by James Rickards
There’s no doubt that the financial sanctions put on Russia by the U.S., the U.K., EU members and others are the most severe ever imposed. The U.S. Treasury has announced 15 separate sanctions programs in recent days and no doubt more are on the way.
The targets of these sanctions include Russian banks, Russian stocks and bonds and various payment channels. Most significantly, the U.S. froze the accounts of the Central Bank of Russia. That’s the first time a major central bank’s assets have been frozen since the Cold War, and possibly ever.
Yet the financial attacks on Russia go far beyond official sanctions.
Numerous private companies including Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, Shell and some major airlines have ceased their business activities in Russia. Visa and Mastercard have stopped accepting credit card charges from Russia. Google and Apple have turned off the mobile payment apps on phones held by Russian citizens.