Archive for December, 2008

Russia devaluation

Dec. 24, 08 (Bloomberg) — Russia devalued the ruble for the third time in a week, sending the currency to its lowest level against the dollar since January 2006, as oil’s drop below $37 a barrel dimmed the outlook for growth.

The ruble, down 18 percent against the dollar since the beginning of August 08, weakened 0.9 percent against the U.S. currency to 28.6905 and 1.4 percent versus the euro to 40.1773, near an all-time low.

The currency has fallen 14 percent against the dollar and 11 percent versus the euro this year 2008  amid the plunge in oil, international condemnation of the country’s war with Georgia and the spreading global credit crisis.

BNP Paribas SA estimates investors withdrew $211 billion from Russia since August 08.

The nation’s oligarchs, who and took over assets of the biggest companies after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, are vying for $78 billion of Kremlin loans to meet debt payments.


Since November 08, Russian warships have engaged in joint naval exercises with Venezuela, the first in the Caribbean since the Cold War; Chinese PresidentHu Jintao signed a free-trade agreement with Peru; and Brazil invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a state visit.

Latin American and Caribbean leaders gathering in Brazil tomorrow will mark a historic occasion: a region-wide summit that excludes the United States.

Hunger, prices of food

The Food and Agriculture Organization, a UN agency based in Rome, said in September that food costs rose 52 percent over the previous year, driving an additional 75 million into hunger.

More people don’t have enough to eat than at any time in more than three decades, partly because of the higher prices, the UN said.