The Soviet monetary system stood the test of war. Thus, the money supply in Germany increased by 6 times during the war years (although the Germans brought goods to themselves from all over Europe and a large part of the USSR); in Italy - 10 times; in Japan - 11 times. In the USSR, the money supply during the war years increased only 3,8 times.
However, the Great Patriotic War gave rise to a number of negative phenomena that had to be eliminated. First, there was a discrepancy between the amount of money and the needs of trade. There was a surplus of money. Secondly, several kinds of prices appeared - rations, commercial and market. This undermined the value of the wage and the cash income of the collective farmers for their workdays. Thirdly, large sums of money have settled with the speculators. And the difference in prices still gave them the opportunity to enrich themselves at the expense of the population. This undermined social justice in the country.
Immediately after the end of the war, the state conducted a series of measures aimed at strengthening the monetary system and increasing the welfare of the population. The consumer demand of the population increased by increasing payroll funds and reducing payments to the financial system. So, from August 1945, began to abolish the military tax on workers and employees. The tax was finally abolished at the beginning of 1946. They didn’t spend more money-lottery lots and reduced the size of the subscription to the new government loan. In the spring of 1946, savings banks began to pay workers and employees compensation for unused vacations during the war. Post-war industrial restructuring began. There was some growth in the commodity fund due to the restructuring of the industry and by reducing the consumption of armed forces and the implementation of trophies. For the withdrawal of money from circulation continued the expansion of commercial trade. In 1946, the commercial trade acquired a rather wide scope: a wide network of shops and restaurants was created, the range of goods was expanded and their price was reduced. The end of the war led to a fall in prices on collective farm markets (by more than a third).
However, by the end of 1946, the adverse events were not completely eliminated. Therefore, the course on monetary reform was kept. In addition, the release of new money and the exchange of old money for new was necessary in order to eliminate money that went abroad and improve the quality of money.
According to the testimony of the USSR Commissar of Finance Arseny Zverev (he managed the USSR finances since 1938), for the first time, Stalin inquired about the possibility of monetary reform at the end of December 1942, and demanded that the first calculations be presented at the beginning of 1943. Initially, monetary reform was planned for 1946. However, due to the famine, which was caused by drought and crop failure in a number of Soviet regions, the beginning of the reform had to be postponed. Only 3 December 1947, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) decided to cancel the card system and start monetary reform.
The conditions for monetary reform were defined in the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) of December 14 1947. Money exchanges were conducted throughout the Soviet Union from 16 to 22 December 1947, and in remote areas ended December 29. At recalculation of a salary money exchanged so that the salary remained without change. The loose change was not subject to exchange and remained in circulation at par. For cash deposits in Sberbank, amounts up to 3 thousand rubles were also subject to one-to-one exchange; for deposits from 3 to 10 thousand rubles, savings were reduced by one third of the amount; for deposits of more than 10 thousand rubles, two thirds of the amount was subject to withdrawal. Those citizens who kept large sums of money at home, could exchange at the rate of 1 a new ruble to 10 old. Relatively preferential terms for the exchange of cash accumulations were established for holders of government bonds: the bonds of the loan 1947 were not subject to revaluation; mass loan bonds were exchanged for bonds of a new loan in the ratio of 3: 1, bonds of the freely floating loan 1938 were exchanged in the ratio of 5: 1. The funds that were in the settlement and current accounts of the cooperative organizations and collective farms were revalued at the rate of 5 old rubles for 4 new.
At the same time, the government abolished the rationing system (earlier than other winning countries), high prices in commercial trade, and introduced uniform lower government retail prices for food and industrial goods. Thus, prices for bread and flour were reduced on average by 12% against current ration prices; for cereals and pasta - on 10%, etc.
Thus, in the USSR, the negative consequences of the war in the monetary system were eliminated. This made it possible to switch to trading at a single price and reduce the money supply by more than three times (from 43,6 to 14 billion rubles). Overall, the reform was successful.
In addition, the reform had a social aspect. Speculators pressed. This restored social justice trampled during the war years. At first glance, it seemed that everyone suffered, because everyone on 15 December had some money in their hands. But an ordinary worker and employee living on a salary, who by the middle of the month had not much money left, suffered only nominally. He did not even remain without money, since December 16 had already begun to issue wages with new money for the first half of the month, which they usually did not do. Salaries were usually issued monthly after the completion of the month. Thanks to this extradition, workers and employees were provided with new money at the beginning of the reform. The exchange of 3 thousand rubles of the contribution of 1: 1 satisfied the overwhelming majority of the population, as people did not have significant funds. Calculated for the entire adult population, the average contribution on the passbook could not be more than 200 rubles. It is clear that the “Stakhanovites”, inventors and other small groups of the population who had super-profits lost some of their money with speculators. But given the general decline in prices, they did not win, yet they did not suffer much. True, those who kept large sums of money at home could be dissatisfied. This concerned speculative groups of the population and part of the population of the South Caucasus and Central Asia who did not know the war and for this reason had the opportunity to trade.
It should be noted, the uniqueness of the Stalinist system, which was able to withdraw most of the money from the circulation of money and at the same time the majority of ordinary people did not suffer. At the same time, the whole world was struck by the fact that just two years after the end of the war and after the poor harvest of 1946, the main food prices were kept at the ration level or even reduced. That is, almost all the food was available to everyone in the USSR.
This for the Western world was unexpected and insulting. The capitalist system was literally driven into the dirt to the ears. So, the United Kingdom, on whose territory the war had not been going on for four years and which had suffered immensely less in war than the USSR, could not cancel the rationing system at the beginning of the 1950s. At that time, in the former “workshop of the world”, miners went on strike, demanding that they be provided with a standard of living like those of the USSR miners.
How Stalin freed the ruble from the dollar
The Soviet ruble from 1937 was pegged to the US dollar. The ruble exchange rate was calculated against foreign currencies based on the US dollar. In February, the Central Statistical Office of the USSR, on the urgent task of I. Stalin, recalculated the exchange rate of the new ruble. Soviet experts, focusing on the purchasing power of the ruble and the dollar (they compared the prices of goods), and derived the 1950 rubles per 14 dollar figure. Earlier (up to 1), the dollar was given 1947 rubles for a dollar. However, according to the head of the Ministry of Finance Zverev and the head of the State Planning Committee Saburov, as well as those present at the event, the Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and the head of Albania Enver Hoxha, Stalin 53 February crossed out this figure and wrote: “At most 27 rubles.”
The resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR from February 28 1950 transferred the ruble to a permanent gold base, the peg to the dollar was canceled. The gold content of the ruble was set at 0,222168 grams of pure gold. From 1 March 1950, the purchase price of the USSR State Bank for gold in 4 rubles was established. 45 cop per 1 grams of pure gold. As Stalin noted, the USSR was thus protected from the dollar. After the war, the USA had dollar surpluses that they wanted to dump on other countries, shifting their financial problems to others. As an example of the indefinite financial, and therefore political, dependence on the Western world, Joseph Stalin cited Yugoslavia, where Josip Broz Tito ruled. The Yugoslav currency was pegged to the “basket” of the US dollar and British pound sterling. Stalin actually predicted the future of Yugoslavia: "... sooner or later, the West will" collapse "Yugoslavia economically and politically dismember ...". His prophetic words came true in 1990's.
For the first time, national money was exempted from the US dollar. According to the UN Economic and Social Council, the UN European and Far Eastern Commissions (1952-1954), Stalin’s decision almost doubled the effectiveness of Soviet exports. And in that period - industrial and high-tech. This happened due to the exemption from the dollar prices of importing countries, which lowered the prices of Soviet exports. In turn, this led to an increase in production in most Soviet industries. Also, the Soviet Union was able to get rid of the import of technology from the United States and other countries, which focused on the dollar and accelerate their own technological innovation.
Stalin's plan to create a common "non-dollar" market
The transfer of most of the USSR trade with the countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA), established in 1949, and also with China, Mongolia, North Korea, Vietnam and a number of developing countries, to the Stalinist gold ruble led to the formation of a financial and economic bloc. There was a common market that was free of the dollar and that meant the political influence of the United States.
In the first half of April 1952, the international economic meeting was held in Moscow. On it, the Soviet delegation led by Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers Shepilov proposed the establishment of a common market for goods, services and investments. It was free of the US dollar and was created in opposition to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and US expansion. At this time, the Marshall Plan was already in full swing. The economy of most European countries turned out to be dependent on the United States.
The members of the CMEA and China back in the 1951 year declared the inevitability of close cooperation of all countries that do not want to subordinate the US dollar and the dictates of Western financial and trading structures. The idea was supported by such countries as Afghanistan, Iran, India, Indonesia, Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia, Yugoslavia and Uruguay. These countries became co-organizers of the Moscow Forum. Interestingly, the proposal was supported by some Western countries - Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Iceland and Austria. In total, 49 countries participated in the Moscow meeting. During his tenure, more than 60 trade, investment and science and technology agreements were signed. Among the basic principles of these agreements were: the exclusion of dollar settlements; the possibility of barter, including debt repayment; coordination of policies in international economic organizations and the world market; mutual regime of maximum favor in credits, investments, credits and scientific and technical cooperation; customs and price privileges for developing states (or their individual goods), etc.
The Soviet delegation proposed at the first stage to conclude bilateral or multilateral agreements on customs, price, credit and commodity issues. Then they planned to carry out a gradual unification of the principles of foreign economic policy and create a “block-wide” trade zone. At the final stage, they planned to create an interstate settlement currency with an obligatory gold content (the ruble was already prepared for this), which led to the completion of the creation of a common market. It is clear that financial and economic integration led to political integration. Not only socialist but also people's democratic and former colonies, that is, developing states, would unite around the USSR.
Unfortunately, after the death of Stalin, the authorities of the USSR and most other CMEA countries moved away from the proposals of the great leader, gradually falling under the power of the dollar (and their elites under the power of the "golden calf"). We tried to forget about the great Stalinist project. Moreover, in view of the socio-economic and political adventures of Khrushchev ("Khrushchev" as the first restructuring), I had to greatly devalue the "Stalinist gold ruble" (10 times) and reduce its gold content. At the end of 1970, the gold content of the Soviet ruble was de facto eliminated altogether. From the time of Khrushchev, Soviet foreign trade began to move into a subordinate position in relation to the dollar system. The value of goods delivered from the Union to capitalist countries was calculated in conditional "foreign currency rubles" at the rate of 1 dollars = 0,6 of the foreign currency ruble. In addition, the Soviet Union became the “donor” of developing countries and began to supply the Western world with cheap energy and industrial raw materials. And the gold reserve, which was created under Stalin, began to rapidly lose.
The idea of "Soviet globalization" at the financial and economic level and freedom from the US dollar, depending on the US Federal Reserve System, is more relevant today than ever. Actually nothing and no need to invent. Everything has already given Russia Joseph Stalin. It is only necessary to show political will and bring his plans to their logical conclusion. Then Russia will be completely independent on financial and economic priority, will undermine the power of the Fed, Western TNB and TNCs and will receive a powerful tool for the “Russian globalization”. Russia will receive a powerful tool for the development of the national economy and the development of the people's welfare.
A forgotten idea without a statute of limitations // http://www.rg.ru/bussines/rinky/482.shtm.
Zverev A. Notes Minister. M., 1973.
How the ruble was "freed" from the dollar // http://www.stoletie.ru/territoriya_istorii/kak_rubl_osvobodili_ot_dollara_2010-03-01.htm.
Martirosyan A. B. 200 myths about Stalin. Stalin after the war. 1945 – 1953 years. M., 2007.
Mukhin Yu. What is Stalin killed for? M., 2004.
Mukhin Y. Stalin - the owner of the USSR. M., 2008.
Against the dictates of the dollar // http://www.stoletie.ru/territoriya_istorii/protiv_diktata_dollara_2010-06-04.htm.