last year’s boom: a billion-dollar windfall funnelled from Russia through former Soviet republics to Wall Street’s currency traders.
The world’s biggest banks made $US6 billion ($9.2 billion) overall last year trading the Russian currency, about triple what they generally make from the business
Wall Street banks have said they benefited from higher activity around clients exiting Russia, but the scale and mechanics of the rouble trade haven’t been previously reported. The profits they made sit next to other deal-making opportunities created by the turmoil of the Ukraine war but also contrast with the costs they took on as they moved staff out of Russia and wound down operations in the country.
Russians have sent some $US43 billion of their savings overseas since last year and much of it went to bank accounts in nearby countries including Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.