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Kazakhstan: Counting the Costs of Devaluation

The tenge can’t buy what it used to. (Photo: Dean C.K. Cox)

President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s administration in Kazakhstan has weathered the tempest stirred up by the devaluation of the country’s currency earlier in February.  But officials now face a longer-term test as they confront an erosion of public trust.

The Kazakhstani currency, the tenge, plunged 19 percent against the US dollar on February 11, a day now known in Kazakhstan as Black Tuesday. The monetary upheaval came after the National Bank – which had spent months denying devaluation rumors – stopped pouring billions of its reserves into propping the national currency up.

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Kazakhstan: Counting the Costs of Devaluation

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