The Russian ruble
As Russia has deployed its reserves to (so far unsuccessfully) stop the currency collapse, it has made traders betting against the ruble richer while leaving the Russian government poorer. Poorer by $80 billion, to be precise.
Paul Krugman has a good treatment of the basic theory, scroll through a few of his posts here. From Leonid Ragozin:
Many commentators were especially annoyed that the discrepancy between the ruble and other currencies means Russians are essentially barred from traveling outside the country. “So now we are under a travel ban. … They didn’t even need to introduce exit visas [like the ones people needed in Soviet times] or build an iron curtain,” Boris Yunanov, the deputy editor of the liberal New Times magazine, wrote on Facebook…
The most popular vacation spots for Russians will be hurt, they left out Goa.
Let us not forget intertemporal substitution:
Retailers had to change prices multiple times to keep up with the rouble’s fall. Shoppers, on the other hand, rushed to beat the price hikes.
The main reseller of Apple in Moscow, re:Store, saw sales two to three times higher than normal at one central branch, according to a salesman, reports Jack Farchy in Moscow.
Since then Apple has shut down on-line sales. Here are a few photos.
Kevin Drum speculates about historical parallels. Will selling gold be their next move? You can follow the very latest on Twitter.