Viktor Gerashchenko
Viktor Vladimirovich Gerashchenko (Russian: Ви́ктор Влади́мирович Гера́щенко), byname Gerakl (the Russian version of Heracles
Heracles ,born Alcaeus or Alcides , was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson of Perseus...

), was the Chairman of the Soviet and then Russian Central Bank during much of the Perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

 and post-Perestroika periods.

Viktor Gerashchenko was born in Leningrad
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 on 21 December 1937. His father was a leading Soviet banker who ran the Financial Department of the Foreign Office in the 1940s before ending his career as Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank. Due to his father's connections, Viktor made a brilliant career in the Soviet banking system. At the age of 28 he became Director of the first Soviet bank abroad, Moscow Narodny Bank
Moscow Narodny Bank Limited
Moscow Narodny Bank Limited; Moscow Narodny Bank Ltd; MNBMoscow Narodny Bank Limited, London was created as an independent bank in 1919 on the basis of the London branch of the Moscow Narodny Bank, operating in London since 1915....

, based in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...


In 1982 Gerashcheko moved to work in the Vneshtorgbank
Bank VTB , former Vneshtorgbank, is one of the leading universal banks of Russia and the largest in terms of authorized capital....

, responsible for the Soviet foreign trade. Seven years later he was appointed Chairman of the Presidium of the State Bank of the USSR. In 1991, Gerashchenko became the last Chairman of the State Bank of the USSR. For three years, which proved to be some of the most difficult for the Russian national economics, he steered the nascent banking system as Chairman of the Bank of Russia.

His activities as Central Bank chair were controversial: for example, he was accused of illegally supplying money to the anti-reform forces in the Supreme Soviet during the 1993 Russian Constitutional Crisis. Gerashchenko has also been accused of being largely responsible for the Russian "Black Tuesday" of October 1994, when the Russian ruble crashed 24 percent in one day. In fact, former Harvard Economist Jeffrey Sachs
Jeffrey Sachs
Jeffrey David Sachs is an American economist and Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. One of the youngest economics professors in the history of Harvard University, Sachs became known for his role as an adviser to Eastern European and developing country governments in the...

 in 1995 called Gerashchenko "the worst central banker in the world."

Gerashchenko laid down his offices in 1994 but returned to the office following the 1998 Russian financial crisis. Under his leadership, the economy of Russia
Economy of Russia
The economy of Russia is the eleventh largest economy in the world by nominal value and the sixth largest by purchasing power parity . Russia has an abundance of natural gas, oil, coal, and precious metals...

 rapidly recovered after the excruciating default. Gerashchenko made frequent TV appearances and became quite popular for his sardonic, dry sense of humor.

In March 2002 Gerashchenko resigned again, citing his advanced age, and accepted the post of Chairman of the Board in the notorious oil company Yukos
OJSC "Yukos Oil Company" was a petroleum company in Russia which, until 2003, was controlled by Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and a number of other prominent Russian businessmen. After Yukos was bankrupted, Khodorkovsky was convicted and sent to prison.Yukos headquarters was located in...

. He then joined the Rodina
Rodina or Motherland-National Patriotic Union was one of the four parties that controlled seats in the Russian legislature in 2003-2007...

 party as a co-chairman and made it to the State Duma
State Duma
The State Duma , common abbreviation: Госду́ма ) in the Russian Federation is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia , the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia. The Duma headquarters is located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manege Square. Its members are referred to...

 as their representative

He considered becoming an opposition candidate in the 2008 Russian Presidential election
Russian presidential election, 2008
The Russian Presidential election of 2008, held on March 2, 2008 resulted in the election of Dmitry Medvedev as the third President of Russia. Medvedev, whose candidacy was supported by incumbent president Vladimir Putin and five political parties , received 71% of the vote, and defeated...


Honours and awards

  • Order of Merit for the Fatherland
    Order of Merit for the Fatherland
    The Order of Merit for the Fatherland was instituted on 2 March 1994 by Presidential Decree. The statutes describe it as a decoration for merit, not an order of knights....

    , 3rd class
  • Order of Honour
  • Order of the Red Banner of Labour
    Order of the Red Banner of Labour
    The Order of the Red Banner of Labour was an order of the Soviet Union for accomplishments in labour and civil service. It is the labour counterpart of the military Order of the Red Banner. A few institutions and factories, being the pride of Soviet Union, also received the order.-History:The Red...

  • Order of Friendship of Peoples
    Order of Friendship of Peoples
    The Order of Friendship of Peoples was an order of the Soviet Union, and was awarded to persons , organizations, enterprises, military units, as well as administrative subdivisions of the USSR for accomplishments in strengthening of inter-ethnic and international friendship and cooperation, for...

  • Medal For Labour Valour
  • Medal "In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin"
  • Jubilee Medal "300th Anniversary of Russian Navy"
  • 850th Anniversary of Moscow Medal
    850th Anniversary of Moscow Medal
    The 850th Anniversary of Moscow Medal was a medal in Russia. It was established by Presidential Decree no 132 of February 26, 1997 in commemoration of the 850th anniversary of the first Russian reference to Moscow, dating to 1147 when Yuri Dolgorukiy called upon the prince of the Novgorod-Severski...

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