The ink on the second Minsk agreement hasn’t even dried and already speculators are rubbing their hands together in greedy anticipation, ready to take a plunge into the Ruble’s “bargain” rate against the Dollar in the hope of a quick recovery. The basis for that sentiment is rather simple; market movers have long realized that the Russian Ruble is no longer a financial game but rather a geopolitical one. If tensions around Ukraine ease, the Ruble is expected to get some respite; if, however, tensions increase then still more sanctions are likely to loom over the Russian economy and the Ruble trade turns to short. The constant escalation and de-escalation and vice versa of the Ukrainian crisis has forced Ruble players to exercise greater caution. Yet, for some, the latest Minsk agreement represents a broader and perhaps longer lasting de-escalation and thus might further suggest that the Ruble could regain some lost ground. To assess whether that assumption is viable we must first delve into the political intricacies of Russia’s showdown with the West. Continue reading "Is the Ruble a Worthwhile Bargain?"