Rouble in free-fall despite rate rise

Dec 16, 2014, 06:01 PM

Not since 1998 - when Russia defaulted on its debt - has the country's currency, the rouble, been this unpopular.

Today it fell to its lowest level against the US dollar in 17 years.

That was after the Russian central bank announced in the middle of the night that it would raise the country's key interest rate to a whopping 17 per cent from 10.5 per cent in an effort to stop people selling their roubles.

But it didn't stop the currency's slide.

Dmitri Baditch is a political analyst at the partly state-funded Sputnik radio in Moscow. We asked him how the rouble's problems are being reported by the Russian media.

But Russia's central bank still has some weaponry left to protect the rouble. So what more can it do?

That was a question for our regular commentator Roger Bootle of Capital Economics in London.