Only time will tell. The combined sanctions leveled by the United States and its European partners in response to Russia’s aggressions in the Ukraine are putting a sting into Russia’s economy. The Russian GDP in 2013 was a lackluster 1.3 percent, and this year estimates are pointing to a devastating 0.2 percent growth rate. Yet the possible negative boomerang effect of these sanctions on Europe’s own economy, as well as our own, is not the only concerning outcome.
At times of weakening economies, one form of currency tends to increase dramatically in value — gold. As an example, from 2008 to 2011 (the height of our last economic collapse) the price of gold in the United States went from $1,000 to $1,700 per ounce, or a 70 percent increase. Know who’s sitting on one of the largest hoards of this precious metal in world? You got it — Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Earlier this year, estimates put its stockpile of gold at 1,040 metric tons.
So the question is: Despite his strategic egg-laying blunders of annexing Crimea and supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine, could those eggs (ironically) turn out to be golden ones? Let’s hope not.
Upper St. Clair