October 21, 2008 4:12 PM

Russians told all is well as economy sinks

Oil prices have plunged from a high earlier this year of $147 a barrel to the $70s this week, dangerously close to the minimum needed to sustain Russia's national budget. Russian stock markets have lost more than 60 percent of their value since May. The rough times have forced the recent sales of five banks, at least three of them for symbolic prices of less than $200.

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