has been generated at least in part to strengthen an argument for Keynes's globalist "bancor." And such an eventuality would also bear witness to the "directed history" we mentioned above. Only this sort of directed history would be aimed directly at justifying an expanded globalist initiative.

After Thoughts

Taken to the extreme, modern history is indeed, as Churchill said of the USSR: "A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

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  • RJPA

    Bloomberg news source is like their owner who dropped millions trying to get lefties elected. They worry about Russia as if it was their mother country, and maybe it is. Why are we so worried about an enemy of the US. The people at Bloomberg and their boss need to chill out with a 48 ounce Coke.

  • Bruce C

    Whatever is going on I get the sense that things are going to backfire and this could be the beginning of a great unwinding.

  • sam

    Bloomberg is a dark worker, so of course he ‘sees’ the demise of the Russian economy – along with the ‘demise’ of all the sovereign nations on this planet.

    Putin efforts to secure Russia from being turned over to the
    control of the money masters has served as a wake up call to the world up to
    the destructive forces at play here.

    This isn’t a matter of analyzing markets and currencies, it’s
    a matter of seeing the forces at work here and which sides our hearts and minds
    are drawn to.

    It’s a choice of waking up or staying asleep.

    • We are not such fans of Putin – who runs a vast and pèrvasive government and enriches himself and his cronies massively in the process.

      • A telling point. The old mantra “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” does seem to apply here. On the other side of the ledger, the Russian people are genetically programmed (as are other nations) to need and demand a “strong man” leader. The salient point for me anyway, is whether he is defying the money power and getting away with it. That would be a breakthrough, if it lasts.

        • bouf

          That mantra is a falsehood.

          Power always enables.

          If this were not true, nothing would ever get done by anyone.

      • apberusdisvet

        True, but my thoughts are that Russia and China may be the only true counterweights to the totalitarian takeover of the planet by the Zionist Rothschild cabal. The psychos in the US State Dept are doing their best to incite Putin and provoke a reaction that could lead to WWIII. I expect another false flag in Ukraine; MH17 was just an incompetent initial salvo.

        • Sorry it is not so simple. Nor was the “cold war.”

      • Fabian

        Yep but he does basically the same as what’s done in the US. The only difference is that in the US there is an unwritten agreement that when you reach a quarter billion in wealth you leave the place for a new one. What’s sad is that he is the only counterweight.

      • mudpuppy

        I wonder how you arrived at the conclusion that putin ‘enriches himself and his cronies massively’ ? Not only has he taken russia from rags to somewhat riches in a very short time, but according to an american journalist who worked in russia and knew putin from the beginning, he has always sought the best for russia, always showed integrity, and never took bribes when working as russian bureaucrat even in his early years. Do you expect a saint? A politician must be a practical man as well as a diplomat and putin has surely done well at both.

        • We have read he’s worth US$50 billion. And we are generally not pro government. And Putin seems to run a fairly large, authoritarian-oriented one …

        • fenwick’s in the manger

          While you are at it, please “show” us that is was IN FACT Putin and Putin alone that brought Russia from rags to riches. Thank you.

          • Amen. All the world’s a stage, etc …

          • mudpuppy

            Actually the world’s a holographic projection of a template created some trillions of years ago by
            Source. Within the template is a stage, sure, but since we are also actors on the stage, it behooves us to know the storyline.

          • And your story line is that Putin is a lot like Ghandi, but with nuclear weapons. Only now it turns out that Ghandi had some questionable affiliations too …

          • mudpuppy

            hmmm. now you are putting words in my mouth? so much negativity here.

            on the subject of russia, I highly recommend this russian born, mostly usa raised and educated blogger:


            Also pepe escobar is brilliant, and I would say objective, being a brazilian journalist.

          • Thanks, this is a good summary of Putin’s political perspective. He is indeed a statist and has allowed the Russian central bank to remain part of the IMF etc.

            As for Pepe Escobar, we too believe he is brilliant, but his world view from our admitedly anarchical perspective is a bit flawed by his lack of understanding of free-market economics, or perhaps it is merely a slight lack of sympathty …

          • mudpuppy

            you can’t reduce people to labels like statist. Putin is much more human than that. He’s trying to help his country and at the same time, stand up to huge powers, not only outside russia but inside russia as well, for heavens sake. He needs to be practical.

            If you want to get an idea of where all these sanctions, oil crash, and ruble takedown are leading, you might read the following article:

          • You were the one who recommended the article!

          • mudpuppy

            if you were actually interested in the answer to your own question,
            you would do some research on your own and offer that to contradict my statement. But as it stands, you offer nothing but ignorance and arrogance. I think we already have enough of that.

      • evader2014

        Could you post Putin’s bank statements . . . because apparently you have them?

        • Sorry. We are familiar with the myth of the warrior king who lives as a monk and fights selflessly for god and country. Putin, admirable in many ways, arrived at his present rank via series of extraordinary promotions within two years time. And that was when Russia was closely allied with the US. There is more here than Putin versus the West. You probably believed fully in the Cold War narrative as well.

          • gabeh73

            Does Russia have a central bank? are they linked with BIS? If Putin was really a rebel then wouldn’t we see some hint of independence in that domain?

          • The central bank of Russia is apparently part of the BIS. The whole idea of Putin standing up to the rest of the world on behalf of freedom is a kind of mythology in our view. He is surely a courageous man, but he is a human being with allies to satisfy and cronies to soothe. He has priorities like the rest of us. He is also KGB from a young age.

          • bouf

            I like Putin. But I understand your POV DB. Haven’t yet heard of anything substantial re: Putin kicking the CBs to the road, though it has been mentioned in comments often. We should all recall that being paranoid doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

          • If Putin gave the ruble gold-backing he could upend the entire Western central bank economy. But he hasn’t …

          • gabeh73

            he could be assassinated too, but he hasn’t.

  • With so many attacking Putin from so many different directions he must be doing something right. If I see the situation with any clarity, he will NOT institute capital controls, he will NOT back down on Ukraine, and he will continue to buy Gold. It seems Putin still has strong support – perhaps stronger than ever – inside of the Russian Republic. 17% interest rates? In a world desperate for yield? Any hint of stability in the ruble is going to bring money flooding in. Anyone comparing the capitalization of Russia’s Central Bank (17% I believe) versus the capitalization of our Fed (less than 2% if I remember correctly) can see things in a very different light. They probably have more Gold than we do as well. If this has all been planned and scripted by the hidden hand they are doing an incredible job of making the whole thing look very real. To me it looks like Putin really did throw the money power out, and they are going after him with every means possible. It is all very surreal and fascinating, and we are just entering the coldest part of the year, which is Putin’s ace in the hole against Europe and the Ukraine…….

    • Guy Christopher

      Gregg, if I’m not mistaken, and I often am, Bloomberg is one of the MSM rags that is a leading lapdog outlet incorrectly reporting and/or surmising that Putin is selling gold to soften Russia’s currency crunch. Quite the opposite is more likely the case. What has Washington’s knickers in a knot is that he is dumping dollars, not gold, and has influenced quite a few nations to tag along. Why else, at this time in history, would Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Dutch be pulling their gold home from London and New York, and repatriating that gold very publicly, while the French rightwing’s Marine Le Pen clamors for same? As Bill Holter wrote yesterday, those nations sent their gold in the 50’s far away from home for safekeeping from the Russians. Now, it seems, it is Russia they follow, and Washington they don’t trust.

      • Great point Guy! It had not occurred to me the reason the Gold was sent away in the first place : )

  • Chris

    Russia is fundamentally strong. So a temporary capital control may be best instrument to calm the market. Malaysia had done it before and the result was excellent. Such strong action is required to stop the sharks, wreckers and vandals from damaging the economy. Free market can resume when everything calmed down and the fundamentals are clear and will triumph when the manipulated oil price returns to normal.

  • Pump and Dump is the modus operandi of the Wall Street and City of London robber barons. British ROYAL Petroleum and ROYAL Dutch Shell chose a complaint bedouin tribe and CREATED ROYAL Saudi clowns as part of their monopoly control of resources. These ruling Demonic Warlords are hell bent on creating WW Three, part of a 19th century game plan. After failing to start WW 3 with trip wires in Libya, Syria and the Ukraine, the elites now drown the world in oil, in a multi-prong effort at hegemony. The intentionally depressed prices are destroying alternatives, like expensive deep water drilling, US fracking and Canadian tar sand recoveries. Once the glut has destroyed the competition, the monopoly can exert more pressure. It took a decade of deliberate effort to create the Great Depression. It took a decade of deliberate effort to divert US resources to Japan and Germany to create WW Two [1]. In today’s world it may take only an instant to reach the planet consuming flashpoint. We had better pray and work to spread Truth before Putin is pushed beyond reason.

    [1] “How Geo Bush’s Grandfather Helped Hitler’s Rise to Power” in the UK Guardian

  • michaelrivero

    Of course, corporate media has been telling us that Iran and North Korea’s economies are on the verge of collapse for the last twenty years and it hasn’t happened yet.

    This economic turmoil was started with the US-backed overthrow in Kiev last January, and accelerated by the US sanctions, and now that everything is about to implode, the rush is on to convince the world that this is all somehow Russia’s fault!

    • Michael Rivero is the courageous founder of, a leading alternative media destination.

    • Guy Christopher

      A few days ago, DB interviewed Jim Rogers, who reported he visited North Korea and found shops open, food stalls plentiful and local commerce buzzing, leaving him wondering where the media is getting its view of a barren, starved land filled with an emaciated and barely conscious peasantry. I read an account linked on Drudge this morning that activists plan to airdrop DVDs over N. Korea (by balloon) as part of the Sony hack job. Which left me wondering, where exactly in their mud huts do these dirt scratching peasants keep their DVD players, their big screens and their electrical outlets?

  • Barney Biggs

    I always get a kick out of Bloomberg as they are either very myopic or have a great agenda to convince the sheeple of the US banking position. Putin has a number of options to stabilize his economy should he choose to use them.
    He has dramatically changed his focus from the EU and the West to Asia and the middle east.
    This year alone he has made 38 trade agreements with China for hundreds of billions of dollars in his national currency as well as deals with India for nuclear facilities, military equip and energy, Japan, S Korea, Turkey, Iran and others and the most important thing is that they are in the national currencies bypassing the USD, and while the sanctions will cause him some trouble I doubt Russia will collapse but time will tell.

  • dave jr

    From my tiny peephole into the world, I’ll adjust my tinfoil hat and toss this speculation to the DB for scrutiny. First, it seems all power struggles come back to a struggle over resources or more accurately the control over resource markets. Second, we know that shortly after Russia lost in Afghanistan, heroin capital of the world, the Russian government defaulted and had to be reorganized. And didn’t the State lose control over some major oil reserves at that time? And not to forget the pipelines running through Afghanistan.
    So here’s the speculation. Is the Ukraine or Kiev in particular the underground heroin import gateway into Russia? And consider this scenario. Russian oil sells for dollars. Those dollars buy heroin at the gate. The heroin sells inside for rubles, helping to create a demand for the ruble. Crazy huh? Now, you mess with the heroin trade, and we’ll mess with your oil trade. I’m just looking for patterns in the dots. That’s all.

    • It seems to us that the rationale is always the same: empower those who will work for an expansion of Western globalism. For one reason or another, Putin seems to stand in the way.

      • dave jr

        Well, that seems to fit…

      • bouf

        More and more it seems Snowden made the Russian choice for real reasons….

  • Danny B

    Keep in mind that a lower rouble doesn’t have much effect internally. A weak rouble affects imports. Russia sells oil priced in stronger dollars. They can easily use these strong dollars to pay for imports. Russia is NOT in the same position that it was in when LTCM collapsed. China has dollars. China has lots of contracts with Russia. China can easily pay in dollars for Russia to service it’s dollar-denominated debt. The current huge crop of currency swaps in effect, act to mute the influence of the FX markets. Kiev is now screaming for MONEY. The EU is going to get very tired of this very soon. Putin has time on his side compared to the high-cost oil producers. The self-inflicted crash of the oil market has brought down a huge amount of speculative debt. He just has to wait for his 17% to look very attractive to those who want to escape the Western snowball.
    BTW, when Martin Armstrong made his original call that major riots would start in America in 2015.75,,,, that was in 1985.
    He stands by his original timeline.

  • mutonic2db

    Regarding the US foreign policies, this article from 1992 may explain:

    U.S. Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop A One-Superpower World

    Pentagon’s Document Outlines Ways to Thwart Challenges to Primacy of America

  • bouf

    I’m just finishing this article as I watch Steve Liesman bet Rick Santelli $100 that the Fed _will_ raise interest rates in 2015. Santelli responded “You’re on. You’re on! You’re on!! YOU’RE ON!!!!”

    No one on the panel thinks rates will rise before deep in Q3.

    Liesman doesn’t want to win the bet. (Bloody retarded that one.) Santelli wants to lose the bet. Up is down and right is left.

    Roughly 300 points to the upside at 6 til the close. Let the Party continue….

    • Thanks. It’s late in the year for the market to subside significantly.

      • True, and maybe we can simply go into quiet mode for the rest of the year, wouldn’t that be a holiday benefit! Just like a glass or 3 of egg nog! To me, the Fed showed zero confidence that our economy can stand on its own, zero willingness to raise rates by even a minuscule amount, zero willingness to further destabilize emerging markets, and zero confidence that current conditions for banks and bond markets are safe and stable. The equity market follows the subtleties of these Fed utterences like a love sick puppy dog, we are at the ridiculous point of discussing for hours (on CNBC) the differences between “considerable time” and “patience”!! It has truly become a theater of the absurd!! I continue to believe in, and stand by my long time maxim gleaned from observing market behaviors over 40 years: any market that is slavishly following the lead of another market or policy issue, is a market that is inherently weak………. Merry Christmas to all. GF

        • Bruce C

          I hope that doesn’t mean mean you’ve signed off the rest of the year!

          I like to read your posts.

          I agree that it’s beyond frustrating. The fundamental problem, as you know, is that such thing as “monetary policy” exists and that it is controlled by an oligarchy.

          A “free market” should determine interest rates, etc. and all would be more stable and “democratic.”

        • Danny B

          Whaddayou mean “zero confidence”?

          • HA!! Except that it is not funny in the least……….

        • Joelg

          If QE and zero interest rates produce price deflation, then the Logical Flip Side is that Rising Interest Rates and Tighter Money will be the road to Hyper-Inflation (there is already enough money supply out there). The history of the FED is getting things wrong. Or maybe this is the plan?

      • bouf

        I agree. I just love listening to Santelli when he gets excited. For someone on a MSM channel it appears to me that he is actually trying, but doing it in a technical sense. Someone on another thread mentioned Fekete and I spent the minutes. I’ve always learned things from Santelli, but now Fekete has made me think Santelli is _really_ trying to make people understand – – – – all while not getting thrown off the air of course…

  • This also serves to bolster the perceived importance of the US Dollar, not to mention what a great distraction if is for Americans.

  • middleway

    One of the most paradoxical and humorous article titles I have seen in years. Similar too: “Islamic ISIS Rebels in a Muslim Killing Frenzy”. Ironic how the religious triad perpetuates endless bloodletting,… that all factions have agreed too beforehand.

  • Danny B

    This is off topic, of course BUT, it is a real trip. “So, on December 31, the State of Utah is formally demanding that
    Washington, D.C., relinquish control over more than 30 million acres of
    valuable land currently controlled by various federal bureaucracies.”
    As most everyone knows, relations with Cuba are now opening.
    Very strange, the sudden opening. Venezuela gives Cuba 100,000 barrels of oil per day, I BELIEVE. I don’t see how Maduro can continue this. Darn, I wish I had bought that condo on the beach for $100,000.
    I found an interesting vid on credit in Russia,, kinda strange;

  • Praetor

    I would bet, the Russian citizens are as fed up as the U.S. citizens with their Politico’s, and the corrupt corporatists. Russia has been ruled by foreigners for centuries, and their economy has been in collapse ever sense. The sooner the Russian and U.S. citizens can throw off the chains of foreign internationalist interventionism, the sooner the two peoples can live in peace, and the individuals of both countries can live in freedom and liberty. Putin aligning himself with Goldman Sachs, should say it all, and having a Central Bank to print Fiat Rubalonies. Putin is like the poor kid going to the rich kids party, he is there but left out on all the fun. Rudyard Kipling: Let it be clearly understood that the Russian is a delightful person till he tucks in his shirt.

    • Pacemaker4

      gallup..(not russian RT or itrass etc ) says 80% approval

      is gallup’s credibility gone?

      • Praetor

        Yes, they lie about the numbers, faulty math, phony stats. They must protect their position, to continue their legacy of, we know what going on, look at our numbers see what they tell you, that’s important. “Too them”!

    • Werni Wolf

      There are couintries running current account surpluses and high currency reserves and suddenly they have weak currencies? (China, Russia). Mercantilists like Ricardo turn in their graves.
      Quantitave Easing funded wild financial speculation hzas probabely something to do with it. Ask also for George Soros opinion. ( He is a big fan of Ukraine’s capitalistic Wild West).

      • Praetor

        Yes, Correct. Soros is a capitalizer off chaos, and be dammed to the average Ukrainian citizen or for that matter the U.S. citizen. One day we will combine and rid ourselves of these do-gooders of chaos, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.


    Well now Brown Cow, so Putin gets himself a little over extended, short of the cash line. After the huge ego busting flamboyant total loss of 70 Billion$$ on the winter Olympics, and forced to eat his (caster) oil, he’s crying the blues cause no one outside Russia loves him. Maybe 50% interest on deposits will lure a few oligarks to share his dilemma, that is for 50% interest in Roseneft and other state confiscations. It is gut twisting for him to recognize that his invading Crimea, and to be unable to “BUY OUT” all of Ukraine has him thinking he bit off more than he can eat. His timing was terrible. He should have waited till winter, when Europe would be freezing and needing to “make a deal”. Now, unfortunately, he is joining the Fiat Paper Club, Which will hasten the one global currency. That is unless he has more Gold than thought, and backs the rouble with Gold. Wouldn’t that cause a gut ache in the CITY of LONDON?? Forget the US raising interest rates, ain’t gonna happen. QE4 instead.