Vladimir Putin vs. the Currency Markets: What to Know About the Ruble’s Collapse - NYTimes.com: But the move shows how Russian policy makers are stuck with no good options. Already the central bank has reportedly been intervening to try to short-circuit the sell-off, buying rubles to try to arrest the declines.
The problem is that if you try to defend your currency and lose, you are essentially throwing your money at currency traders for nothing. 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.