Pass/Fail Test?

Could Russia become a failed state?

Source: Socialist Organizer

Almost a century ago the Russian people rose against their leaders. The feckless Romanoff dynasty had presided over a brutal conflict with Germany, mass poverty at home, and brutal repression of dissent. An economic and political crisis forced the Czar to abdicate and a power struggle ensued, ending with the Bolshevist takeover in October 1917. Are there parallels to today?

With a massive stockpile of nuclear weapons and the world’s sixth largest economy, a lot of investors want to know if Russia could descend into the same anarchic chaos today. The short answer is, not yet. Doomsayers are getting a bit ahead of themselves. While the Ruble is facing collapse on the foreign exchange markets, Russia hasn’t run out of money yet. They still have massive reserves.

Source: Scoopnest

Their central bank has over $400 billion – over 15% of their economy. About half is easily accessible. There’s enough accumulated surplus for Russia to cover its debts through 2016. But with oil below $60 per barrel, these won’t last forever.

Russia is the latest victim of the “resource curse,” the paradoxical instability that comes from having sizable holdings of a valuable commodity. Too much of a country’s intellectual, financial, and physical capital becomes devoted to one particular product. With nations, as well as with portfolios, diversification provides stability.

But don’t press the panic button yet. There’s still time for Russia to restructure. And since they need all their export earnings, don’t expect cutoffs of natural gas exports to Europe.


Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
Phone: 603-224-1350
Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all!

Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

www.chartertrust.com • www.moneybasicsradio.com www.globalmarketupdate.net
By | 2017-07-17T12:23:09+00:00 December 18th, 2014|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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