Rough Days For The Ruble

Russia's markets are reeling as fears of a meltdown rise

On the evening of May 19, a convoy of luxury cars pulled up to a glass building on Leninsky Prospekt in central Moscow. Executives from Russia's top 10 investment banks hopped out of their Volvos and Mercedes and headed to the office of Dmitri Vasilyev, chairman of Russia's Federal Securities Commission. The Russian stock market had plunged 12% that day and was down more than 40% for the year so far. Vasilyev had summoned the bankers to his office to learn why. "We told him the major problem is lack of trust," says Marlen Manassov, general director of Brunswick Warburg investment bank in Moscow.

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