Russia’s ruble falls; USA considering easing sanctions

5000 Russian Ruble note: Current worth US$74.22


Russia’s currency, the ruble, fell again in value today:

Ruble Plunges to New Lows Despite Rate Hike

December 16, 2014

MOSCOW—The value of Russia’s currency, the ruble, has dropped 20 percent in a single day, despite a dramatic central bank interest rate hike to prop up its value. The failure to stabilize the ruble has some economists concerned that Russian authorities may implement stronger controls on capital and companies are at higher risk of defaulting on debts.

Russia’s emergency measures to brake the fall of the ruble showed the opposite results Tuesday as the currency dropped to a new low.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with key Russian financial officials about the crisis.

The Kremlin has tried to reassure Russian citizens the devaluation will be temporary, and that the ruble eventually will regain its value.

The ruble at one point fell to below 80 to the dollar, despite a whopping 6.5 percent interest rate hike. It recovered somewhat in late trading but was still down 60 percent from its value at the beginning of the year.

Russia’s central bank announced the jump to a 17 percent rate overnight Monday to try shore up the currency after it lost 10 percent of its value in just one day.

Igor Nikolayev, who is director of strategic analysis at the audit consulting company FBK in Moscow, says the interest rate increase would not change the situation because the reasons for such a fall of the ruble are much more serious and fundamental. He says this is what happens with oil prices now. This is macro-economic weakness, he says, or the weakness of the Russian economy itself. This is (also) the effect of sanctions beginning to become significant.

Falling oil prices and Western sanctions for the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine have slowly been hammering away at the Russian economy.

Oil prices dropped Tuesday to below $60 for the first time since 2009. Russia depends on oil and gas exporters for about half its federal budget.

Nikolayev says the failure to rein in the ruble is likely to spur authorities to introduce greater monetary controls.

December 16, 2014

The collapse in the ruble, which has spurred ordinary Russians to buy imported products such as fridges and cars and is stoking inflation, is likely to heap pressure on President Vladimir Putin. Still, support for Putin appears to be holding up. State television, meanwhile, urged citizens not to panic amid Tuesday’s rout.

The Central Bank’s move on interest rates aimed to encourage currency traders to hold onto their rubles — doing so gives them potentially big returns, certainly in comparison to many other currencies, such as the dollar, where the interest rate returns are near zero percent. …

Ash said “there is now a huge credibility gap for Russian policy makers in the eyes of the market” and that the decline is all the more astonishing given Russia’s solid foreign currency reserves and the fact that it runs a budget surplus.

But the message from state television is that there is no need to panic and a weak ruble is actually good for the economy because it will stimulate domestic production and make exports cheaper. So far, Russians appear to trust that the government is able to control the situation. If anything, many see the West as to blame.

There are various fears and concerns, and not just amongst the Russian people that are directly affected.

What might happen?

Russia could simply try to wait this out.  It has foreign currency reserves as well as gold.  Its government tends to have a surplus, so if it has a deficit for a couple of years, its economy could probably handle that.

However, notice also the following observations:

December 16, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia’s suddenly escalating financial crisis risks spilling beyond its borders and endangering parts of the global economy. …

Isolated and alone, Russia might then choose to default on some of its debt.

“Our deepest fear has been – and still is – that putting Mr. Putin in a `nothing-to-lose’ situation removes any constraint he might have had against reneging on his foreign debt obligations, which Russian borrowers probably cannot pay off or service now,” writes Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics. Foreign lenders would have to brace for $670 billion in losses.

December 16, 2014

Vladimir Putin is not a good man and not a good leader. …

Putin is like a Augusto Pinochet or a Juan Perón … but with much more steely resolve, a massive military, and nuclear bombs.

But even with Putin’s extremely visible and frightening track record before us, it’s clear the Obama administration and even the investment community is still not prepared for the extent of the damage the Russian leader can unleash on his own people, on his neighbors, and on the U.S. financial markets.

There is nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. Vladimir Putin is wounded — and he’s not known for holding back. …

So what could he do now?

For all we know, Putin has already done a lot of the following things, but here’s just a partial list:

1. Launch another attack on Ukraine or another neighboring nation

2. Cut off energy supplies to the rest of Europe

3. Launch an all-out cyber war on Western and U.S. companies and government agencies

4. Nationalize foreign-owned or -controlled businesses inside Russia

The question is: do the White House and NATO realize the situation? Does Wall Street?

Despite some political bluster from President Obama after the hostilities began in last spring, I still think we’re dealing with an administration that thinks that light sanctions and negotiations will be enough to keep things from getting out of hand. Remember, this is still the president who told Putin’s top lieutenant back in early 2012 that he’d have “more flexibility” to deal with Russia “after my re-election.” He’s also still the president who mocked Mitt Romney during the election for saying Russia was a serious foreign-policy threat.

The USA indicated today it may ease sanctions on Russia:

December 16, 2014


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says “Russia has made constructive moves” on the Ukraine crisis that could open the path to resolving the conflict and easing or lifting international economic sanctions.

While holding a series of meetings on world issues, Kerry said improvements in the eastern Ukraine cease-fire, progress on negotiating a line of control — and what he called “the withdrawal of certain people” — are signs of “constructive choices” that could be “helpful.”

He said the moves could help lead to a process to deescalate the situation, in which Russia is supporting separatist fighters.

Economic pressure

Kerry in part credited the economic sanctions the United States, the European Union and other countries have imposed on Russia for leading to the apparent change in President Vladimir Putin’s policies.

“The sanctions were clearly intended to invite President Putin to make a different set of choices. Now, these sanctions could have been lifted months ago,” said Kerry. “The sanctions can be lifted in a matter of weeks or days, depending on the choices that President Putin takes.”

Kerry also noted the sharp fall in the value of the Russian ruble, and the drop in the price of oil, a key Russian export, as adding to the economic pressure on Russia.

We will see what else the USA may want to lift sanctions and whether or not that is acceptable to Vladmir Putin.

If not and, if the domestic situation gets messy, Vladimir Putin could take a page out of the page-book of certain USA presidents and engage in some type of military incursion.  Russia would like eastern Ukraine, and if it feels this will not hurt its ability to gain Moldova or western Ukraine or Georgia, it may be willing to provide more support to the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier this year, Vladimir Putin reminded the world that Russia is a nuclear power and that it did not care for sanctions (see Russian-speaking forces in Ukraine, Putin warns ‘Don’t mess with us,’ while EU announces more sanctions).  He has also shown a willingness to attempt to project Russia’s military power (and did so several times this year) in various locals and may increase this.

Some wondered if Ezekiel 38 involving Russia would take place in the next couple of years, but that will not (see Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day?).

However it should be pointed out that Russia is NOT biblically the power that is prophesied to takeover the USA (Europe is, cf. Daniel 9:26-27; 11:39)–Russia, is however, prophesied to one day destroy Europe (e.g. Jeremiah 51:11-32)–but this is AFTER the great tribulation.

Of course now, we will see conflicts and rumors of conflict (cf. Matthew 24:4-8)–and there may be more armed conflict involving Russia.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Russia and Ukraine: Their Origins and Prophesied Future Russia in prophecy. Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end? There is also a video sermon available: Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy and a video sermonette available: Ukraine in Prophecy?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach? Here is a link to a video, also titled Is Russia the King of the North?
Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day? Is Ezekiel 38 about to be fulfilled? A related video is available titled Ezekiel 38: For Russia, Ukraine, & Iran Now?
Islands and Bible Prophecy What’s ahead for islands? What does the Bible prophesy about them?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
WTO/TTIP and the Babylonian Beast Will international trade agreements like WTO/TTIP/CETA lead to the fulfillment of end time prophecies concerning the Babylonian Beast power that the Book of Revelation warns against? What does the Bible teach? A related video would be WTO Trade Deal and the Rise of the European Beast Power.
Can those in the USA/UK see the Handwriting on the Wall? Is everything fine in the USA/UK or is it like the days of Noah? Can we learn from the handwriting that appeared on a wall thousands of years ago? Here is a link to a related YouTube video Can you see the ‘Handwriting on the Wall’?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2014 o 2015? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
World War III: Steps in Progress Are there surprising actions going on now that are leading to WWIII? Might a nuclear attack be expected? Does the Bible promise protection to all or only some Christians? How can you be part of those that will be protected? A related video would be Is World War III About to Begin? Can You Escape?
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.