Time for a World-Class Ruble?

Russia wants to make its much-maligned currency fully convertible, in time for the July Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg. Skeptics abound

How times have changed in Russia. Any visitor to the Soviet Union in the late 1980s remembers being mobbed by Russians eager to offload their crummy rubles for hard Western currency. Even with the end of Communism, when ordinary Russians could at last sell rubles legally, they still did their best to steer clear of them, keeping their savings in trusty dollars stashed away at home. The Russian government, meanwhile, continued to nurse the ruble through various legal restrictions, ensuring that it remained a distinctly second-class currency that wasn't traded outside Russia.

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