Fwd: Russia

'The Russian currency is in free fall. With the price of oil tumbling, the ruble has lost nearly 10 percent of its value against the dollar over the last two weeks and will likely lose more. Considering that Russia imports the bulk of its food and consumer goods, that amounts to a nearly 10 percent loss in buying power for its citizens.

But you would not know this to look at Moscow. There are no lines in banks or currency-exchange offices. There is no buzz on online social networks. I had a party last night, with two economics journalists in attendance. The likely economic crisis was mentioned as a fact but not discussed: we talked about recent travels, friends and kids, and we played games.

I asked a friend, a top administrator at a charity who stayed behind after the party, what she thought of the financial situation. "It's very odd," she said. "I saw the exchange rate changing, and I went on Facebook to see what people were saying about it — and found nothing. Then I called my financial adviser, and she just told me to sit with my rubles, because it's too late to do anything."'


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