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Guest Post: You’ll Love The New Nickname They Have For The Dollar Here…

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Simon Black from Sovereign Man

You’ll Love The New Nickname They Have For The Dollar Here…

No doubt, Eastern Europe is a part of the world where people are accustomed to being abused by politicians.

After decades of Soviet Rule, the cultures in places like Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Belarus, etc. have been inculcated with a strong mistrust of government. All government.

One obvious sign of this is how little confidence people have in their own national currencies.

Here in Ukraine, for example, people who have any level of wealth whatsoever hold hard currency– dollars and euros, rather than the local hryvna.

(Naturally, their relative confidence in dollars and euros is misplaced, though I was pleased to see that gold is starting to penetrate the cultural psyche here.)

They even have a funny nickname for these regional currencies that get inflated and devalued by corrupt central bankers and politicians– rabbits… because they grow and multiply in such huge numbers so quickly.

As two different economics students this weekend told me, ‘we are starting to look at the US dollar in the same way…’ I guess that makes the euro a dodo bird.

Anyhow, Ukraine is definitely a country on the move. It had been nearly two years since my last visit, and some things have improved substantially.

As I’ve often written, there are two paths to prosperity– you can either build wealth by creating value, or you can steal it from others.

Ukraine used to be a country that was almost entirely the latter (theft)… but it is slowly beginning to move towards the former (value creation). It still has a long way to go.

Corruption and graft are still ubiquitous. One friend told me a story of how her father was relieved of his air conditioning business after a few bureaucrats decided in their sole discretion that he was cheating on his taxes.

No trial, no defense. They just came in with police, locked the place down, and said, ‘it’s up to you to prove that you are innocent.’

It sounds shocking, but this type of civil asset forfeiture is happening all the time in the West now as well.

It seems like almost every day there’s a new story of a motorist who gets relieved of thousands of dollars in cash at a routine traffic stop because some ignorant police thug finds such an amount ‘suspicious’.

It’s amazing that in ‘free societies,’ police and government agencies have nearly unlimited latitude to take away someone’s life savings without charge, and then putting the burden of recovery back on the individual to prove his/her innocence.

This is one of the most disgusting perversions of authority that I know… and as governments are now increasingly forced to acknowledge their fiscal reality, it’s becoming obvious that civil asset forfeiture is on the rise.

The Wall Street Journal has reported, in fact, that asset seizures in the US have more than doubled in five years.

This is not the sort of trend that one sees in a free society.

Sure, it happens everywhere… but they key difference is that Ukrainians don’t delude themselves into thinking that they live in the land of the free, and they take appropriate steps to protect themselves based on that outlook.


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Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:32 | 2642951 bigdumbnugly
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Sure, it happens everywhere… but they key difference is that Ukrainians don’t delude themselves into thinking that they live in the land of the free, and they take appropriate steps to protect themselves based on that outlook.


admirable since they have the world's most beautiful women to, uh, distract them.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 21:04 | 2644279 PSEUDOLOGOI

The KEY difference is that people in Ukraine do not live on credit and do not spend spend spend to consume consume consume.  If they need to buy a fridge, they save for the purchase then they go and buy it.

As many times as Ukrainians have been raped and pillaged by their currency collapses, they always spring back because they are 1000% more self sufficient than the people of USSA and "civilized" European countries.  They also don't have much to lose since they don't live beyond their means.

In addition, Ukraine does not spend much on any "civilized" social services you can expect in UK, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, USSA etc... You get a pension when you're old from the state that you cannot live on.  They rely on themselves and close family only.  There are no handouts.

If Ukraine could stamp out it's corruption, instituted strong preperty and contract rights, while leaving  everything else the way it is, it would be the best place for prosperity in Europe.  It may even exceed Poland...

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:32 | 2642953 fuu
fuu's picture

<--3 or better

<-- 2 or lower

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:32 | 2642954 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

An hour ago this guy Black googled "Ukraine currency" from his mobile home and knocked back 3 Natty lights and let his imagination run.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:51 | 2643045 chopper read
chopper read's picture

so what's the problem?  Sounds like a good gig. 

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:52 | 2643224 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Heh heh. Covet is so 20th century.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:55 | 2643231 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Run Eliza Run!... Run from Simon!...

Tue, 07/24/2012 - 07:07 | 2644918 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Welcome back, Chopper! Where u bin? I'm all ears....

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:52 | 2643049 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Ice House, more like it.

Come time, we'll be calling them buttwipes.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 17:40 | 2643818 Dry Drunk
Dry Drunk's picture

Gunmo is a good nickname, as rabbits are harmless, whereas these exploding numbers of US dollars main purpose is to provide ammo for global wars.

The power of the gun is their only legitimacy.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:33 | 2642960 bigsteveee
bigsteveee's picture

I hate bunnies.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:41 | 2642993 WhyDoesItHurtWh...
WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

fuck bunny fiat

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:42 | 2643000 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Bennies, I thought the nick name was Bennies...

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:45 | 2643013 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Ha MsCreant I just laughed so hard.

Glad we are all getting a kick out of each other on here today

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:47 | 2643027 TrainWreck1
TrainWreck1's picture

I think 'boners' would be a better nick.

In fact, I would take a vacation to the Ukraine, just to snicker at transactions.

(moi) "How much for a cup of coffee?"

(beautiful Ukrainian barista) "that will be three boners"

(moi) *giggles uncontrollably*

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:54 | 2643057 Cpl Hicks
Cpl Hicks's picture

must be one of those lost in translation things

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:22 | 2643140 dukeness
dukeness's picture

I concur. Rabbits don't multiply as fast.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 19:02 | 2644007 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Far bigger difference is that rabbits require actual physical inputs to keep multiplying.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:24 | 2643146 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

I think rabbit pelllets would be more appropriate......  'cause you can at least EAT rabbits but the way things are going all you're going to have is lots of rabbit sh8t everywhere (and nothing of value remaining)

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:33 | 2643171 Alpo for Granny
Alpo for Granny's picture

Eagles > Bunnies

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:34 | 2642962 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

‘we are starting to look at the US dollar in the same way…’

And that would be wrong. Here's why:

The dollar, the "least worse" fiat currency is going to be the big winner in what will be a massive DEFLATIONARY game worldwide.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:36 | 2642969 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Yes yes America rejoice. Our currency is only traveling 30mph into the black hole. Hopefully there is cell service on the other side so when the Spaniards get there they can text us what to expect.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 14:15 | 2642980 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



Ukranian bunnies are worth a buck or two.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:39 | 2642983 centerline
centerline's picture

+1 fonz.  Made me laugh.  Too bad it is the truth.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:44 | 2643006 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

It's a rabbit hole, isn't that where bunnies go?

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:54 | 2643055 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall
And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall......

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:54 | 2643229 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Bunga, bunga.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 14:14 | 2643286 OneTinSoldier66
OneTinSoldier66's picture

OMG, great post. Definitely gave me a good chuckle! TY

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:37 | 2642979 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

The "full faith and credit of the United States" is getting anything but better - relatively and absolutely 

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:20 | 2643134 Liquid Courage
Liquid Courage's picture

"full faith and credit ..." hereby replaced by their poor step-sisters:


"hope and (small) change"


Hope (IMO) is highly over-rated.


The only thing Hope is better than is No Hope, and if Hope is all you have well, brother you ain't got much.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 15:00 | 2643427 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

maybe like "911" we will see more and more political lines like "hope and change" as a behavioral grooming tool 

the 2016 race will carry the logo: "at least your alive"  

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 15:28 | 2643516 TrumpXVI
TrumpXVI's picture

"full faith and credit of the United States" is nothing to snicker about.

At least not if one is a United States citizen, because that line is basically a license for the U.S. government to confiscate whatever wealth its citizens possess, if necessary, to pay off the government's obligations.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:40 | 2642988 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

We don't have deflation.  We have a bad economy.  So good luck with that.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:44 | 2643004 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Exactly. If CNBC wants to boost their ratings they need to have an economist make a forecast, Then have him come back 2 months later. If he was right he gets 5 minutes of shameless self promotion (no different than now). If he was wrong he has to literally eat a shit sandwich on live TV or else he can never come back. The forecasts and ratings would rapidly improve.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:49 | 2643033 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Yep.  And today is about the CME raising margins across the board on grains Friday night more than anything else.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 21:18 | 2644309 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"Exactly. If CNBC wants to boost their ratings they need to have an economist make a forecast, Then have him come back 2 months later. If he was right he gets 5 minutes of shameless self promotion (no different than now). If he was wrong he has to literally eat a shit sandwich on live TV or else he can never come back. The forecasts and ratings would rapidly improve."


If CNBC wants to boost their ratings they`re going to need topless newscasters, because the retail investor sure as shit isn't watching CNBC for market analysis at this point.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:34 | 2642963 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

One can create value or else become a banker?

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:34 | 2642964 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Ukrainian women (hot ones only)?  Yes.  Ukrainian anything else?  No.  Besides, it doesn't sound like anybody in Ukraine is actually calling the USD a rabbit.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:36 | 2642970 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

The US Dollar broke 84.00 - first time since July 2010.  Elliott wave count remains bearish.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:13 | 2643121 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

Does Mr. Elliott consider the turmoil and negative view of Europe right now? And how the Euro is weighted against the USD?.. I wouldn't be following long term technical indicators like the EW.. Short the EUR/USD and look for good technical points of entry..

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:36 | 2642971 DogSlime
DogSlime's picture

Well, I read the whole blog entry.  Not sure I'm any wiser as a result - feels  a bit like I've eaten a sandwich that had no filling... and no butter... and no bread :(

...also, the title promised that we would love the nickname they had for the dollar, but the article only really stated the name they had for the regional currencies.

Utterly disappointing.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:46 | 2643020 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Yep, yep, and yep.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:36 | 2642974 areopagetica
areopagetica's picture

Where is the nicname?  Are we going to start abusing headlines like Business Insider does?

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:36 | 2642975 Precious
Precious's picture

Want to understand Ukraine?  Read up on the Homolodor and the people behind the Bolshevik Revolution.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:44 | 2643003 Boston
Boston's picture


And don't forget their affinity for gold. My Ukrainian relatives lost all their land wealth in the 1930's, but took their gold with them. Anyone who remembers what happened during this period (and it's more so with the older folks living in small villages/towns, not the youth in the larger cities), understands the need to hold hard, and portable, assets.


Mon, 07/23/2012 - 14:34 | 2643363 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

6 million Ukrainians were starved to death by Stalin, but they weren't jews, so who gives a fuck.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:41 | 2642985 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

yep, in 2007, the US Feds relieved me of my silver coins on a raid of the Liberty Dollar warehouse in Idaho. They stole my property and haven't responded to my requests of the return of my stolen property.

Also, the drug war is a boon to the local plice force, they get to keep any property seized in a drug bust, including houses.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 15:02 | 2643431 Jonas Parker
Jonas Parker's picture

Son, if you don't hold it in your hot little hand, you don't own it! Lesson learned?

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 19:24 | 2644062 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Jonas, as far as I can tell, you either understand this simple little fact with the core of your being, or will understand it only after it is too late...

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:42 | 2642998 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Haven't heard any stories lately about "the importance of parking your physical in Canada." always good advice...especially when you see...say...a Chinese oil company not afraid to fork it 30 billion?

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:47 | 2643010 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Okay Simon... How are you seriously in the Ukraine for a long enough period of time to get a real feel for it? Besides I thought you were in Chili? Or is it Singapore? I lost track.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:54 | 2643058 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

He is wherever google street view takes him. 

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 14:21 | 2643318 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

At the rate he supposedly travels, he probably fills the pages of his passport within 3 months. That has to be a bitch.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:55 | 2643066 TrainWreck1
TrainWreck1's picture

Last heard, I thought he was staggering back and forth between Italy & Switzerland, possibly stopping off to play one of those Ricola alpenhorns.


Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:46 | 2643206 AvoidingTaxation
AvoidingTaxation's picture

And Portugal with a big apartment!

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:45 | 2643012 viator
viator's picture

The other government scam is to shake down businesses. Find something thay might have done, like Marylou's Coffee shops in Boston, who hired attrictive female baristas and is now in the crosshairs of the EEOC. Find them guilty, shake them down. Good for $millions.




Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:45 | 2643014 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Are there any good foreign jokes about America (cans). Like Polish jokes. I have heard that jokes in other countries sound more like parables.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 18:55 | 2643996 smiler03
smiler03's picture

I googled "jokes about americans"

57.2 million results, top of the search results ( I only read the topmost joke, rather poor)

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:46 | 2643018 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

It’s amazing that in ‘free societies,’ police and government agencies have nearly unlimited latitude to take away someone’s life savings without charge, and then putting the burden of recovery back on the individual to prove his/her innocence.

You find this amazing?  I really guess you haven't been in the US for a while!  After my mom and dad made a mistake on a CD via their taxes, the IRS garnished by father's wages for a year and they took my $30K college fund (I've never trusted govt since), which was the reason I nnever got a degree (I self taught myself Java/Flash/Coding). 

And he's a fucking cop! 

The Wall Street Journal has reported, in fact, that asset seizures in the US have more than doubled in five years.  This is not the sort of trend that one sees in a free society.

Tell the players at Full Tilt Poker this.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:48 | 2643028 b_thunder
b_thunder's picture


"rabbits" is one of the names used for the BELORUSSIAN currency, it was NEVER a name of the Ukrainian or any other post-Soviet currencies.

The name "rabbits" came about after the old Soviet currency featuring Lenin was replaced by the 1st "independent" Belorussian currency which featired images of wildlife.  The rabbit was probably the smallest and the weakest of the animals featured, and since  the currency was also "weak", the  rabbit ( rather than, for instance, a predator wolf or a beautiful swan)  was more appropriate nickname.

Hey, Sovereign Man, please sovereignly check yourself in a rehab.  Preferably in the USA, but it's ok if it's in Myanmar, Zanzibar, or even Papua-New-Guinea.   But not in Ukraine, or you will get out with 1 less kidney, 2 more broken bones, 4 fewer teeth, multiple ulcers, cronic alcoholism (if you don't have one now) and in general you'll be much crazier than you are now.


Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:08 | 2643101 scam_MERS
scam_MERS's picture

Absolutely correct, b_thunder. During all my time in Ukraine, the only thing I ever heard the dollar being called (other than Dollar) was ??????? (Kapusta) which means 'Cabbage' in English. Sonetimes other currencies are also called this, but the USD is the most common one. Presumably it got this nickname because it is green, I've never been able to get a definitive answer on the origin but this is the likely explanation. As for the official corruption there, it has only gotten worse under Yanukovich, and it's risky to open any kind of business there. You need a ????? (Krisha) which means 'Roof' to protect you. Be it paying off the police for protection, or mafia for protection, one way or another you will have to pay to keep your business from being threatened. This is the reality as I saw it when I lived there. And I did get a Ukrainian wife, and high-tailed it out of there!

Edit: I guess it's not possible to post Russian text here, which is why you see question marks where Russian should be. Sorry about that :)

Tue, 07/24/2012 - 02:07 | 2644738 marriedgeordie
marriedgeordie's picture

Cabbage is simply slang for money, regardless of the currency involved

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:51 | 2643048 905ozs
905ozs's picture

Physical belongs in the holders 6 dug hole...

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:15 | 2643125 PatientZero
PatientZero's picture

My nickname for any fiat currency is 'shekels'.

Now let's see who gets it...

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:31 | 2643165 viahj
viahj's picture


Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:31 | 2643159 Debugas
Debugas's picture

that bunny nickname is actually after the belorussian ruble

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 13:37 | 2643181 ATG
ATG's picture

Brilliant expository on Eastern Europe Simon.

Visiting Czechoslovakia in 1991 for business ops after the Berlin Wall fell and poet Vaclav Havel was elected in the Velvet Revolution, (he just passed last December), four things were notable:

One: historic pricelss real estate improvements were burgeoning, funded by Germans.

Two: A former Communist Party chief kept multiple Ag tractors worth $250,000 each in his yard while he drank real Pilsner served by his beautiful daughters on the porch.

Three: Opinions were divided re the future division of Czech and Slovakia.

Four: Most people were still afraid to do anything creative without official written permission.

There is no substitute for courage and freedom...  

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 14:01 | 2643243 Nussi34
Nussi34's picture


Mon, 07/23/2012 - 15:19 | 2643487 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

Cities of Bell, Maywood, and Huntington Park CA, where they sit in smoke filled rooms fixing ballots and elections and impose $1200 towing fees for "no tags" license plate violations, welcome to "Soviet America". 

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 15:23 | 2643498 PSEUDOLOGOI

?? ???????? ? ??????????? ????? ??????? 100 ??????



Mon, 07/23/2012 - 15:38 | 2643546 Manthong
Manthong's picture


I didn't know that.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 16:00 | 2643594 PSEUDOLOGOI

I did, but they put it together nicely to educate Ukies...

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 18:22 | 2643930 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

You know, second- and third-world corruption sometimes seems like a breath of fresh air ... a few bucks under the table, or even over the table to help ease a project along is often a lot cheaper and more effective than hiring an army of lobbyists and lawyers to achieve the same end while tap-dancing between the narrow lines contained in tens of thousands of pages of modern-day, first-world compliance regulations. 

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 21:56 | 2644377 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Sounding a bit like one of us, there.  Careful, you may begin to forget how incredibly IMPORTANT the government is...

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 22:05 | 2644384 scam_MERS
scam_MERS's picture

Yup, just like Walmart did in Mexico. What's the big deal with arbitrary enforcement of the FCPA? BFD, I bet plenty of companies did this to expand in Mexico. WMT probably didn't pay off the right people in Mexico, or our gov't decided to make an example of them for exactly the same reason. Are we supposed to believe that only WMT has done this? Sureeeee.....

And bribes ("blat", in Russian) are a way of life in Ukraine. Grease a few palms, your problem goes away, and everyone is happy. Certainly more directly than all the hassles you have in this country, where only lobbyists and people with big bucks can get those kind of results for a "contribution". No difference other than name.

Tue, 07/24/2012 - 02:03 | 2644734 marriedgeordie
marriedgeordie's picture

Simon, you have got to be kidding to suggest that there is wealth creation in Ukraine, when the country is literally governed by a gang of criminals. The air conditioning business story is much more typical of what's going on in that country now. Oh, you did not actually bother to give a single example to support your claim anyway.

And, rabbits is the nickname of the national currency of Belarus only - because one of the denominations actually had a rabbit depicted on the note. Ukrainians used to call their currency notes "candy wrappers" a while ago, but I have not seen this name used for a number of years.

Wed, 08/01/2012 - 03:45 | 2667873 ertgdg
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