Global markets may have stabilized, but Putin’s government continues to burn cash at a mind-boggling rate.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Russia's international reserves declined by $2.8 billion to stand at $400.6 billion during the week ended Aug. 14, the central bank reported Thursday in a statement posted on its Web site.To anyone else, $400 billion may seem like a lot of money. However, most of Russia's reserves are already spoken for (mostly as collateral on foreign debt). With only $400 billion left in the tanks, Russia moves closer to a dangerous financial tipping point.
Back in December 2008, Moody's Investors Service Vice President Jonathan Schiffer (a man who's opinion means a lot for Russia's credit rating) spoke publicly about the very, very bad things which could happen if the country's foreign reserves ever fell below $350 billion: risk of default, Night of the Living Dead kind of bad things.
But why loose sleep over minor details? Just picture the beautiful slopes of the Sochi Olympics...with zombies!
(Ok, zombie banks.)