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Russia Has Few Options for Turning Its Economy Around

Feb 5, 2016 | 09:42 GMT
Depressed energy prices have sent the value of the Russian ruble tumbling and inflation soaring. Pressure is mounting for the central bank to solve the country's deepening economic crisis, but its choices for effecting change are limited.
A man walks past a board of foreign currency rates against the ruble in Moscow on Jan. 15. Pressure is mounting for the Central Bank of Russia to solve the country's deepening economic crisis, but its choices for effecting change are limited.
(VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Low oil prices have thrown a wrench in many of the world's economies, but perhaps nowhere more so than Russia. Depressed energy prices have sent the value of the Russian ruble tumbling and inflation soaring, and much of the Russian population is struggling to make ends meet. The Central Bank of Russia, under pressure to find a solution to the country's deepening economic crisis, is exploring all of the monetary policy options at its disposal. But the bank will find that its primary tool for combating the inflation wreaking havoc on the Russian economy -- adjusting the country's key interest rate -- may be difficult to actually use under the current circumstances. As a result, bank officials will likely be forced to turn to secondary, less effective measures to keep the Russian economy from sliding even further into disrepair....

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