Neither Primakov nor Maslyukov nor Central Bank chief Viktor Gerashchenko have been clear about whether the government has begun the “controlled emission” which all of them have suggested may be needed. The government claims to have paid off its debts to soldiers and students, and Primakov has promised to pay off the state’s arrears to its employees pensioners and others by the end of the year. Given extremely low rates of tax collection, some suspect that the government has already started printing money. Former acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar claims that the Central Bank printed 7 billion new rubles (about US$500 million) last week alone (Moskovsky komsomolets, October 5).
Meanwhile, Maslyukov told NTV’s “Itogi” that at least 60 billion rubles (about US$4 billion) is needed just to maintain Russia’s banking system. “According to experts’ predictions,” according (in turn) to Moskovsky komsomolets, “we will get a new leap in the dollar rate and, naturally, in prices even by the start of winter.”
OCTOBER 7 MAY PASS PEACEFULLY: IT MAY NOT.