Russia’s Reserves No Longer Cover Foreign Debt

The Economist Intelligence Unit warns:

State handouts cannot continue indefinitely, not least because reserves no longer cover total foreign liabilities: on the basis total debt was US$540bn at the end of September 2008, and that US$73bn was repaid in the fourth quarter, total debt is now US$467bn and private-sector debt US$425bn. Russia entered the crisis with the world’s third largest cache of central bank reserves, but it has been dwindling at an accelerating pace. By mid-January, reserves had declined to just below US$400bn, meaning that more than a third of the total was spent over the past five months.

Longer post coming over the weekend.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

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