– Russian Retaliation #1: Russia Largest Bank Halts Foreign Currency Loans (ZeroHedge, April 2, 2014):
It didn’t take long for Russia to launch the first retaliatory salvo against the unexpected JPMorgan “act of aggression.” Moments ago Bloomberg just reported that Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia and all of Eastern Europe, just halted the issuance of consumer loans in foreign currency. Bloomberg adds that “Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, holds 43.3% of nation’s consumer deposits, 32.7% of consumer loans and 32.1% of corporate loans.”
Why is this important? Well, it is possible that the biggest Russian bank is running low on foreign reserves with which to issue non-ruble loans, which is rather unlikely for a bank which is defacto part of the Russian financial system. Still, it would be problematic if Russia is indeed telegraphing its commodity-export driven economy is suddenly low on Dollars and/or Europe’s artificial, life-supported currency.
And then there is another possibility: as we explained yesterday, “what JPM may have just done is launch a preemptive strike which would have the equivalent culmination of a SWIFT blockade of Russia, the same way Iran was neutralized from the Petrodollar and was promptly forced to begin transacting in Rubles, Yuan and, of course, gold in exchange for goods and services either imported or exported.” And this: “One wonders: is JPM truly that intent in preserving its “pristine” reputation of not transacting with “evil Russians”, that it will gladly light the fuse that takes away Russia’s choice whether or not to depart the petrodollar voluntarily, and makes it a compulsory outcome, which incidentally will merely accelerate the formalization of the Eurasian axis of China, Russia and India.”
Judging by the first retaliation, which just showed what Russia thinks of the petrodollar regime by voluntarily isolating itself from it, this is certainly a growing possibility.