Apple halts online sales in Russia over cratering ruble

“Apple Inc. has halted online sales in Russia due to ‘extreme’ ruble fluctuations, the company said,” Tim Higgins reports for Bloomberg News. “‘Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing,’ Alan Hely, a spokesman for the Cupertino, California-based company, said today in an e-mailed statement. ‘We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.'”

“Apple has been working to deal with the ruble swings in other ways. Last month, the company increased the price of the iPhone 6 by 25 percent in Russia,” Higgins reports. “Russia’s currency lost as much as 19 percent today, with a surprise interest-rate increase failing to stem the run on the currency. The ruble sank beyond 80 per dollar, and bonds and stocks also tumbled, with the RTS equity gauge dropping the most since 2008.”

Higgins reports. “The selloff in Moscow is spreading across the globe, prompting nervous investors to pull money from other developing nations amid concern that Russia’s financial struggles and the tumble in oil signal a global economic slowdown.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ottawa Mark” for the heads up.]


      1. Oil prices are controlled by western nations. US and the Saies have increased oil production deliberately to punish Rusdis. They are among the economic actions put in place against Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

        1. Wishful thinking. USA have increased all production through all of the recent years and it has nothing to do with Russia or sanctions. And neither USA nor Saudis have increased oil production this year in any serous degree. By the way, Russia has also increased oil production through the recent years (including this year).

          So the reasons why oil prices have fallen are totally different.

          1. Regardless, the net outcome of this, with sanctions, Russia is learning that when their neighbors are in trouble, they can’t go grabbing land from them. They have done this three times, since Putin has been in power. As a matter of fact, not to be hypocritical, there’s a couple of other countries which deserve a good spanking and returning of illegal begotten lands.

            We can pick a date, but leave Ukraine alone.

            Lower oil prices are good for consuming nations, like China, and bad for producers like Canada, Russia plus others.

            1. As described earlier, sanctions are tiny and never had significant effect.

              Also, to be fair, for now Russia has reunited only with Crimea (and it was democratic in literal sense: by far majority of people never thought of themselves as Ukrainians and wanted reunite with Russia). So other two times is StateDep propaganda.

              Russia was not that good with high oil prices either, as the country has accumulated third biggest monetary reserves on the planet, but those money did not really work for the economy.

            2. I beg to differ. The “democratic vote” was a lie. The local people did not want to go with Russia. Russian soldiers, out of uniform, went in and took over the territory, placed Russian friendly people in charge, and held an illegal election where most people didn’t vote. The Tartars are treated poorly and though considered the locals didn’t get a voice. For a legal secession, a territory has to properly vote on separation, and the rest of the country has to ratify it. Russia cannot unilaterally take land from another nation, or a people can not just walk away, when they feel like it. Likewise, Russian soldiers invaded Eastern Ukraine, caused chaos, and shot down a domestic airline, again out of uniform. Russian soldiers, invaded and took land from Georgia, Moldova, and constantly terrorizes the western border, with military training. Russia will not find friends in Kazakstan or Turkmenistan. Additionally Russia is alienating Belorussia. Everyone is scared. And it’s because Russian leadership is anxious, impatient, and wants to return to “glorious” days that never existed. For Russia good times are in the future, only if they participate in a global economy and promote stable peace in Eastern Europe and Asia. The West trusted their leaders.

              Back to Crimea; Russians have mostly favored the peninsula for a naval base, vacation holidays etc. It’s written into literature. It a part of Russia, sure. It was also a part of Turkey as well. But as of the day that the Soviet Union broke up, (some say it wasn’t legal, but I think it was a mutual secession of all territories, so that made it legal, also the Soviet Union ceased to exist, giving all territories sovereignty, by default.) Crimea was 100% Ukrainian, given to them in 1954, by Khrushchev. (Don’t even go into what that means, current rhetoric is BS.) Russia signed a treaty, keeping Ukraine whole. Now we know how Russia treats agreements.

              No one is complaining about Chechnya. It seems the local people want to be free of Russia. So this is Russian Hypocrisy. They force Chechens to stay, and cry when Ukraine wanted to keep Crimea. But we see the truth. Russia want’s to be imperialistic in a modern age.

              We are supposed to be an enlightened people. There is no more Rome, we are all Romans. We are a global society united by technology. We each get to enjoy each other’s bounty, not possess it.

            3. The “democratic vote” was a lie.

              Unfortunately, this is another example of effects of propaganda. Over hundred of international observers and thousands of journalists from around the world saw no guns pointed at anyone, but they saw huge turnout and had hard time finding people who would vote against reuniting the Russia.

              And no, there is no evidence that “Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine” — each time illegal “government” has cried “invasion”, NYT journalists travelled around and so no Russian army, just rebels. (Of course, Russia supports them, and rightfully so, but there is no Russian army there.)

              And Chechnya has nothing to do with any of that. Chechens have quickly tired of the heads-chopping Wahhabi tyranny and united with official government to throw Saudi warlords out. Since they they are happy to live and rule on their land themselves and for themselves, not for insane (actual) terrorist fanatics’ idea to create Kalifate over the territory of several countries of the region.

        2. You nailed it Tflint! Very few people get it. It appears to be a very well crafted move indeed. Russia under Putin has been an economic and political thorn to the rest of the world and it is paying a grave price now.

        3. The only reason for the price drop is to make Bakken oil and Canadian tar sands to expensive to produce. When the USA and Canada slow production or stop production then the Saudi’s will begin to raise the price. The Saudi’s will raise the price when American investors are too scared to re-invest in Bakken oil.

          1. Obama is not Putin’s “enemy.” They are comrades who both seek to destroy the USA as we know it.
            Remember when Obama promised Putin that he could be “more flexible” after the election?
            Putin has been so aggressive because Obama is so weak.

          1. Conservatives only like the military because we live in a dangerous world. Conservatives like to save money and would not spend money on a vast military if there were not threats in the world.

            The Russian invasion of Ukraine was an atrocity, but Russia is less of a threat to the US than a terrorist getting ahold of serious firepower such as a dirty nuclear bomb, or even worse a full on nuke.

            ISIS for example has already proven they have very few limits and are willing to behead children who refused to convert. If they take over Iraq, don’t think we have nothing to worry about.

            Saying conservatives like Putin because they like the military is like saying conservatives liked the Emperor of Japan during WW2 because it allowed us to build up a military, not a reasonable argument.

            1. I could chime in here about the ‘conservative’ concept of ‘Starve The Beast’, how it FEEDS the military industrial complex until it’s vomiting bloat and inefficiency. But mixing this in with attempting to make sense of a Criminal Nation like Russia isn’t going to enlighten much of anything. This loony toons Putin plight is going to play itself out with lots of unfortunate consequences for Russians and I’m sad to see it happen. It’s not just one big ball of bullshit.

            2. Derek Currie, for the most part governments are full of shit, run by powerful elite that enrich themselves at everyone else’s expense. This is true regardless of authoritarian or so-called “democratic” governments.

              The modern equivalent of democracy is a farce compared to the high participation that ancient Greece saw (nearly 100%).

              I’m sad too seeing people exploited by their governments, including Russia. Very ugly situation.

        1. They love(d) him for being strong, where they perceive Obama as week. They love(d) him for standing up against the gays. They love(d) that he stood strong with the oligarchs against the people. Just Google “in praise of Putin,” and among the 834,000 hits are article after article where US conservatives oozed envy that Russia had Putin and we were “stuck” with Obama.

          Want some links? Fine.

    1. Not, they did not. Sanctions were active for more than half of the year and the currency did not move at all. The reason is that the sanctions are ridiculously tiny as West has over $1 trillion business interests in Russia. If there would be real sanctions, then this would be wiped out and would cause a domino effect on global economy. So the sanctions were very limited from both sides.

      As I wrote about, this currency downfall is directly consequence of oil prices downfall — nearly half of Russia’s budget is tied with oil/gas money, so the government had to make rouble twice cheaper to accommodate for new twice cheaper oil prices.

      By the way, twice cheaper oil can have positive effect on ecology in terms of it seriously undermining perspectives of fracking. Fracking is a disaster for ecology, but it is only seriously profitable when oil prices are high.

      1. I keep hearing how fracking is the second coming of Satan, but I really do not trust environmentalists on this. I’m not saying I trust oil companies either, but I believe both sides are motivated to lie and distort. I am not sure there’s any reliable source of info on it.

        Environmentalists want fracking to stop because they tie oil to global warming and want oil production to be ended. So even if fracking is 100% safe (and it may very well be), it wouldn’t matter because evil oil was being dug up to ruin the global climate. Thus, the need to create the meme that fracking poisons the water supply, soil, etc. Given how far down fracking goes, the probability that it effects the water supply is very low.

        1. Fracking is not necessary from Satan, but I do not see interests of ecologists here to be as significant as for oil companies. The process is harmful for the ecology. In USA oil lobby is so strong that people can not even require information what chemicals oil companies infuse into the ground (except for that they are highly toxic, the formula is protected trade secret).

          1. “The process is harmful for the ecology”

            This is the charge made by environmentalists, I’m not sure it is justified.

            “people can not even require information what chemicals oil companies infuse into the ground”

            This is wrong, no one should be able to pump chemicals anywhere without disclosing what they are.

            1. Twinmoon – You need to do more research before concluding environmentalists are unjustified. Many of the arguments are specifically tied to the secret mix of chemicals being pumped.

              I agree that no one should be able to pump millions of chemicals into the group without disclosing what they are, but it’s happening.

              Fracking threatens the underground aquifer that holds much of our drinking water, and it’s pretty clear that it’s caused a rash of earthquakes in area where drilling is active.

              Fracking is terraforming on a fairly wide scale, without much interest being paid to long-term affects. I like cheap gas as much as the next guy, but I worry that we’re going to wake up in 10 years without enough water and folks will scream, “Why didn’t anyone warn us.”

            2. …wait, the hole in the ozone will melt the polar icecaps! And then, then…all that water will wash away all the ebola and then ISIS will nicest and unicorns will nance about and get married and humanity can sit down to a bowl of whirled peas and s’mores!

              And to think, all this utopia is owed to Erle P. Halliburton and his hydraulic fracturing technique of 1947!

        2. It’s not just the wells themselves (which have been known to leak when the cement casing around them fails). It’s the millions of gallons of chemical-laden wastewater created for every well.

          1. A. Leak what? You think oil “leaks” like Jed Clampett “shootin’ at some food and up from the ground came some bubblin’ crude”?
            B. Please list the chemicals in “chemical-laden” wastewater for “every well.”
            C. Did you receive your geology degree from CNN?

            1. “Please list the chemicals in “chemical-laden” wastewater for “every well.” ”

              Botty – That’s just the point. We can’t. Congress has specifically exempted fracking from most EPA rules, and the chemical brews are considered “trade secrets” that can remain secret.

            2. I completely agree that this is a load of crap. Fracking should in no way be protected from environmental concerns. The process should be fully transparent and strictly monitored.

        3. From my POV: Yes fracking is just more of the same old burning carbon Carbon CARBON with the expected results.

          BUT, water Water WATER is shouting its way into the world as the #1 limiting resource of life. Fracking gets a total F grade on both its waste of water and the damage it does to ground water. That’s the fact. It’s a gimmick method of extraction wrapped up in marketing jargon in order to hide the crap science behind the entire process. Earthquakes in Oklahoma are only one of many deleterious and often permanent side effects.

          IOW: You don’t need libTard propaganda to notice that Fracking is a terrible idea.

          1. “Fracking gets a total F grade on both its waste of water and the damage it does to ground water. ”

            The “damage caused by fracking to ground water” is not a fact, it might be true but is highly unlikely. The waste of water in the process of digging up oil is a far better argument against Fracking, along with the fact that oil is a rather nasty and dirty form of energy.

            “It’s a gimmick method of extraction wrapped up in marketing jargon in order to hide the crap science behind the entire process.”

            How is it a gimmick method when it has proven itself to be highly effective and profitable? What kind of junk science are we talking about here?

            The replacement for oil hasn’t presented itself. Alternative energy is a great idea on paper but we have a lot of work to do to get there, and nothing that will wholesale replace all uses for oil in the interim.

            “Earthquakes in Oklahoma are only one of many deleterious and often permanent side effects.”

            There are increased numbers of harmless earthquakes, but it is unlikely any harmful earthquakes will result. It takes energy to produce earthquakes which usually comes from tectonic forces, and those forces are not effected by fracking.

            “IOW: You don’t need libTard propaganda to notice that Fracking is a terrible idea.”

            The only really good argument you presented was the waste of water. That’s a very good argument, and could ultimately doom Fracking long term, but I never looked at any form of oil production as a permanent solution. At some point we need to move off oil and onto cleaner, and more renewable sources. Getting there will take time, effort, and money and we need oil until that happens.

            I don’t agree that Fracking is a disaster or a “terrible idea” but I also don’t think it’s a long term solution.

            1. Um, setting that sentiment aside, I will point out that one of the results of these earthquakes is to more quickly crack open the relatively fragile drill wells created during fracking, which obviously results in leakage of the carcinogenic fracking fluids in the well as well as other chemicals within the well such as radon and methane.

              IOW: A very poorly thought out system of natural gas and oil extraction from shale. If that isn’t clear by now, go back and check how much of what your ‘believe’ to be true about fracking isn’t mere propaganda.

            2. Your position is that shale oil fracking must be stopped because benzene and benzene derivatives are polluting drinking water and giving people liver damage and cancer? Do I understand your argument correctly?

            3. I’ve only been talking about natural gas fracking. As for you, do I have to remind you AGAIN to take your Lithium? I really would rather avoid your bad days, when no one wants to know you. Can we please get back to good days?

      2. By your logic, it can’t be oil prices either, since oil prices have been falling for at least six months and the currency didn’t move at all — at least not till recently.

        Guess you’re not familiar with the whole “tipping point” concept.

        In fact, it’s BOTH oil prices and sanctions that are having their impact on international contact with Russia’s finance markets.

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