Steps Russia must take to avert Crisis

Steps Russia must take to avert Crisis


Russia is approaching a financial crisis unless measures are taken to avert it. Putin’s government is fighting back and just recently the Ruble regained some of the territory it ceded against the Dollar.

There are quite a few steps that the Russian government can take. These steps have to be taken in succession, one after the other, so that the market  is stimulated to react favourably. Market confidence is often shaped by news of positive measures being taken by the government and sometimes just announcements are enough.  Most important of these steps include the Oligarch.

The cumulative wealth of Russian oligarchs is well over 200 Billion.  In May 2004, the Russian edition of Forbes identified 36 of these oligarchs as being worth at least US$1 billion each [1]. Worldwide, billionaires collectively account for 1–2% of total household wealth; in Russia today 110 billionaires own 35% of all wealth [2].

Putin therefore, has to shake the tree of the oligarchs once more. With so much wealth amassed and assets abroad, their investment in the security of the ruble can transform the fortunes of the currency. However this should be done sensitively as Patriotism can only go so far. Only provision of security, personal and monetary, would encourage the Oligarchy to re-invest.

Furthermore Russia needs to incentivize Oil for Gold/Silver trade. This will not only increase Russian Gold holdings (1,168.0 tonnes) in comparison to USA (8,133.5 tonnes) but also unpeg oil sales with dollar. Being attach to the dollar makes Russia extremely vulnerable to sanctions and frozen economy. Slowly and gradually steps should be taken to reverse the Bretten Woods agreement and real intrinsic wealth should be the basis of its currency. This however, has to be a long term goal.

The security of food supply in Russia has to be also increased. This needs massive investment and subsidies in Russia’s own agriculture sector.  A new spirit has to be blown to reawaken the Eurasia block that has historical roots which can be traced through the silk route. Having a strong Eurasia block that includes Pakistan, Iran and Turkey would give increase security of food supply as these are food rich countries.

Russia also has amassed strong experience in Space technology. Commercial space market is a rising sector. Services can be offered by the Putin government to tap into this multi -million dollar market.

Lastly, Russian focus has to shift from Ukraine. Agreement should be drawn with Ukrainian authorities that address Russian security reservations and both countries should move on.

[1]  Putin and the OligarchsForeign Affairs. November/December 2004

[2] Credit Suisse, p October 2013 page 53