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(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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been managed, the bank -notes have very nearly
retained their gold value. Thus on February 7,
1923, when the gold rouble was worth 21*50
roubles of 1923 at the official exchange, and 27
roubles on the Black Bourse, a tchervonets note
was worth 220 roubles of 1923. On April i6th
tchervonets stood at an exchange of 400 paper
roubles (of 1923), or the same as pound sterling.
In special circumstances, however, it would seem
possible for the tchervonets to fall below its gold
parity ; as now at the beginning of May, for
instance, owing to the fears entertained regarding
a possible break in the trade relations between
Russia and Great Britain.
The unpleasant part of this arrangement must
be said to be the circumstance that the State
Bank obtains the gold needed to cover the
tchervonets largely at the expense of the peasants :
as stated in the previous chapter, it buys their
corn at a price of six to eight dollars the ton, and
seils it in Finland for forty-two dollars. The
ridiculously low price on the home market is a
consequence of the State monopoly, which prevents
the peasant from seiling his corn direct to the
foreign purchaser.
I had a long talk with Mr. Scheinman, president
of the State Bank, regarding the organisation and
working of his bank. The office for bank-note
issues is almost entirely independent, and its
manager is a well-known Russian financier,
M. Koutler, who was formerly Under-Secretary
of Finance under the Tsar’s regime. "He is a

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