Ukraine package of funding from the IMF and other lenders remains still largely unspecified, but it is worth recapping what we do know and what we don’t.Total package is USD40 billion. Of which, USD17.5 billion will come from the IMF and USD22.5 billion will come from the EU. The US seemed to have avoided being drawn into the financial singularity they helped (directly or not) to create. We have no idea as to the distribution of the USD22.5 billion across the individual EU states, but it is pretty safe to assume that countries like Greece won’t be too keen contributing….. …..Meanwhile, you never hear much about Ukrainian external debt redemptions (aside from Government ones), while Russian debt redemptions (backed by ca USD370 billion worth of reserves) are at the forefront of the ‘default’ rumour mill. Ukrainian official forex reserves shrunk by roughly 62% in 14 months from January 2014. Russian ones are down 28.3% over the same period. But, you read of a reserves crisis in Russia, whilst you never hear much about the reserves crisis in Ukraine.Inflation is now hitting 28.5% in January – double the Russian rate. And that is before full increases in energy prices are factored in per IMF ‘reforms’. Ukraine, so far has gone through roughly 1/5 to 1/4 of these in 2014. More to come…… With all of this, the IMF ‘plan’ begs two questions:
Least important: Where’s the European money coming from?
More important: Why would anyone lend funds to a country with fundamentals that make Greece look like Norway?
Most important: How on earth can this be a sustainable package for the country that really needs at least 50% of the total funding in the form of grants, not loans? That needs real investment, not debt? That needs serious reconstruction and such deep reforms, it should reasonably be given a decade to put them in place, not 4 years that IMF is prepared to hold off on repayment of debts owed to it under the new programme?…..