In terms of radical proposals, Sverdlovsk regional governor Eduard Rossel went well beyond Yuri Maslyukov’s economic draft. After a meeting with President Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin, he told reporters he had urged a total ban on foreign currency circulation, the creation of a ruble backed by gold, much like the one the Soviet government issued during the hyperinflation of the 1920s, and an “economic amnesty,” which he claimed would bring US$70 billion out from the shadow economy. What is more, said Rossel, Yeltsin had backed his ideas, and even called Central Bank chief Viktor Gerashchenko and told him to give them serious consideration. After Rossel’s rendition hit the airwaves, a Kremlin spokesman came out and denied that the head of state backed the idea of banning foreign currency (Russian agencies, October 1).
THE STATISTICS: MORE BAD ECONOMIC NEWS.