"Novye Izvestia" asked experts in the field of economics and finance about all of these issues. The editorial board of Novye Izvestia informs: nothing in this text is a recommendation, advice, or call to action. The following are the views and opinions of specific people with knowledge and practical experience. Everyone should make decisions independently on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of information and based on a specific situation.
Yulia Suntsova, Natalya Seybil
The ruble continues its rapid fall. Currency on request for citizens will soon remain only on the black market, and that one - at a rate that has skyrocketed. Gold coins are running out even in the so-called. system banks. Imported cars made X2 in a week. Real estate prices in Moscow and the Moscow region, and in large cities, have hit their highs. Due to the sanctions blockade and supply problems, an explosive rise in prices for food, medicine and goods is predicted, followed by a shortage.
You don't need to be an expert to understand that inflation will be the highest, probably in the last twenty years.
Coming mass unemployment is not denied even in the Kremlin. Isolationism is also, to put it mildly, not the best factor for the economy.
What is it not too late to do to reduce possible risks and negative consequences for yourself and your family?
According to a group of economists and financiers at the European University at St. Petersburg ( Daria Antonova, Yulia Vymyatnina, Svetlana Lavrova, Dmitry Skogarevsky), there is no need to make sudden movements with savings now - firstly, it is harmful, secondly, it is too late:
- Urgently selling or buying currency or securities, making other sudden movements without an urgent need does not make sense. At the moment, various channels for stabilizing the exchange rate are being used - an increase in the key rate by the Central Bank, a mandatory sale of foreign exchange earnings by exporters (80%), a ban on transferring foreign currency to accounts in foreign banks and lending in foreign currency to non-residents. Those. The Central Bank is trying to reduce the demand for the ruble and increase the supply of foreign currency in the country in order to stabilize the exchange rate.
Also, according to the group of authors, it makes no sense to try to ensure the transfer of funds abroad and from abroad through operations with cryptocurrencies - these are extremely volatile financial assets, which, moreover, do not have legal circulation in Russia. All stories about transfers using cryptocurrencies are stories of the extreme collapse of the state (a la Venezuela), Russia is still not at this stage.
But on March 9, the black market for cash was launched, says Igor Lipsits, Doctor of Economics, Professor at the Higher School of Economics:
- Formation of the black market of cash currency begins. Only for the richest, of course! No one - at first - will bother with small orders from ordinary citizens. But with large clients, work will begin immediately. It seems to me that the infrastructure and "protection" will be provided by the same characters who served the "cash out" market. And, of course, now it will not be possible to "buy currencies" for the sake of emergency emigration...
Who did not have time with the currency, he did not have time, now throwing is meaningless. At least until September 9, everything was hanging on this topic, notes financier Igor Nikolayev:
- Ruble deposits now, of course, you can never be calm, but I think that in the next month or two something especially terrible will not happen. Leaving it at 3% - 5%, as it was, is completely wrong, because money is now rapidly depreciating, they promise 18-20%, I think we need to shift. Currency accounts - whoever succeeds should try to withdraw, but not more than 10 thousand dollars, otherwise everything else will be issued in rubles at the rate set by the Central Bank. It is better to spend idle rubles on medicines and long-term storage food, especially imported ones - you will not regret it. Everything has gone up in price and will go up in price even more.
- Well, about those who buy into such offers - a large percentage in banks, I can say one thing: idiots must pay. I believe that only those who want to be saved need to be saved. All other idiots have to pay. I do not recommend taking money to the bank. You can forget about investments. Sberbank fell by 99.7% in shares, it makes no sense to open a Russian stock exchange. Spend money on food and medicine. Technology is pointless, you can't sell it. Jewelry and antiques, as you remember, were exchanged at flea markets for bread in wartime, - entrepreneur Dmitry Potapenko notes.
It looks like the only option left to save is gold, concludes economist Stepan Demura:
- Thanks to the abolition of VAT on gold, it has become much easier to buy it. So far, I don’t see a better asset that will grow in price, at least as fast as the ruble will fall.
But gold also has risks, other experts say. "Unfriendly countries", which included the entire civilized world, for example, ordered not to buy gold from Russia.
Gold bars: 250g. now it costs 811 thousand rubles. The sale at this moment is 612 thousand rubles, i.e. difference 32%. Will the default be steeper? If not, then it remains to believe the state and put on a deposit at 20% per annum, experts say.
- The abolition of VAT in Russia on the purchase of gold is undoubtedly a valuable step for those who have something to buy gold for and who stay in Russia. Ruble accounts are turning into accounting accounts for candy wrappers, gold is an asset in times of crisis. But not flawless. I'm afraid the current gold buyers in Russia have not read the brilliant book directed by Peter Greenaway "Gold". There, in particular, about how people who tried to save their fortunes through gold were ruined through it, - says economic observer Boris Grozovsky.
"What will happen to real estate prices? In currency terms, they will fall (weakening of the ruble, a long trend), in ruble terms, they will grow (inflation). In the event of a breakdown in hyperinflation (similar to Iran, for example) - to grow super-rapidly. In general, any Russian property is a long trend towards depreciation (in essence, in essence), risks tend upwards, liquidity downwards. What to do? Live with it. We are getting cheaper. All calculations for the purchase - sale of real estate, for debts should include estimates of the growth rate of own income in comparison with the rate of inflation", - says economist Yakov Mirkin.
"Well, what kind of mortgage at 18% -22%? Mortgages can be taken at 7% -8%. Everything above is bondage. Mortgages are taken for ten years. That's compound interest. Multiply and you will see that in ten years you will overpay more than twice. Where do you get such money from? I recommend that those who planned it do not do it", - says economist, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Abel Aganbegyan.
- I think we are very close to default. Moreover, the default, which, according to Deripaska's apt expression, will be the default of 1998, multiplied by three. But I would say that multiplied by ten. In 1998, it was a fundamentally different story. Then there was an open economy and it was possible to shuttle. Now where will you shuttle, where will you take the money from? America refuses to buy Russian oil. Europe, of course, will not give up gas quickly, but it is already actively looking for new partners...
An ordinary citizen needs to somehow anchor in his work. The key issue of the three things, the “three horsemen of the Apocalypse” is a sharp reduction in assortment, galloping price increases and unemployment. We have not flown into it yet, but it will be in April, says businessman Dmitry Potapenko. - If Russia's sovereign default comes, then it's time to start purring lines from everyone's favorite song "But we don't care, but we don't care..."
Well, yes, in the event of a default, Russia will lose for a long time the opportunity to borrow funds on the world market on acceptable terms. So we are already cut off from this market by sanctions. Yes, there could be freezes on export earnings from Russian companies that could go into default following the government. But this is already a "hat" for which one does not cry, if the head is off the shoulders (cut down)...
Russia is transforming with incredible speed into "North Korea-2" - a country that is economically self-contained and, moreover, completely dependent on the benevolence of China.
And for such a country, a new default is no longer very scary - there is practically nothing to lose! - says Doctor of Economics, Professor of the Higher School of Economics Igor Lipsits.
What will happen to food, medicines, technology, cars? Surely there will be an increase in prices in rubles for most goods. Moreover, in many cases, not so much due to changes in the exchange rate, but because of sanctions restrictions on the supply of many goods to Russia and the suspension of logistics routes. Many manufacturers stop both production in Russia and the supply of their goods/equipment/cars to the Russian Federation. Probably, before the easing of sanctions, we will remember the word "deficit". Unfortunately, for many positions, import substitution is impossible, or import-substituting production within the Russian Federation relies on components/substances imported from abroad, comment experts from the European University in St. Petersburg.
- It seems that soon the ruble will turn into an inconvertible or limitedly convertible currency. Citizens of the USSR lived all their lives without the dollar and with a shortage of goods. Now young people are also at risk of mastering the Soviet experience - coupons, cards, queues, shortages, the black currency market, - says economist, former head of the Russian Ministry of Economy Andrey Nechaev.
A possible PERSONAL STRATEGY TO WAIT OUT THE BAD TIMES is suggested by Abel Aganbegyan:
- "NI": What should be the personal strategy of citizens in order not to fall into poverty?
- If you have currency, you need to withdraw while they give 10 thousand dollars from the account. Then they won't. They will give it only if you pay wild Russian money for currency - this is a path only for emergencies. Best of all - 10 thousand under your pillow.
Inflation will be 20%, possibly more. If you keep ruble cash at home, then every month you will lose 2%. Therefore, it makes sense to put in the bank for a short period. Hopefully, this money will not be taken away from you.
There is uncertainty in the country right now. And in this situation it is better to have self-sufficiency. If you have a dacha, allocate a place and plant potatoes, carrots, cabbage. It certainly won't be redundant. We must understand that it will be worse.
But the worst thing is to be unemployed. If there is an opportunity to find a second job, do not refuse it. Real incomes will fall on average by 10% - 15%. Therefore, the main thing is to have a constant income. No need to be shy about ordinary work, get a special second education - a nurse, a driver, an electrician. Such specialists will not be left without work, - says Abel Aganbegyan.
If you worked for a Western company, were a valuable worker, you can leave. Many have now left for Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan and will continue to work in the same Western companies remotely.
- NI: - What should people with low incomes do?
- We need to buy medicines and food. Most people have not yet realized what is happening. This is a quantum leap. We abruptly found ourselves in the Stone Age. People compare with the nineties. But it's not. In 1998, at least some industry was alive that was self-sufficient. Now, in terms of the level of industrial development, I don’t even know what to compare it with... probably, with the first years after the 1917 coup. There will be a big rise in unemployment. Losing a job is really scary. Entire industries are being reset, there will be a lot of unemployed, especially in large cities - whole hordes of the so-called "white-collar workers", - says economist Stepan Demura.
"How can the economy recover in two years? No, with a regime change, all companies and capital may rush back, but it will take years, if not decades, to return. Most of these companies came to Russia in the 2000s on an already recovering, growing market. That is, realistically, everyone will first wait for recovery, then gradually return. And sometime a good attitude towards Russia and Russians should be accumulated again - that is, the bombing of Kiev, Kharkov, Nikolaev should be somehow forgotten (not by the inhabitants of Ukraine, but by viewers around the world)", - says economist Konstantin Sonin.
Several million of our compatriots living abroad had a day of farewell to the Visa and MasterCard cards issued by Russian banks yesterday. They have lost the opportunity to a) take cash with these cards abroad, b) pay with them in stores and in non-cash transactions. They are physically cut off from Union Pay cards - as a rule, it is impossible to fly to Russia, take them in your bank and return back (and few banks still issue Union Pay).
"They have ruble savings in Russia - they will melt. Someone has ruble incomes - they have been useless since yesterday, except that relatives still have access to accounts in Russia and you can try to transfer up to 5 thousand dollars to yourself. In practice - they write - such attempts may now fail. They are advised to deal with crypt for translation - but for the vast majority, crypt is a myth, especially since the technical details are unknown", - comments Yakov Mirkin.
So, farewell to the dual existence - with one foot in Russia, the other - abroad. Many of our compatriots will finally leave Russia in search of sources of livelihood anywhere.
And this, too, is broken destinies, although, of course, a lot of schemes and a lot of intermediaries will flourish, trying to break the iron curtain of money. What will it be? Hawala? Crypt? Some kind of mystical electronic wallets? Swaps (you tell me - in Russia, I tell you - abroad)? We'll see. And we will see how the traces of our compatriots will overgrow for years, and they will dissolve in other peoples and states.