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The Russian Crisis: A Debt Perspective


  • Niko Gobbin
  • Bruno Merlevede


On 17 August 1998 the Russian authorities devalued the ruble, suspended repayments of ruble-denominated government paper and announced a moratorium on the Russian foreign debt. By doing so the government brought the domestic banking sector to the edge of bankruptcy and risked losing the little international faith still remaining in its abilities to restructure the economy. In this article we examine the deeper causes of the crisis. After having analysed its antecedents we gather our new insights into a basic stylised model of the crisis. The outcome of the model is then linked to the actual data and events.

Suggested Citation

  • Niko Gobbin & Bruno Merlevede, 2000. "The Russian Crisis: A Debt Perspective," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 141-163.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:pocoec:v:12:y:2000:i:2:p:141-163 DOI: 10.1080/14631370050043616

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1998. "Currency and banking crises: the early warnings of distress," International Finance Discussion Papers 629, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    3. Pablo Emilio Guidotti & Guillermo Calvo, 1991. "Speculative Attacks," IMF Working Papers 91/10, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
    5. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency Crashes in Emerging Markets: Empirical Indicators," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233424, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    6. Robert P Flood & Jagdeep S. Bhandari & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1991. "Speculative Attacks and Models of Balance of Payments Crises," IMF Working Papers 91/99, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1994. "Fixed exchange rates as a means to price stability: What have we learned?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 447-468, April.
    8. Garber, Peter M. & Svensson, Lars E.O., 1995. "The operation and collapse of fixed exchange rate regimes," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 1865-1911 Elsevier.
    9. Flood, Robert & Marion, Nancy, 1999. "Perspectives on the Recent Currency Crisis Literature," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, January.
    10. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Self-Protection for Emerging Market Economies," NBER Working Papers 6907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Robert P. Flood & Nancy P. Marion, 1997. "Policy Implications of "Second-Generation" Crisis Models," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(3), pages 383-390, September.
    12. Komulainen, Tuomas, 1999. "Currency crisis theories : Some explanations for the Russian case," BOFIT Discussion Papers 1/1999, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    13. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Javier Díaz-Cassou & Aitor Erce-Domínguez & Juan J. Vázquez-Zamora, 2008. "The role of the IMF in recent sovereign debt restructurings: Implications for the policy of lending into arrears," Occasional Papers 0805, Banco de España;Occasional Papers Homepage.
    2. Aitor Erce, 2013. "Sovereign debt restructurings and the IMF: implications for future official interventions," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 143, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    3. Javier Díaz-Cassou & Aitor Erce-Domínguez & Juan J. Vázquez-Zamora, 2008. "Recent episodes of sovereign debt restructurings. A case-study approach," Occasional Papers 0804, Banco de España;Occasional Papers Homepage.
    4. Venla Sipilä, 2002. "The Russian triple crisis 1998: currency, finance and budget," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 17, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).

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