The ruble's plummet has spurred world-wide jitters, but it isn't clear whether 'rublegeddon' can or should cause a global market rout similar to the 1998 crisis.
"Russia itself is in a crisis, but it isn't a balance sheet crisis that should lead to some kind of default, which is what you did see in 1998," Jim Swanson, chief investment strategist at MFS Investment Management, told CNBC, citing the country's relatively low debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) as well as "quite a bit" of foreign currency reserves.
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The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) unexpectedly hiked rates by 650 basis points to 17 percent in the wee hours of Tuesday, Moscow time, to stem the beleaguered ruble's plunge. The currency rebounded, with the U.S. dollar buying to 60.00 rubles following the move, but it has since crumbled, with the U.S. dollar buying nearly 80 rubles Tuesday, a fresh record low for Russia's currency. The U.S. dollar was fetching 71.6 rubles during Asian trade on Wednesday.