Western governments have imposed severe economic and financial sanctions after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In this episode, Fredrik Erixon talks to Michael Bernstam about an economic deterrence measure by Western governments to sanction Russia’s central bank and make it impossible for Russia to access the part of its foreign reserve that is “stored” with other central banks. They discuss how the central bank sanctions work in practice, how fragile the Russian financial system is now, and whether the new sanctions impact household and corporate debt.
Professor Michael Bernstam is Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and an expert on Russia’s financial system. He researches long-term economic trends and how they play out in different economic systems. A lot of his work has focused on Russia, and he has published several books on, among other subjects, Russia’s banks and corporate debt.