As we reported Tuesday, the Russian stock market has collapsed. On Wednesday, at 12:10 Moscow time, the Kremlin made it official. With the RTS index less than 60 points from crashing through the mind-bending 1,000 point psychological barrier, the Kremlin simply stopped all trading and it did not resume (you can see the graph above begin to flatline at that point). So much for Russia’s “free” market! Russia’s financials sector led the way to the bottom, “closing” down over 7.5% after a few hours of trading, and telecoms were close behind. The overall market was down 6.39% when the final curtain fell. Already panicked, the marked imploded on fears of widespread banking collapse as the ripple effects of the American market drop were fully felt and realized. The RTS is down a shocking 57% from its May record high, and its losses are fast approaching one trillion dollars. Do you dare imagine what would have happened to Russia if the price of oil didn’t happen to be near $100 per barrel, but was instead around $40? Would Russia as we know it any longer exist?
Even as this horrific carnage was occurring, the Kremlin was insanely announcing massive increases in defense spending, a further provocation of the United States and a further reason for world markets to worry and drag down Russia’s market even further, as if it didn’t it even read yesterday’s papers. Its frenzied attempt to pump raw cash into the markets was exposed as a total failure, just the same as its crazed Georgia adventure.
The only question now is whether this apocalypse is suffient to convince the craven people of Russia that they need regime change. Vladimir Putin as stealth president for life has not worked out too well, and nobody should be suprised. Putin has never met a payroll, never studied economics, and has no idea how to govern except by imposing brute thuggish force. The idea of this cretin rushing about the Kremlin shrieking bloody threats, just as Stalin would have done, as the market founders would be comical if it were not so very sad. To hear Putin, and his equally unqualified sycophant Dima Medvedev, pontificating about Russia’s strong economic fundamentals may be one of the great tragicomic moments in all of human history. If things continue as they are, Russia itself will surely go the way of the RTSI, the way indeed of the USSR.
Will you speak now, people of Russia? Or will your wretched history repeat itself once again?
We hate to say we told you so, but we did, in fact, tell you — not once but many times — that this was coming. And now we tell you that you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, if you allow the status quo to persist.