According to ARCA, during the traditional meeting of Robert Kocharian with the 60 big entrepreneurs, the President has remarked, that the unreasonable abrupt fluctuations of the national currency, which lasted several days are among the most important events of 2007. Kocharian has informed the businessmen, that research has been conducted and the authors of speculations will soon be revealed and will be held accountable.
Let me remind once again, that from the beginning of the current year the USD has devaluated against AMD by more then 16%. At the start of the year each USD traded for 360 AMD, whereas today 1 USD is equal to 304.22 AMD.
Interestingly, in a very recent post, the Armenian Economist was arguing, that “there is little at this stage that the government, or the Central Bank (CBA) more correctly, is able to do to reverse this appreciation”, and asking “why are government critics focusing on the Dram, where the government has little control, and not continuously hammering the regime on the other issues?”.
It seems, that unlike the Armenian Economist, President Kocharian has finally decided to focus on the Dram, and check what is happening with currency speculators, to, very possibly, punish them. I guess it doesn’t take a PhD in Economy to understand, that AMD rate appreciation is not only “hurting exporters and endangering the country’s competitiveness”; but is also quite paradoxically, it is not resulting in lowering the price of imported products in any way. So it seems, that in the end, media have been doing a pretty good job of focusing on Dram, and drawing Government’s attention to it. It remains to be seen, however, who will be punished in the results of the check ups. There is a widely circulated perception in the society, that the AMD rate speculations are planned and carried out by the Central Bank of Armenia, and many are speaking, that President Kocharian is among those, benefiting greatly from the Rate fluctuations. However, I’m pretty sure, that the small currency speculators, who are striving to make a living by trading a dollar or two, will in the end bear the cost of the “just punishment”.