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Friday, October 24, 2008

Head of Ukrainian Association of Banks Weighs in on Crisis

With Ukraine’s banking system in turmoil and people rushing to close their accounts, the National Bank of Ukraine issued a temporary freeze on deposit withdrawals.

Although the official exchange rate remains at Hr 5.15 per dollar, the asking price on the streets of Kyiv has reached Hr 6, up from Hr 4.6 in July.

Oleksandr Suhonyako, President of the Association of Ukrainian Banks: What’s been going on with the exchange rate, to a large degree, is caused by surging demand on the one hand and by speculative moments on the other. For some reason, everybody thinks that the dollar means salvation again. There’s only one thing left for us to do: to be real citizens and to ask… perhaps even MPs will heed the call that…don’t run, don't demand, don't use it to withdraw your deposits before the maturity date. Be an example. May it be your money, not your shame, that will burn during…during this, because the absence of panic is prerequisite for our Ukrainian society to weather this crisis and solidify.

Do those MPs have any shame to start with?

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Anonymous said...

For Ukrainian Members of Parliament and government officials and oligarchs, it's easy - they've taken their money to Cyprus, and Antigua, and Switzerland, and have invested in Londongrad, as we recently saw with Pinchuk, and with a group of "cash-rich" Ukrainian investors who bought a prime piece of commercial real estate in London on Old Bond Street.

The oligarchs/Members of Parliament who have robbed the country blind have nothing to worry about.

If this "call to banking" were being made by a government that truly cared for its people, and led by example, I have no doubt that millions of Ukrainians would be glad to respond.

But with Yanukovych/Akhmetov protecting their own business interests, through the use of government, with Yushchenko sucking up to Firtash and RosUkrEnergo, with Tymoshenko sucking up to her own set of oligarchs and crooks (including Medvedchuk) - somehow it all rings hollow.

When Jimmy Stewart, in "It's a Wonderful Life", called on his fellow townspeople not to make a run on his small bank, he was invested in the town. He was one with the people, and his business benefited the people. There are hundreds of community banks like that around the US, and even bigger banks, which are mindful of their investment in, and responsibility to, the community. (This is despite the contrary examples of greed and dishonesty in some banks that cause trouble for everyone else.)

Somehow, in Ukraine, it doesn't seem the same, and this "call to arms" and "call to faith" in the banking system really rings hollow.

I hope it changes.

I hope that Yushchenko finally comes to his senses. I hope that Tymoshenko finally comes to her senses.

I hope that Yanuk takes his golf clubs, the ones which he so proudly displayed in a TV interview in one of his dachas, and goes on a long vacation at a golf resort somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Hey, come and comment to Srebrenica genocide blog. We miss you :) You practically dissapeared :)

Taras said...

Elmer, here’s how the story goes:

The bankers made all the bad loans they could. The overnight owners of Ukrainian industry thought the commodity bonanza would never end.

Now they’re telling us we have credit crunches and extremely costly factory shut-downs. Now the government has secured a $16.5B loan from the IMF so that we taxpayers would pick up the tab.

Now I know exactly what Yushchenko meant when he promised that “the rich will help the poor.”

Good to see you again, Dan!

I’m back:)