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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Families Russian Style

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"

President Dmitry Medvedev’s recent decision to inject $20 billion into Russia’s flagging stock markets – which were down nearly 50% from last May at the time - together with the $60 billion odd dollars of support injected into its groggy banking system served to draw attention to the fact that it wasn't only “over there” on the other side of the Atlantic that the financial turmoil was busy raging. This simple point was further emphasised, if need there was for it, by the fact that both the Russian bourses – the MICEX and the ruble denominated RTS - were only working on a “now you see me now you don't basis” for the best part of a week in mid September. Stealing an idea from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, every financial boom is (boringly) the same, but every financial crisis is different in its own special (and intriguing) way. What just happened in Russia merely serves to prove Tolstoy’s point.