John McCain’s quip that Russia is “a gas station masquerading as a country” appears to be more true every day as a failed attempt to prop up the ruble with a rate hike from 10.5 percent to 17 percent is now seen by FOREX markets as sign of desperation rather than strength, leading to more selling of the ruble as the oil price continues to move lower.
This Washington Post story put the two side-by-side as shown below (does anyone care about Ukraine anymore?) as they detailed how doomed the Russian economy is.
According to this Moscow Times report, the Russian people may already be adapting to the new currency realities – as they did in the 1990s – via the reintroduction of:
the u.e. — which stands for the Russian words “uslovnaya yedinitsa,” or “conditional unit” and is pronounced “oo-yeh”
This is a currency unit pegged to the dollar aimed at keeping retailers from having to replace price tags on a daily (if not hourly) basis. About the only thing that seems certain at this point is that this will probably get worse before it gets better.