The saga of the first bonus for Soviet speculation

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SF: Our magazine is interested in the history of currency trading in the country. You have worked for a long time in Vneshtorgbank of the USSR. What can you tell us about those years when the vast country currency speculation takes only a few people?

ST: Actually, I came to work on currency dealing Vneshtorgbank August 1, 1974. Incidentally, many consider me ancestor currency arbitrage in the USSR. Then the people were engaged in foreign exchange 5-6. Prior to the beginning of my attempts to gain additional profit with large speculative positions in the foreign exchange market operators know Vneshtorgbank as a bank with a predictable interest, performing only operations related to foreign trade turnover. Shocking to say and even think we have solved all the problems of this colossus currency as the Soviet Union. My God, poor parents were so afraid of me! After all, I was * currency speculation on a large scale - the most illegal thing of all, they could have imagined. And as I tried to reassure them no, they continued to fear for my future. We see afraid that one day I was going to jail. Even in the bank records indicate the preferred foreign exchange losses as a "negative exchange differences", they say, do not tease the geese. After an open arbitrage position in the $ 100-200 million was common ...

Serving us very easy and very difficult. On the one hand, there was no over-regulation, on the other hand - a terrible responsibility. The main task of Vneshtorgbank in those years was to design the currency of the country plan and maintaining the appropriate structure of foreign currency assets and liabilities. In practice, it looked sometimes curious. Once a week, Deputy. the head of our department on the wooden abacus counting a full exchange office of the Soviet Union! Just imagine a similar picture, with the current technology, then! Our then chief Yury Ponomarev said currency dealers in the Soviet Union less than the members of the Politburo! Of course, many of the documents passed through the first section, there is fixed to any position, and the order must be admitted, was. Our Western partners, who then argued that we lack democracy, 90 years with nostalgia old Soviet ways. At the time, they knew who to ask and who to ask. All went fairly well. Considered the prime borrowers Vneshtorgbank could both place and accept deposits from foreign banks in the amount of $ 50-100 million for a period of 1 year for only one of its quotation. Specific framework agreements to this effect were concluded, lacked confirmation of the transaction. We then had a 50 dollar bank accounts in different countries, and all the traffic on the accounts can be easily tracked. Now, some commercial banks pootkryvali thousands of accounts, where necessary and they will not have, and for some reason even advertising give it. We operate simply and effectively. I remember how millions of dollars were saved on the purchase of Canadian wheat to the Soviet Union. Bank experts expect the Canadian dollar to fall against the U.S. and, having paid for the bread on credit, made the conversion at the time of the greatest Canadian currency depreciation. Guidance and some dealers have received for this state awards. It happened before I came to the department, but it gave me a reason to be proud profession.