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87

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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RUSSIA’S FINANCE 87
rouble notes issued in 1922 were worth 10,000
roubles of 1921, and that the roubles of 1923
were worth a million.
The success of this makeshift, and the readiness
with which it was received by the population,
shows that the paper money which the Soviet Gov
ernment issued in order to cover the deficit on its
budget has no longer any normal money value, and
that it could not be taken as a basis upon which
to reconstruct the financial organisation of Russia.
A simple instance will show how all banking
and trust operations are rendered difficult by the
variability of the exchange. The first meeting
of the shareholders of the Industrial Bank was
held in October 1922. The first action they had
to take was to calculate the loss sustained by
the bureau of organisation owing to the shares
having been originally paid in kind. According
to the commission of control the bank had on
deposit 9 billions (9,000 milliards) of Soviet
roubles, equivalent at the day’s exchange to more
than a million gold roubles. The stock of goods
was valued at I*s million gold roubles. As the
capital of the bank, according to the number of
shares issued, ought to have been 3,300,000 gold
roubles, the loss inflicted on the bank by the
depreciation of paper roubles even before it
commenced operations was no less than 800,000
gold roubles. The shareholders who had paid in
kind, had to cover the deficit by further deposits.
Let us endeavour to review the efforts that have
been made to reorganise the Russian finances by

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