Easy Come, Easy Go….

From Brad Setser….

Russia’s reserves fell by over $30 billion during the third week of October — tumbling from $515.7b on October 17 to $484.7b on October 24. Roughly $15 billion of the fall reflects the fall in the dollar value of Russia’s euros and pounds. But about $15 billion reflects Russian intervention in the currency market, as well as the drain on Russia’s reserves associated with the loans Russia’s government is making to Russian banks and firms seeking foreign exchange to repay their foreign currency debts.

A $15 billion weekly outflow is rather large.

At this rate, Russia’s remaining reserves will be gone in about 32 weeks. But it is unlikely to continue at this rate. Still, this shows that having large reserves does not guarantee economic stability in a nation’s future.

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