Foreign News: All That Glitters...

Moscow wrote a financial fairy tale. The Soviet Council of Ministers announced last week that the ruble, which had previously been fixed as worth about 19¢, would henceforth be worth 25¢. The new "exchange rate" was purely imaginary. Nobody ever gets a chance to exchange any rubles into foreign currency; if one did, on a free market, a ruble would be worth more nearly a nickel than a quarter.

The ruble is almost never used in foreign trade—not even by the Russians and their satellites. Russia's foreign trade is strictly barter, reckoned (with very few exceptions) in standard commodity units, or...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!