Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Finance and Commercial Law

First Advisor

Wenling Lu

Second Advisor

Liliya Vansovich


Russia is currently in an economic crisis the likes of which the Russian people are unfortunately familiar with in their turbulent past. Economic sanctions, paired with a global downturn in oil prices, have stalled any progress that had been occurring after the 2008 global economic meltdown. The Central Bank of Russia, which was founded after the fall of the USSR in the early 1990s, was quick to respond to the sanctions and domestic economic issues by laying out an Anti-Crisis plan along with the aid of the rest of the government. They raised interest rates to over 20%, passed legislation to bolster citizens’ trust in their rubles, and allowed banks to draw more capital from the Reserve Fund, among other things. There was no coherent strategy, but the overall goal to strengthen the economy from its lowest points has appeared to have worked, although there is still much more to work on for Russia’s future.

Beyond the government’s monetary policy and responses to the crisis, the financial markets of Russia also play an important role in the recovery of the nation. The Moscow Exchange is the financial center for stock trading in Russia. The two most well-known indexes are the MICEX (ruble-denominated) and the RTS (U.S. dollar-denominated). Through 2016, the Russian MICEX stock market has proven to be quite robust, proving yet again that Russia can seemingly always adapt to their situation. In fact, the MICEX index has increased 22.72% this year so far, as of September 22, 2016, with some stocks such as Aeroflot trading at a staggering 217.75% increase over its price at the beginning of this year. However, it is not quite as rosy as it seems, with some underlying problems which may erase the gains of this year at any time.

The situation in Russia is something that Americans should be paying attention to. There is a fine line between damaging our relationship so much that we enter a new “Cold War” era, and being able to reconcile differences and resume more friendly relations. Americans need to do what they can to prove that as a nation, America would much rather be an ally and work with Russia than be their enemy, because this is a better outcome for all involved. Russian leaders need to also realize that they must compromise with the West if they wish to be a true economic superpower.

Lastly, it has been proven over and over in history that Russians are tough people. Normal Russian citizens may seem to be in a very bad situation with the decrease of the ruble’s value and more expensive goods and services; however, there are three examples compiled with help from a Russian professor at Western Michigan University, Liliya Vansovich, showing that Russians are actually quite optimistic about the future and do not notice a huge change in their daily lives. Given their turbulent past, this should really come as no surprise but it is a powerful insight nonetheless. In the end, the Russian people will overcome the current challenges and their best is yet to come.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Honors Thesis PPT.pdf (203 kB)
Defense Presentation