After the central bank dramatically raised interest rates by 6.5 percentage points to 17 percent overnight, Russia has given up any pretence that it is not in the grip of a currency crisis.
The European Central Bank meets today with the debate about quantitative easing running hot after Mario Draghi declared “excessively low” inflation had to be raised fast and that the ECB would act more forcefully if its existing efforts to pump money into the ailing euro zone economy fall short.
Sweden’s centre-left administration is on the brink just two months into office after a far-right party announced it would side with the centre-right opposition to vote against the 2015 budget. The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, who are shunned by all other parties in the Riksdag, holds the balance of power.
Ukraine’s currency shed nearly 5 percent on Monday after a weekend that saw the heaviest shelling in a month of the main rebel stronghold in the east and signs that Moscow had dispatched troops and tanks to reinforce separatists. The prospect that a two-month-old ceasefire could collapse has helped drive the currency 12 percent lower since the central bank abandoned an unofficial peg a week ago.
True to its word, the EU agreed sweeping sanctions on Russia yesterday, targeting trade in equipment for the defence and oil sectors and, most crucially, barring Russia’s state-run banks from accessing European capital markets. The measures will be imposed this week and will last for a year initially with three monthly reviews allowing them to be toughened if necessary.