Russian pundit toasts ‘death of stockmarket’ live on TV in front of stunned presenter

Economist bids farewell as Moscow Exchange stays shut fourth day running

Liam James
Friday 04 March 2022 11:23 GMT
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‘Rest in peace, dear comrade’: Analyst makes funeral toast to stock market on Russian TV

An economic analyst on Russian TV drank to the “death” of the country's stock market in front of a shocked presenter.

Russian stocks listed on Moscow’s Moex index suffered the biggest fall on record the day after the invasion of Ukraine began last week, dropping by more than 35 per cent, while the ruble plummeted to a record low against the dollar.

Trading was suspended on the Moscow Exchange for the fourth day in a row on Thursday. Other stock markets have suspended trading in Russian shares.

Russia’s ruble has dropped a further 15 per cent against the US dollar and is now worth less than 1 cent. It has plunged since Western governments imposed sanctions that cut off much of Russia’s access to the global financial system after Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine.

Alexander Butmanov, a Russian economist, was appearing on Russian news network RBC to discuss the fate of the domestic stock market.

Asked on live TV if exchange strategies were outdated and if he hope to stay in the field, he replied: “Worst case I'll work as Santa Claus as I did 25 years ago. Jokes aside, let me do this real quick.”

The stocks expert produced a bottle and said: “Sending my regards to Sergey Usychenko who drank 12, 13 years ago because of the death of the stock market.

“Today I drink carbonated water.”

He went on: “Dear stock market, you've been close to us and interesting. Rest in peace dear friend.”

Looking on unblinking, the presenter said: “I won't comment on this stunt because I don't want to believe in this.”

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