Wednesday, December 24, 2008

FX and the City

Some of you may have noticed that the world's economy is going to hell in a handbasket caused by a bursting of what was the American consumer-driven bubble, fueled by bad mortgages handed off to banks all over the world. The exchange rates of many countries including Ukraine have gone into free fall against other currencies, in particular the USD. IMF made an emergency loan of some $16 billion to Ukraine to help shore up its currency and it seems to be working.

I used to transfer money from my Canadian account to Tanya's USD account from which she would withdraw Hrivna. We had our money in limbo when the feces first hit the fan in September and we weren't sure our bank was even going to give it to us. So now I pull Hrivna directly from my account, using my debit card. Something that was only a dream here a few years ago.
It allows me to track the actual exchange rate when ever I pull out cash from the Bankomat. This is what it looked like over the past few days. The 19th would have been the day to convert all to Hrivna but of course, who knew.
Last summer the exchange rate was about 4.23 UAH per CAD.
The Russian rouble remained fairly stable against the dollar, it appears. They had huge reserves and still have gas and oil to export though the drop in the price of crude must affect them eventually. The exchange rate has been about 5 RUR per UAH but while Tanya was in Siberia it was 3 RUR per UAH.

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