Belarus In Full-Blown Hyperinflation Panic: Blocks News, Online Stores; Bans All FX Trading For 2 Years

Tyler Durden's picture

"We have to do something with these Belarussian rubles," exclaims one Belarussian as she shops to turn worthless rubles (BYR) into physical assets. As AFP reports, The Belarussian currency was dragged down by the slide of the Russian ruble last week, leading authorities to impose draconian measures, forbid price increases even for imported goods, and warn people against panic. Now, however, in an effort to stem the flood of hyperinflating domestic prices, authorities have blocked online stores and news websites to stop the run on banks and shops as people scramble to secure their savings. One of the blocked news websites noted, it "looks like the authorities want to turn light panic over the fall of the Belarussian ruble into a real one," calling the blockages "December insanity."

And indeed they have stepped up the insanity, extending the halt in FX trading...

Today the Belarus central bank shocked its own population when it also announced full-blown capital controls designed, releasing additional measures to stem the "negative trends of currency and financial markets " including raising mandatory sales of FX revenue to 0%, suspending all OTC FX trading (so pretty much all FX), introducing a 30% fee on all FX purchases, "recommending" that banks halt BYR lending until February, and sending 1-yr interest rates on liquidity operations with banks to a eyewatering 50% in hopes this leads to an increase in BYR deposit rates. It will. What it won't lead to is stabilization in the deposit market as the natives realize they too are next up on the hyperinflation train.


End result:

through 2017...


UPDATE: Belarus Overnight Deposit Rate surges to 49%



As AFP reports,

Belarus blocked online stores and news websites Sunday, in an apparent attempt to stop a run on banks and shops as people rushed to secure their savings. In a statement Sunday, BelaPAN news company, which runs popular independent news websites and, said that the sites were blocked Saturday without any warning.


"Clearly the decision to block the IP addresses could only be taken by the authorities because in Belarus the government has monopoly on providing IPs," it said.


Other websites blocked Sunday were,, and others with an independent news outlook. The blockage started on December 19, when the government announced that purchases of foreign currency will be taxed 30 percent and told all exporters to convert half of their foreign revenues into the local currency.


"Looks like the authorities want to turn light panic over the fall of the Belarussian ruble into a real one," Belarus Partisan website wrote, calling the blockages "December insanity." Internet shopping websites were also blocked en masse. Thirteen online stores were blocked Saturday for raising their prices or showing them in US dollars, deputy trade minister Irina Narkevich said, Interfax reported.


The government announced a moratorium on price increases for consumer goods and ordered domestic producers of appliances to "increase deliveries" and keep prices the same at the risk of their management being sacked. Belarussians lined up for hours to clear out their bank accounts and swept store shelves to secure their savings, stocking up on foreign-made appliances and housewares.


The Belarussian ruble has lost about half of its value since the beginning of the year, having been hit hard by the depreciation of the Russian ruble since its economy is heavily dependent on its giant neighbour. With foreign currency swiftly depleted in exchange offices, Belarussians even launched a black market website where individuals could buy and sell dollars and euros.

This follows the previously noted implementation of a 30% FX transaction tax, which however now that all OTC FX trading is banned for 2 years or longer, will hardly be collected.

$ 460 million will bring to the Belarusian budget introduction of a 30% tax on the purchase of foreign currency in Belarus. This is the TV channel "Belarus 1" said First Deputy Minister of Finance of the country Maxim Ermolovich.


"Given the daily supply and demand in the foreign exchange market budget revenues will amount to about 5 trillion Belarusian rubles, or $ 460 million at the exchange rate of the National Bank", - he said. Recall, December 19 NBB announced the introduction of December 20 temporary levy of 30% on the purchase of foreign currency for individuals and legal entities in connection with the sharply increased demand for foreign currency in the domestic market of Belarus. Legal persons will pay the tax on the stock exchange, and individuals - in the form of bank commission when buying foreign currency.

As a result, expect to see more of this...


Keep in mind that the scenes shown above are what the BOJ, the ECB and the Fed would dub "success."

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Spungo's picture


flacon's picture

Is this when the oceans turn to lemonade, like the Soviets promised?

WVHillbilly's picture

Don't assume it's lemon flavored just because it's yellow....

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

But....but....but this could never happen in the USSA. So what's the big deal?


And a word to the wise. Don't eat the yellow snow.

GetZeeGold's picture



Bans All FX Trading For 2 Years


What's that in doggy years?

Looney's picture

...What's that in doggy years?

What kind of dog?  ;-)


SWRichmond's picture

Western banks are now fully integrated into the government and are overtly functioning as implements of foreign policy.

gold-is-not-dead's picture

hehe, 30% fee to switch one worthless paper for another? Get real sheeple, metals, food an crypto, that's the MAJOR wealth.

SafelyGraze's picture

There are no grounds for the acceleration of inflation in Belarus

-Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich

maskone909's picture

If the first thing you do when hyperinflation hits- is go buy a big screen tv, you deserve whats comming to you!

Zh'ers buy gold lead and food and water.

fuu's picture

Good thing Belarus is an exporter of tractors and ag products, they probably have food laying around already.

TerminalDebt's picture

We made some folks poor

0b1knob's picture

The situation is a little more complicated than the article suggests.    Belarus can still buy items which Russia cannot due to economic sanctions.   The Belarus citizens are buying everything in sight to sell at a big mark up to the Russians.


I MISS KUDLOW's picture

what would hsn and qvc sell?

Haywood Jablowme's picture



cnmcdee's picture

I wish I wouldn't have to look at the celebrity with the screwed up lips every time I come to this website..

SAT 800's picture

To me it looks like a perfect example of public foolishness and mis-information. The Russian Ruble is up sharply from it's bottom two weeks ago; basically their stategy to raise bank rates to 17%, (shock and awe); can only be counted a success. The long position FX traders are the ones with the "money made" at this time, and there's no indication whatsoever that the Russian Ruble is going fall again or make any new lower low. So why panic this week? Mass Mind.  Poor information. I would open a bank accouint if I was in that part of the world; if you study these examples one by one, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, etc. in the twentieth century; after the central bank panics and puts the interest payment up to a certain point, the deterioration stops and you can actually make a net buying power profit on your one year CD; for instance. I had one at the National Bank of Mexico at one time for over 2 millionn Pesos; that paid 98% per year; interest. It worked out fine for me; even tho the peso did devalue somewhat more after I opened the contract.

SAT 800's picture

Yeah; exactly. It's not a defunct economy by any means. The government might have overreacted a little; or maybe not; but basically the actions they're taking are to prevent the foolish population from ruining their own currency. They're "shitting in their own garden" as an old Ukraine proverb says.

Rootin' for Putin's picture

Thats what i thought last week when the Russians were doing the same.  Its just like AR sales post sandyhook.  They dont expect stocks to be replenished soon and think they can turn a profit by selling that tv or bmw even in a month or two.

COSMOS's picture

Totally agree, I would be buying PM, rice and beans or farmland with their life savings rather than TVs.  Guess they just want to watch blank screens when the govt closes down the tv stations too lol.

Never One Roach's picture

I've looked into this Belarusian hyperinflation issue and there is no doubt North Korea is behind it.

TerminalDebt's picture

and who do you expect to be selling farmland, rice and beans for useless paper?

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Something tells me if you must buy rice, beans and farmland during a hyperinflationary event, you are completely fucked and may as well stare at a blank TV screen. But I have a tendency towards cynicism.


SAT 800's picture

The thing is it's not a "real" hyperinflationary event. It's an example of public all running in one direction at the same time. They're going to continue to have trade with Russia; the Russian Ruble is not dying; they have an economy they're not a defunct country; "Great Britain" has more to be afraid of than they do. It's all just public opinion. I predict they'll come to their senses in a couple of months and just sheepishly go back to  business as usual. The key is, there is still a busines to go back to; they export agricultural product and the Russians are going to paying for it. It's kind of ridiculous, really.

Socratic Dog's picture

I had the same thought.  But maybe that's all the reporter knows.  Didn't occur to him to check out the local gold coin dealer.

Blind leading the blind. 

SAT 800's picture

Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarussians have been showing up at the Mint in Vienna Austria where they sell Austrian Phillharmonics, the one ounce bullion coin, to all comers. They usually show up with a main guy and a bodyguard type; and the bodyguard will whip out a driver's license made out to "Alexander Alexandrovich" at some address in Ukraine' which probably doesn't exist; and the clerk carefully writes down the details on the "ID"; and counts the stacks of 500Euro bills and gives them a sack of coins. Everybody knows its a joke, but it's "business"; nobody cares.

83_vf_1100_c's picture

  I was thinking the same. The country is on the edge of collapse so let's throw every kopeck we have at electronics! Morons. The real entertainment will be on the streets hanging pols and bankers.

Mad Muppet's picture

Can't wait to see that on youtube!

Automatic Choke's picture

they are panicking.  they are buying anything of value that they can spend their folding green on.  if gold coins or jewelry were available, they would certainly favor them over TVs.  in places like that, you don't go out shopping for something, you go out shopping to find out what is available.  as the flatscreens disappear, they'll be working their way down the chain of rubles/cc to get rid of their cash.

Lester's picture

Think you buy water storage and filtration, not "water".  Maybe a case or two of Distilled Water if you have wet-cell batteries to tend...


Pay "money" for water?  Get a rain barrel for your roof, some empty blue plastic soda-syrup barrels for $15ea and cleanse them with bleach solution.  Get a drip filter like a Berkey or Katadyn that uses gravity feed and needs no electric to run.  Maybe a new waterbed mattress to store 300gals under each bed in your house (on main floor, if slab construction).

Food?  Stuff that lasts.

Maybe a generator and storage battery with inverter and solar cells for your own electric.
Maybe a chemical toilet and treatment chems on season close-out in RV section.

Frigging "bottled" water gets you that treated plastic and water quality usually below marginal municipal standards.  The majors are Pepsi, Coke, Nestle' and all use municipal water to fill their shitty bottles.  Maybe buy a distiller and be sure you aren't poisoning yourself...

Too stupid to live?  Got to fill the landfill with the throw-away water bottles?


Warm, Dry, Hydrated, Fed, and Capable of self and property defense; those are you major concerns.


Lie somewhere you get rain?  Maybe you got a chance, if you don't own your own well...

nuke ISIS now's picture

Then after we buy, then eat the lead, food and water, we leave a massive collective steaming lead filled pile of shit on the desk of Obola, and say "yes we can  mother fucker you fucking stool eatng cocksucker"

"I guess we lead filled excrement on some folks"


The Great Cornholio!...TP for the bunghole

Poundsand's picture

The IMF and World Bank will soon come to the rescue with the words, "Come to Papa..."


This economic war is really starting to heat up.

SAT 800's picture

As far as I know, and i don't know much; that;s probably true. It's mass foolishness.

winchester's picture
winchester (not verified) Publicus Dec 22, 2014 1:18 PM

when belarus go negociate stuff under the belt with ukraine... hmm.....


naaah, u know what, let me eat my christmas shit, we'll talk about war in january, would you.





old naughty's picture

Sheeples...muppets...99%, or whatever you call yourself,


watch and learn,

and be knowledgeable and expectant.

Meat Hammer's picture

If and when that happens here in Murica we can all sip on our morning coffee and enjoy the clinking sound of real money in our hands. 

I think most of us did our run on the banks long ago. 

Tall Tom's picture

You forgot something very important on that list of yours maskone...


MEDICINES and Toiletries...Antibiotics...Ointment salves and pills if you can get them.


Toliet Paper...Soaps...


You know it as well as I do.


Batteries is another must.


Cigarettes and Alcohol...even if you do not smoke nor drink will be good for barter.


That is just the beginning. It can happen in the USA.


Good luck.

SWRichmond's picture

Wanna be the most popular guy in the neighborhhod after the 'Pocyclypse?

Stockpile toilet paper.

Snoopy the Economist's picture

...and lead to protect it - otherwise someone wil just take it from you and then you will try to buy it back.

DanDaley's picture

...and femenine hygiene products...toilet paper can be substituted for in a variety of hygenic ways, not so easily the Red Sea.

noben's picture
noben (not verified) Meat Hammer Dec 22, 2014 2:02 PM

"If and when that happens here in Murica..."

If? When? Got 2 words for you: "Reserve Currency." I'm sure you can figure out the rest. :-)

Meat Hammer's picture

Thank you.

When that happens in Murica.

Lester's picture

Most of "Us" Muricans got no money at the bank to run for...

Got money?  You're one of "them" as in US vs THEM...


What's really funny are the guys investing in tobacco and alcohol for "trade", expecting to make-out economically by pandering to people's addictions.  Smokers are way more hooked than drunks or druggies.  Don't want any of either coming round your house...

Mostly, people with funds have them tied-up.  Those are already gone...  You may only think you have $$...  Wait for the "natl emergendy" closes all banks and markets.  Maybe the banks reopen in timely manner? Unlikely the exchanges will for years to come.

US Federal Acknowledged "national debt" was bumped by $300T with the TBTF banker derivative bail-out piece of the Govt Funding bill.  HAD To Keep Govt Funded, but gonna cost you another 1/3 Quadrillion $ to keep them solvent...


So fucking essential. 


America has been ass-raped beyond any understanding.  Those who think "we're next" don't know we already been "done".  America is now MK-ULTRA NATION.....   Which personality are we today?