A Minsk Moment Update: Belarus Hyperinflation Prompts Government To Freeze Food Prices

Tyler Durden's picture

So we move from one probably hyperinflation to another, quite factual one. As we disclosed last week, following its massive and surprising currency devaluation, Belarus has promptly plunged into hyperinflationary hell. The government, scrambling to avoid public unrest, which would likely promptly devolve into revolution and civil war, has just now decided to take reactive price freezing "measures" which will do absolutely nothing but accelerate the immediate destocking of anything and everything still available for purchase. From The Moscow Times: "Belarus on Tuesday froze prices on a number of foodstuffs as analysts warned that the former Soviet republic could descend into economic chaos and an IMF mission headed to Minsk to assess the situation." Ah, good old price controls. Failure is imminent, following which Belarus will introduce a mandatory coupon-based purchasing system now that the currency is for all intents and purposes worthless. Incidentally, those who still hold precious metals have the upper hand in determining what these are exchanged for and at what conversion ratios.


A government decree said prices for fish, tea, coffee, certain types of sausages, cheese and a number of fruits and vegetables — some of which have doubled in the last two months — cannot be raised further until July 1.

Belarus devalued its ruble by 36 percent to 4,977 per dollar last week in an attempt to reduce a current account deficit largely caused by generous public spending in the run-up to Alexander Lukashenko's re-election as president last December. But the unofficial black market rate for rubles is still about 6,000 per dollar.

Russia and several other ex-Soviet nations are to decide on that bailout package on June 4.

The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that a mission would visit Belarus on June 1-13 for regular post-program monitoring. Minsk has not applied for IMF funding so far.

Caesar would be proud.

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Ricky Bobby's picture

Shortages soon to follow

BS_Merchant's picture

There are quite a few Spanish cucumbers available at the moment...



Monedas's picture

Nice loaf ! How did you get the counter clockwise coil ? Do you live in the southern hemisphere ? Monedas 2011

stewie's picture

lol. Never expected to see the Coriolis Effect in this context.

Monedas's picture

It's comforting to know people keep track of this kind of stuff ! Monedas 2011 Ooops ! I think I meant northern hemisphere ? I had to go flush the comode to refresh my memory !

Azannoth's picture

"IMF mission headed .. to assess " - they are going to try out the missionary position to complement the head position while Ass-essing those russian hotel maids hmmmm

Quaderratic Probing's picture

No problem create a future food derivitive product and allow accounting to present value the thing at more than enough ..... works for the banks

Mongo's picture

Shortage of beer?

Ricky Bobby's picture

Beer shortages are my tipping point!

Azannoth's picture

There where many things missing in the Soviet Union but Vodka was Never 1 of them supplies of Vodka arrived before, Penicilin and toilet paper

SheepDog-One's picture

Sitting here looking at my bag of 1960 dimes, each worth about $4 FRN's. Pretty amazing.

SwingForce's picture

Yes it is, and look what those dimes have endured over the last 50 years. Let me know when Roosevelt starts talking to ya, it'll be interesting. Maybe some went to the World's Fair in '63-64, maybe some were change from a dollar for a couple gallons of gas. I'm sure plenty went through a pay-phone. None were cashback from a debit-card purchase, pretty sure. PS- The $4 part is totally messed up, nothing but off topic, has no relevance whatever- stop thinking about it. Ask yourself, "Self? Why is gold so freakin' high?"

kumquatsunite's picture

The "speed up" time frame, as we've seen with the "flash crash" and such, means that the big boys are taking their profits very early in the game, then just nibbling back and forth to get you to put yers money down! so they can then just take a wee bit more. "Profits" in the Ag and Au are gone for decades to come; oh sure, if you've got some, say 100 million or so to play around with it's probably worth sheeshing off the froth of a three percent here and a three percent there, but for the rest, the quick change artists (the traders) just smile and call you their beetzhes. And no, I've not yet seen The Hangover 2. Waiting for the crowds to be beaten back.

Did hear that Mike Tyson sings! I'll pay to see that!

Hacked Economy's picture

Score!  Over the weekend I got *another* bunch of pre-1965s on eBay from an inexperienced seller...for 13% below spot (melt).  And that included shipping!

Quarters and dimes.  :)

kaiten's picture

Greece, are you watching? This is what happens if/when you leave the eurozone. Drachma tumbling by 70-80% and you entering hyperinflation and living standard destruction. So choose wisely and do the cuts/ reforms finally.

AnAnonymous's picture

Not everyone is Iceland planning an exit route from monetary play games.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

The default = death stuff is destroyed by Iceland.

Greece could default and have to immediately live within its tax revenue means -- which looks horrible at first glance, but take a second glance.  Don't fund medicine.  Don't fund food.  Fund pensions and police.

Then get your cameras on the starving people laden with disease and appeal to the world.  The Red Cross will rush in.  The various foreign aid programs . . . actual aid, not loans . . . will rush in.

No one will die.

SwingForce's picture

But now if they sell Mt. Olympus or The Parthenon, they'll get TRILLIONS from a foreign buyer.

Things that go bump's picture

They should sell their children's birthright for paper?

SwingForce's picture

Yes, and all the bridges they have too. You want the actual bricks? Sorry, we don't play thet game. We'll give you a piece of paper, and you can imagine whatever you want is printed on it, even some pictures maybe, just hand over the money. 1 Big Hoax, 360°

Things that go bump's picture

Ah, a scam of course - I am so dense sometimes.  But remember, London sold London Bridge to some American and he picked it up and moved it to Arizona in the 60s, so its not that far fetched. 

Antipodeus's picture

Except that the 'London Bridge' he thought he'd bought wasn't really the London Bridge.  Was he p#ssed, or what?

kumquatsunite's picture

Hey, isn't that what the liberals have done with America? Foreigners reverse colonizing this country created the housing boom and allowed the government (also stocked with foreigners: does anyone that speaks English work in the government anymore? Is it against the law to hire a native born American to work in our government? Or are those jobs just so that we won't notice that the foreigners are taking all of our private sector jobs so funnel them into the government! whoo hooo, and you thought that adding 150 million foreigners to this country in thirty years wouldn't juice the system?

Your children's birthright Has Been not sold, but given away because the liberals think that, just because it has never really existed anywhere in history, that for the first time the Woostockian/Stalinists can redistribute until the last seed of corn (see: seed corn....what we save for the future) is eaten. 

Ah yes, your children's birthright after this wave of third world trash given our country is filthy air, polluted water, and gridlocked roads accompanied by the fact that being white is now a dangerous thing to be. White equals having a bullseye on your back: don't dare say anything, ask for anything, or pretend your people once owned this country. And made it purdy dang good. Oh nooooo....don't you dare go there. History has been rewritten and your children convinced that you and anyone your color needs to be put down, one way or the other.

dolph9's picture

Hey idiot, the "conservatives" do nothing to control immigration either, because they are controlled by big business interests that love the cheap labor.

Besides, it's the whites (and Jews) of Wall Street and D.C., no matter what their political persuasion, who all believe, without exception, that we must keep "growing" forever.  Thereby, continuous, high immigration is allowed and welcomed.

I'm not sure whether to take you seriously or not.  But believe me:  if you are coming to zerohedge thinking you will find nothing but wingnut, Faux News, Limbaugh echo chamber trash agreeing with you, you are wrong.

White.Star.Line's picture

They'll actually get just a few trinkets applied to their sovereign debt for the sale of their monuments, parks, water rights, land, etc. Paid for by the same "foreign buyer" that extended their credit limit to where it is today.

Muir's picture

For those really too young to remember, President Nixon also froze prices right here in the Ol good USA, the World did not end, my friends.

Nixon imposes wage-price freeze

CynicLaureate's picture

For those old enough to be paying bills in the 70's, the gas lines and shortages post-Nixon were the high-water mark of economic misery in the post-war portion of the 20th century.

The government actually admitted we had 20% inflation in 1979-80.

Nothing compared to today... "Baby boomers can't sell their big houses to their kids, especially if they're still living in the basement."


Long-John-Silver's picture

I lived through that. Food stuffs were renamed to get around the price controls. The food that still retained it's original name could not be purchased. Nixon's price controls were a joke then and this farce will fail as it always does.

Amish Hacker's picture

I don't think anyone seriously thought price controls would work to contain prices. The goal was more to make the sheeple think that something was being done to ease their plight. Even the phrase "price control" implies that the gov't is in control of prices, a conceit which causes the market gods to laugh uncontrollably. 

yabyum's picture

My coin guy has a W.I.N. button from that era, might have to go buy one....so stylish.

SheepDog-One's picture

Uh yes and we also didnt have all our manufacturing jobs sent to China and a dead 75% Borrow to Consume economic model and $1,500 trillion in debt either. 

Cow's picture

I suggest we all wear buttons that say WIN for Whip Inflation Now.  I just thought of that.  My idea.  Don't try and copy it.

Franken_Stein's picture


Russia Says IMF Chief Jailed For Discovering All US Gold Is Gone


A new report prepared for Prime Minister Putin by the Federal Security Service (FSB) says that former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn [photo with Putin top left] was charged and jailed in the US for sex crimes on May 14th after his discovery that all of the gold held in the United States Bullion Depository located at Fort Knox [photo 2nd left] was ‘missing and/or unaccounted’ for.




Oh, oh.

There's trouble ahead.

Alpha Dog Putin strikes back.


How come such a "secret" report finds its way on the internet ?


Tyler Durden's picture

Please no links to "Sorcha Faal" on Zero Hedge.

Bastiat's picture

What's the deal with Sorch Faal, Tyler?

alien-IQ's picture

Hoax site...likely future White House Press secretary or GS PR department head.

Dapper Dan's picture

Sorcha Faal = Sucha Fool

Disinformation site for sure.

el Gallinazo's picture

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread304918/pg1 That noted, an ETF based on the percentage of the gold plated tungsten component in Fort Knox would be quite a hit. Problem is that by the time the answer is known, it would probably be both moot and mute.

Ancona's picture


Sorcha Faal??? You have GOT to be shitting me!

Thanks Frankie, I needed a good laugh.

Franken_Stein's picture


Didn't know until now that this is a hoax site.



I can't delete my post since you answered to it.

So my hands are tied.


SheepDog-One's picture

I dont know if its a hoax site or author.. who knows, everything thats reported there may actually be true. But a lot of things there are a bit sensationalist.

Rollerball's picture

Just shave with an Occam Mach3 Turbo razor and you'll be alright.

dcb's picture


excuse me, you must not be reading your bernenke mantra. there can be no inflation in that country because of an output gap and unemployment.

Problem Is's picture


The Bernank:

"No, no, no. We just sent the gold out for tungstenization..."

BTW Tyler: I thought everyone loved crazy flying saucer and alien shit??

alien-IQ's picture

that report is pretty..."out there"...even for me. Reads more like s B-Film Action thriller.

kumquatsunite's picture

What ya gotta love about Putin is his unapologetic, unwavering belief that all is Russia and Russia is all. We have now seen that the "we can all live together and kumbiyah around the campfire" is right? A complete and absolute lie. There ain't no people in the world that could have been sold a bill of goods to destroy their own country like the American people have agreed to. Funny isn't it? The liberals get to live and have their little wine parties because of all the people that fought and died for this country's sovereign borders so that the liberals can destroy it via immigration. Now that's irony.


Mongo's picture

"Post-program monitoring"?


What the fuck is that?

Muir's picture

A chicken little moment you mean.

alien-IQ's picture

it's not hyperinflation...it's the wealth effect.