Russia is in financial freefall

The ruble is crashing, interest rates have spiked to 20%, and the Moscow stock market remains closed as Russia reels from a number of bans and sanctions imposed on it by the rest of the world. Russian citizens are standing in line for hours to withdraw cash from ATMs. In addition, the EU and Canada have banned Russian commercial and private jets from entering its airspace. The U.S. has not yet officially banned flights from Russia, but an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to New York was turned around yesterday because its flight path would have taken it over Canada.

From CNN:

The ruble lost about 20% of its value to trade at 100 to the dollar at 6 a.m. ET after earlier plummeting as much as 40%. The start of trading on the Russian stock market was delayed, and then canceled entirely, according to a statement from the country's central bank.

The latest barrage of sanctions came Saturday, when the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada said they would expel some Russian banks from SWIFT, a global financial messaging service, and "paralyze" the assets of Russia's central bank

"The ratcheting up of Western sanctions over the weekend has left Russian banks on the edge of crisis," wrote Liam Peach, an emerging market economist at Capital Economics, in a note on Monday. .

Writing for Bloomberg, Niall Ferguson says these sanctions won't stop Putin:

No amount of financial pain, whether it is inflicted on Putin personally, the Russian banks, the Russian central bank or the entire Russian population, can stop the bombardment of Kyiv. Even a ban on Western imports of Russian oil and natural gas — which remains highly unlikely, given the difficulty and cost of swiftly replacing those source of energy — would not deter Putin from pursuing his war by all means necessary to secure victory.

There are clearly serious risks of escalation here. Putin has gambled his life on this invasionHe will certainly not hesitate to sacrifice the lives of thousands if not millions of people if he believes it is the only way to preserve his own