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Bias Still Points Lower

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The U.S. and its European allies are considering sanctions on Russia's banking sector, should the Kremlin decide to invade Ukraine, unidentified sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

  • The report notes that the U.S. is considering a range of options, which include sanctioning Russia's largest banks and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. The White House could also limit the ability of investors to purchase Russian debt on secondary market or restrict Russia's ability to convert roubles into dollars, euros or British pounds. The most drastic option would be cutting off Russia's access to the Swift financial payments system.
  • The reports comes out ahead of Tuesday's phone call between U.S. President Biden and Russian President Putin, which will centre around escalating tensions between Moscow and Kyiv. Russia has recently been amassing troops along the Ukrainian border, with Western intelligence agencies flagging a risk of a large-scale military offensive in 2022.