Vlucht uit de roebel

PARIJS – De afgelopen weken ging de val van de Russische roebel en de Russische aandelenmarkten gelijk op met de daling van de mondiale olieprijs. Maar op 15 december veranderde alles. De olieprijs bleef stabiel, maar de roebel en de aandelenindexen verloren in de daaropvolgende 24 uur 30% van hun waarde. Een ongekende poging van de Russische Centrale Bank (RCB) in de vroege uurtjes van 16 december om de roebel te stabiliseren, door de rente op te trekken van10,5% naar 17%, bleek vruchteloos.

De oorzaak van Ruslands “Zwarte Maandag” was zo helder als glas: dat was de reddingsoperatie van de overheid voor staatsbedrijf Rosneft, het grootste olieconcern van het land. Doorgaans komen de markten tot rust door dergelijke reddingsoperaties, maar deze deed denken aan vroege post-Sovjet-experimenten, toen de RCB grote rechtstreekse leningen verstrekte aan bedrijven, waardoor onveranderlijk de inflatie werd aangewakkerd. De toenmalige gouverneur van de RCB, Victor Gerasjenko, werd daarom ooit 's werelds slechtste centrale bankier genoemd.

In 2014 zijn de handen van de RCB méér gebonden dan in Gerasjenko's tijd: zij kan bedrijven niet rechtstreeks geld lenen. Daarentegen is de bank handiger geworden in het bereiken van dezelfde doelen die Gerasjenko destijds wilde verwezenlijken.

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