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From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Soviet Union Cuts Ruble Exchange Rate: In a desperate bid to boost its supply of foreign currency, the Soviet Union slashed nearly in half a key exchange rate for the rapidly weakening ruble. The cost of buying one dollar from Soviet state banks rose from 47 rubles to 99, said Allah Markelova, director of a currency exchange office in central Moscow. The rate now is much closer to the black market rate of 70 rubles to the dollar. When the black market rate is significantly higher than the government rate, it siphons badly needed foreign currency away from the state.


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