World Business: That Russian Gold

"When we are victorious on a world-wide scale," bragged Lenin in 1921, "we will make public toilets out of gold on the streets of the world's largest cities." Last week Russian gold was indeed flowing into some of the world's largest cities—but for reasons that make Lenin's grand vision seem even more absurd than it did in 1921. Into London and Paris flew ungainly Aeroflot TU-114 airliners bearing gold bars imprinted with hammer and sickle for delivery to Western customers. To cover their huge purchases of Australian, Canadian and U.S. wheat, and their increasing trade with non-Communist nations, the Russians are...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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