Russia » Economics

Who rules dollar?

Until recently financial experts estimated value of Russians’ non-bank savings at about $40bln. The situation is changing. Ruble becomes stronger, dollar savings lost 15% of their value during this year, and bank savings profitability has been changing depending on the currency type.

Are those patriotic appeals to citizens to keep their monetary savings in rubles justified? Wouldn’t rapidly growing euro be a trap for quick-profit lovers?

According to “Unicon” company’s Center for macroeconomic research, maximum profit in January-November 2003 received those who deposited rubles and euros for one year. For 11 months their real profit was 0.5% for ruble savings and 1.6% for euro savings. Yearly dollar deposits were a 10.7% loss to their owners. However, experts also claim that ruble deposits might be of the same profitability as in euro if one opens account before the end of the year. Euro exchange rate might reach 38 rubles, while dollar may fall to 28.

Who’s conducting this process? The central bank or shadow commercial banks, rapidly buying dollars from people to fall ruble in a few months?

We can look at the problem wider. For example, lets examine a famous Russian sociologist Alexander Zinoviev’s work “Great Evolutionary Brake”, where dollar is shown as an instrument of ruling the modern world (his thoughts on this were published in Washington ProFile). Noting political, social and economical functions of dollar, Zinoviev pointed out how meaningless are the talks of euro as its real economical competitor. American currency is not gold or goods reserves, but military power of the USA. American army and navy are miles ahead those of any other country, especially of Western Europe. Euro can become stronger, but it is not principal, as there’s no such army behind it. Also, western European forces are under western 'super-society' commandment, and Americans basically rule there as well. Overall, it is possible to say that euro is a global mechanism of redistribution of dollars between world players, thinks Zinoviev.

Agreeing that integrating Europe tries to a certain degree to present euro as a dollar’s opponent, Zinoviev argues that “Europe is allowed to do this until she crosses own borders” and that “with first attempts to position euro seriously in world markets, dollar will strike severely”. In his words, “it has to be remembered that even though western super society depends on successful work of many, not one mechanism, each of them is unique and can not have competitors or substitutions. Just like European society is a secondary part of western super society, lead by the US, euro is a secondary currency, a derivative from dollar – the face of global monetary mechanism. Fluctuations between these two currencies, rise of one and fall of the other are elements of the great chess game, played on thousands boards with constantly changing rules.”

Dollar in most cases serves as encouragement or punishment means. Globally oriented Washington is interested in good relations with Kremlin, so its in the US’ interests to keep ruble stable. “But if for some reason there will be a need to fall ruble, a week’s enough for another default or something like that. Stability of a country’s currency to dollar is exactly that encouragement factor”, warns Zinoviev. Instability comes in when there’s a need to change a “bad” government.

A more than actual explanation, isn’t it? Zinoviev talked about all this one year ago, before Bush’s attack on Iraq and while euro in Russia was lower than low… 

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