Russian economist Alexander Butmanov toasted the death of the national stock market on live television, telling the stunned host that he would go back to his old job, playing Santa Claus.
Journalist Peter Liakhov tweeted a video clip of the segment broadcast on a Russian business news channel along with the caption, “A snapshot of the Russian economy: an investment expert goes live on air and says his current career trajectory is to work as ‘Santa Claus’ and then drinks to the death of the stock market. With subtitles.”
A snapshot of the Russian economy: an investment expert goes live on air and says his current career trajectory is to work as "Santa Claus" and then drinks to the death of the stock market. With subtitles. pic.twitter.com/XiPVTSUuks
— Peter Liakhov (@peterliakhov) March 3, 2022
“With me in the studio today is Alexandre Butmanov,” host Elina Tikhonova began, introducing him as an “economist, founder of the investment group ‘Allies,’ and expert on stock market strategies.”
“Alexander, hello,” Tikhonova said, and he replied, “Greetings. Good day. I am not saying anything.”
“Yes, we are all at a loss for words now,” the host agreed, asking, “Are stock market strategies outdated now, or do you still hope to remain in the profession?”
“Worst case scenario, I’m going to work as Santa Claus, as I did 25 years ago,” Butmanov replied.
“But that’s only once a year,” Tikhonova pressed.
“Excluding jokes, let’s do this quickly,” Butmanov continued, ducking out of frame only to return a moment later with a green glass bottle. “I send regards to Sergei Usychenko, who drank 12, 13 years ago to the death of the stock market.”
“Today, I’m drinking carbonated water,” he announced, opening the bottle. “Dear Stock Market, you were close to us, you were interesting. Rest In Peace, dear Comrade.”
Butmanov proceeded to drink from the bottle, prompting the host to raise her eyebrows.
“I’m not going to comment on this stunt because I don’t want to believe it,” Tikhonova said.
Russia’s national stock market is struggling under the weight of sanctions imposed primarily in financial sectors against Russian banks and other financial institutions, all resulting from the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As Business Insider reported:
Russia’s biggest bank plunged as much as 95% on the London stock exchange Wednesday and other companies crashed by similar amounts as the war in Ukraine and ensuing sanctions caused investors to dump the country’s assets.
Sberbank, which has more than 135 million customers, plunged to as low as $0.01 Wednesday morning, having stood at $16.12 at the start of the year. The company’s depository receipts — certificates representing shares — are listed in London, although its main listing is in Moscow.
The lender said Wednesday that it had decided to withdraw from the non-Russian European market after facing “an exceptional outflow of funds.”
Additional sanctions could target assets owned by those who reportedly have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, including real estate, yachts, and other high-dollar items. The possible threat of such sanctions from the United States and other western nations has already prompted at least one Russian billionaire to put the Chelsea Football Club up for sale.