The PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by the International Monetary Fund on the Central Bank’s handling of past disbursements is still officially confidential, but its contents have been widely publicized. The audit found: two sets of Central Bank books; reserves loaned to commercial banks and still reported as reserves; use of reserves and IMF loans to speculate in the market for short-term treasury bills (GKOs), with no accounting of the profits; and extensive laundering of money through FIMACO and Evrofinans, two offshore institutions which the Central Bank controlled in partnership with private companies. Most of this knavery was the work of the unrepentant Viktor Gerashchenko, president of the Central Bank in the early 1990s and again since 1998. But this record of fraud and lies did not prevent the IMF from granting more loans or Western creditor governments from agreeing last week to renegotiate the repayment of some $40 billion they have loaned to Russia. Commercial creditors, holding over $30 billion in Soviet-era debt, also have little choice but to take whatever deals the Russians offer…. If you owe a million, goes the old saw, you don’t sleep at night. If you owe a billion, it’s your banker who lies awake. Russia is so deep in debt that the creditors have a stronger interest in keeping the loans alive than the Russians do in avoiding default. An easy negotiation for the Russians.