Dat is althans de mening van Matt O’Brien in The Washington Post:
[…] Russia never so much had an economy as an oil-exporting business that subsidized everything else. So now that Russian companies don’t have petrodollars to turn into rubles, there’s less demand for rubles overall — and its price is falling. A lot.
The problem is Russia’s already-weak economy needs lower interest rates to push up growth, but Russia’s companies need higher interest rates to push up the ruble. […]
The even worse news, though, is that Russia has gone from not having an economy and 10.5 percent interest rates to not having an economy and 17 percent interest rates. That should be enough to turn its recession into a full-on depression — and make all of this self-defeating.
Think about it this way: Russia’s central banks already says its economy will shrink 4.5 to 4.7 percent next year — about as much as the U.S. did in 2008 — if oil stays at $60-a-barrel. But now that interest rates are sky-high, nobody’s going to want to borrow, either. […]
That brings us to the economic catch-22. Remember, the point of raising rates was to prop up the ruble so Russian companies wouldn’t default on their dollar debts. But sacrificing the Russian economy to try to save the Russian currency means that those companies will lose their customers, and default anyways. This cycle of doom means even fewer dollars will come into Russia, and there’ll be even less demand for rubles — and its price will start falling again. So it doesn’t matter whether Russia raises rates to defend the ruble or not. It will keep declining, and the economy will keep collapsing.
Weliswaar herstelde de roebel zich gisteren – naar verluidt dankzij druk van de Russische regering op exporteurs om hun buitenlandse valuta’s om te zetten in roebels – maar het lijkt onwaarschijnlijk dat dit iets verandert aan hierboven beschreven catch-22 waarin de Russische economie zich bevindt.