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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Oil Price Forecast: The end of both the ruble and the dollar. Stock up on oil

The State Duma proposed to “reduce” the salaries of Russians. They want to increase pension contributions. Russia’s billionaires have become $ 19 billion richer this year. Food prices in Russia continue to rise. In the summer, Russia will face a new economic crisis. Liberals prevent Russians from buying gold. The dollar will “die” in one day. The ruble will collapse unexpectedly.


Throughout the winter, news about food prices and falling incomes of Russians resembled war reports, now the State Duma has decided to do its bit by sharply cutting the salaries of Russians. Cut on paper. State Duma deputy Andrei Vetluzhskikh proposed to calculate the salaries of Russians in a new way… The essence of this arithmetic operation is to count not the average salary, but the median, which, as the Duma said, is one third less than the arithmetic average. Also, according to Vetluzhskikh, “overtime, differentiation by average salary, there are methodological flaws” are not taken into account. The conclusion to which the deputy came: it is necessary to conduct monitoring. Of course, this does not solve the problem of raising the level of wages of Russians, but first – monitoring. Apparently, because we manage to manage the monitoring, but the increase in income has not happened for a long time.

Other deputies are also making their contribution to the cause of social justice these days. Sergei Mironov , chairman of the A Just Russia – For Truth party (the clarification “for truth” appeared in the name of the party after the recent congress: apparently, it was finally possible to agree on what this party stands for) suggested introducing a flat scale of contributions to the Russian Pension Fund. According to media reports, “the corresponding bill has been sent to the government of the country . ” Recall that under the current system, for employees who receive a salary of less than 1,465,000 rubles a year, the employer pays 22% of the salary to the Pension Fund, and if the salary is higher, then 10% of the salary. Now the deputies propose to make sure that in all cases, contributions to the Pension Fund would be 22%. it TheThe proposal is also supported by another parliamentarian – LDPR deputy Yaroslav Nilov . So now, if the bill is passed, the deductions from the poor salaries and the rich will be the same. Justice has almost triumphed.

Only three points remain unclear. The first moment – if the validity of this idea is obvious, then why did parliamentarians, who have been sitting in the Duma chairs for 10-20 years, begin to defend it so zealously and publicly ONLY NOW? Is the idea “ripening” or how is it customary to formulate it in such cases? The second moment – in order to fix the phrase “Contributions to the Pension Fund are 22% of the amount of accrued wages”, do you need a special bill? It is legally necessary, this is understandable, but the phrase “the corresponding bill has been sent to the government” sounds too pompous. Suffice it to say: legislative amendment. And the third moment – if the law is adopted, what will be the result? Will there be more contributions to the Pension Fund? Or will more Russians with high salaries go to the gray zone? We are watching the development of the plot. And we dare to assume that in the near future the Duma deputies will give birth to a whole host of proposals related to such concepts as “justice”, “the same”, “equalize”. Fraternite and egalite (though preferably without liberte) is a good story six months before the elections. However, like the story with a change in the approach to calculations.


However, despite the growing efforts of the deputies to achieve equality and brotherhood, another blow has been dealt to the Russian egalite.

As reported by the Russian media with reference to Bloomberg , in January-February 2021 the aggregate fortune of the Russian rich grew very sharply – by $ 18.3 billion at once.

The co-owners of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) Andrei Kozitsyn and Iskander Makhmudov , each worth more than $ 2 billion , have become the most wealthy since the beginning of the new year .

All is well with many other outstanding Russians, whose names are well known to compatriots – Vladimir Potanin , Leonid Mikhelson , Vladimir Lisin , Roman Abramovich , Vagit Alekperov and other leaders of oligarchic labor.

As for the remaining 140 million Russians, they may not be jealous: according to media reports, another international agency, Reuters, learned about the intention of the Russian authorities before the elections to issue social benefits to Russians in the amount of 500 billion rubles . And this is twice as much as the two-month capital addition for the two co-owners of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company combined.

The reasons for such a sharp rise in the welfare of the oligarchs to the Prime agency were well explained by Alexander Osin, an analyst of the department of trading operations on the Russian stock market of the Freedom Finance company . I quote: “The main reasons for the sharp acceleration in the welfare of billionaires lie in the increase in the stock capitalization of issuers with low liquidity or the estimated value of non-tradable companies, as well as the dynamics of certain highly liquid securities, with a significant contribution here made by“ value shares ”from the metallurgical sector” (end of quote) … Well, now it’s not at all insulting.


However, there is no particular faith in all these Bloomberg and Reuters. Moreover, the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia called the conclusions of Bloomberg on the rise in prices in Russia “speculative” . Bloomberg recently ranked Russia as one of the world’s hot spots for food price increases. Offended in the best feelings, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade recalled in a special statement that it “together with Rosstat and the Federal Tax Service are conducting operational monitoring of food prices, which allows you to track the fluctuations and impact of the rise in world prices on domestic prices.” The statement does not say how much such a triple monitoring affects the CAM price growth. The main thing is that the “troika” is on guard, and to question it, like Gogolwhere exactly it is flying is somehow inconvenient … But, I think, Bloomberg will reel in one simple truth: if the rise in prices is monitored, then it may not be considered a problem.

And I’m afraid that Bloomberg, where the down-to-earth materialists undoubtedly work, does not know very well how, with the help of monitoring and statistics, you can fundamentally reverse any situation and even achieve a small economic miracle. More recently, the Russian media came out with the headlines “Crimea’s economy has grown by almost 20%.” Rather, the full title reads like this: “Crimea’s economy grew by almost 20% after recalculation”… It turns out that Rosstat applied a new calculation method, after which the Crimean economy grew by 19% in numbers, Sevastopol – by as much as 53%, and on average the regions of Russia jumped by more than 6%. I believe that now any Russian schoolchild who has received a bad mark for the statement “twice two is five” can perk up and understand that new perspectives open up before him. Although the new method of calculating the economies of the regions is not so new, if we recall the history of domestic animation: “And in parrots I am much longer!”. True, the real length of the boa constrictor did not change from the recount in the past years.


Meanwhile, some Russian departments, which apparently have not mastered the higher mathematics of their colleagues, continue to struggle with the problem of rising food prices, which was discussed in previous issues of “1001 Seconds on the Economy . 

In particular, the Federal Antimonopoly Service, on behalf of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Andrei Belousov, is checking the validity of the increase in prices for chicken and eggs . Obviously, Mr. Belousov does not know that allegations of price increases in our country are “speculative” and Russia in this regard is not a “hot spot” at all. However, as the ancient Roman proverb says, what is allowed to Belousov is not allowed to Bloomberg …

Meanwhile, judging by the reports of some Russian media, the news about prices following the news about the incomes of Russians still resemble reports from the fronts. As reported in the media, “the factories will be able to keep the price of sunflower oil until the end of August . ” After which, apparently, either surrender or “retreat to prepared positions” will follow.

As Izvestia was informed with reference to a source in the Fat and Oil Union (there is such an unbreakable union in our country), “sunflower oil producers are ready to keep the cost of sunflower oil and sell it to retailers at around 95 rubles per liter. until the end of August 2021 “. “Manufacturers are willing to maintain this price for the convenience of buyers,” the publication reads further. “Okay, thanks for that too!” – the buyer, touched by the concern for his comfort, will hasten to respond. But then the strange begins: “In September, the companies are going to revise the price of the goods downward. Producers expect that this year’s sunflower harvest will be larger, due to which the raw material will fall in price and the price of a bottle of oil will also change. The Union predicts that butter will cost about 80 rubles against 110 rubles in retail now “… On our own, we add: re-read all that has been said again and together we will ask a few questions. The first question is: so the factories are heroically keeping oil prices not from INCREASING, but from DECREASING? The second question is: why then this retention is explained (I quote again) “goals of customer comfort”? Maybe we are talking about psychological comfort: seeing a decrease in the price of sunflower oil, a Russian buyer will experience a sharp cognitive dissonance and may faint right in the store.

However, all this is the subtleties of psychology. In the meantime, the Russians were also warned about the impending increase in prices for olive oil . On this occasion, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry did not begin to impress the Russians with the scientific formulation and simply advised them to “store olive oil for future use.” On our own behalf, we add that, based on historical experience, it is possible to assert with a high degree of probability: it is also more reliable …

Well, against the background of all this egg-chicken-fruit and vegetable epic, the news about the forthcoming reform of the heat market remained completely unnoticed . If we omit all the details and isolate the main thing, then the main thing for some reason seems to be the phrase “Major modernization requires funds . ” In this place, any Russian living in the world in the slightest degree says to himself: “Aha!” and frantically starts checking to see if his wallet is in place. However, the vice-president of the near-government Center for Strategic Research Victoria Gimadireassures: “the population will be protected from a sharp rise in prices by a transition period of five years and a restriction on the total payment for housing and communal services.” However, in this place we propose not to relax and carefully “watch your hands”: the population will be protected not from rising prices, but from a sharp rise in prices. Which automatically means: the “usual” rise in prices for heat to Russians, apparently, is guaranteed.

In this place, of course, I would also like to advise the Russians to stock up for future use, but I’m afraid they won’t be able to stock up on heat for the future. Moreover, the collection of dead wood in the nearby forests has long been regulated and “marked”. So we will rely on the warmth of our hearts. As a last resort – shake the old days and remember the classic: “Lips turn blue from the cold, but lips whisper in a row:“ In four years there will be a garden city ”…


New data on the impact of the viral crisis are increasingly hampering optimism. In particular, according to Kommersant, according to experts, the share of Russian consumers affected by the crisis has exceeded the world average . If on average in the world 46% of people said that they felt a decrease in their incomes under the impact of the virus, then in Russia there are 53%, and 69% said that they had to save in comparison with their “pre-viral” level of consumption. However, some experts believe that these are still flowers and that the situation may worsen by summer. According to the publication “Finance. Business. Marketing “ , according to economist Vyacheslav Zaychenko“Just in time for the elections, a large number of systemic problems will appear, for which the country may not be ready at all … Stores are empty, there is a shortage of fuel in some regions … At the same time, Russians are accustomed to emotional apathy. Nowhere in the ministries do they receive … letters about the financial difficulties of Russian families. And they certainly exist ”. Ironically, under such a pessimistic publication, two advertisements float – “Do you want to have a kept woman?” and “Start a relationship with God.” The algorithm of advertising aggregators must be given its due: indeed, the economic crisis clearly enhances the possibility for Russians to implement either the first or the second option.


However, as it became clear from the economic news, much earlier than even the Russians affected by the crisis, the American financial system can meet with God. The well-known Russian economist Mikhail Khazin predicted her collapse at the end of spring – this was discussed in the issue of “1001 seconds about the economy” before last . Another economic oracle, Valentin Katasonov , outdid his colleague in the sonorousness of his statements. “The dollar will disappear in a day”– reads the title of the publication about his next statement. It is, however, about the local death of the hated “green serpent”. It turns out, according to Katasonov, “if the Russian Ministry of Finance decides not to take VAT at the rate of 20% from Russians who buy gold, as within one day citizens will buy up all the gold reserves, selling ALL their dollars” ( end of quote).

“Again, the Fed’s hirelings Siluanov and Nabiullina are hindering such success!” – patriotic compatriots will exclaim in this place. And, perhaps, they will believe that, of course, solely the presence of VAT keeps us from purchasing gold coins and bars. Otherwise, they would have saved on sunflower oil and the queues would have occupied, with wheelbarrows and carts, since everyone knows that the atomic mass of gold is 196.96654, so the whole family will have to be harnessed.

However, this will not come to this, because, as Katasonov says, “the Russian liberals, who oversee the Central Bank under the strict supervision of the IMF and other foreign organizations, cannot allow the dollar to collapse, even in one single country like Russia.”

True, it’s not very clear from Mr. Katasonov’s explanations why the Russians, spitting on the malicious liberals from the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance, don’t get rid of dollars and don’t run instead of gold to buy, for example, diamonds. We will venture to express our proposal: what if there is simply not enough money?

Another piece of news from the same series: “Russia has created an alternative to the US dollar and shale gas in the Arctic . ” But before starting to lubricate the skis and send in the footsteps of Raoul Amundsen , the Russian should read the note carefully. From this it turns out that the EVO-RUS.COM agency, hitherto unknown to the author , reports that pRussian specialists are implementing a project in the Arctic called Yamal LNG related to gas production, and its successful implementation will make it possible to “abandon the US currency in trade relations”. “The dominance of the US currency is in danger of severely shaking,” the newspaper states, apparently unaware that the Fed is on the lookout and controls the Central Bank (according to Katasonov’s version). The connection between the gas project in Yamal and the change in the foreign exchange market seems, however, to put it mildly, not very clear. Unless it is conceived to poison all the insidious liberals with this gas, and the Russian people will jointly rush for gold. We promise to monitor the situation.

However, there are also other horrors on the foreign exchange market. As reported by the Prime agency with reference to the Russian experts interviewed by it, “the ruble can collapse when no one expects it . ” However, here the Russians themselves can reassure the worried experts: “Don’t worry, dear ones, we are always waiting for this.” One way or another, currency horror stories, as we predicted in the last issue of “1001 Seconds about the Economy,” are growing seasonally: spring is coming – spring is on the way …

The restless Lenta.ru contributed its five kopecks to the topic of currency adventures by publishing the publication “The Russians have been named the best currency for savings” . “Come on, come on!” – the Russians perked up, clearly lost in conjecture on this issue. From the article it turns out that the best currency for savings will be … the US dollar. But not for some vague global economic reasons, but (I quote the publication), because ” Dmitry Babin , an expert on the stock market BCS World of Investments, called him such in an interview with RIA Novosti .”

The analyst Bavin, of course, is not to blame for such an interpretation, but for the authors of the note, the wish is a little more delicate in relation to cause-and-effect relationships. And then, the hour is uneven, the Russians will decide that the Brazilian real will be the best option for savings for them, if any analyst mentions it in vain.

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