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US May Rely on Indirect Sanctions to Cause Russian Markets Collapse
April 18, 2014 17:03

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US has warned mutual fund and hedge fund managers of possible further sanctions against Russia. At a closed meeting in Washington a week ago, administration officials spoke of the risks of exposure to the Russian equity or debt markets.
The investor who leaked the news to the press was uncertain whether the administration was serious about its intentions or simply wanted to stage a massive sell-off of Russian securities.
The meeting could be a signal that Washington was seeking to impose indirect costs on the Russian economy. “The biggest weapon in terms of sanctions would be similar sanctions to what we did in Iran and basically try to exclude Russia from international financial markets,” William Pomeranz, deputy director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington told the Business Insider. “The Russians fear that, and that is what the Russians want to avoid.”
Amid uncertainty, investors have been selling Russian securities, prompting a 7.3 percent slump of the currency against the dollar.
Earlier, Russia-IC reported that the US could use oil prices as a powerful tool to punish Russia. Some American billionaires like George Soros have called on the Obama administration to tap into its strategic petroleum reserve to cause a slide in oil prices.
A dip by at least $12 a barrel could cost Russia about $40 billion in lost income from oil and gas sales, equivalent to 2 percent of its economy.

Many experts, however, have rebuffed the calls to attempt to lower the prices by selling emergency reserves. “If you use oil and aim it at Russia, you’ll hit Texas,” Bloomberg quoted Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners LLC, a Washington-based consultant, as saying. Many of the US oil producers don’t have too big a margin to endure its drop, the expert went on to say. 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Ukraine crisis Crimea US sanctions   

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