Russia reopens "Potemkin" stock market after a monthlong closure
The Moscow Stock Exchange reopened yesterday — kind of — after a monthlong closure that followed the start of the war in Ukraine. The benchmark ruble-denominated index, known as the Moex, rose 4.4% yesterday, and then fell 3.7% today.
The big picture: The reopening was heavily managed by Russian authorities.
- Foreigners weren't allowed to sell.
- Traders weren't allowed to short stocks, that is, bet prices will fall.
- The Russian government said it told its sovereign wealth fund to pour some $10 billion into stocks.
U.S. officials mocked the reopening, comparing it to the famously fraudulent "Potemkin Villages" that a courtier of Catherine the Great's once had built before a royal visit, in order to impress his patron.
- "What we’re seeing is a charade: a Potemkin market opening," said Daleep Singh, deputy national security adviser for international economics, in a statement. "This is not a real market and not a sustainable model — which only underscores Russia’s isolation."
Go deeper: Russia's economic long game