Putin Promises to Help Sliding Russian Economy

With many paychecks weeks behind, crisis reminds nation of '90s collapse
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2008 2:01 PM CST
Russia's central bank said Wednesday it had spent $57.5 billion propping up the ruble in the last two months.
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin proposed steps yesterday to stabilize the Russian economy as layoffs and deferred wages cause rising insecurity about the nation’s finances, the Wall Street Journal reports. Russian firms now owe $145 million in delayed wages to 300,000 people, and those figures may actually be higher—a fifth of poll respondents said their wages weren’t being paid on time.

Putin yesterday told a party gathering he’d “do everything,” starting with lowering corporate taxes and raising unemployment payments, to prevent a repeat of the 1998 economic collapse. Millions of workers were not paid for several months in that crisis after the government defaulted on its debt and the ruble plunged overnight.