Russia intervenes in the ruble to try to slow a currency meltdown, plunging crude oil prices cause stress in the credit markets and deflation forces in the European Union and Asia threaten their financial stability.
Of course, as far as the Federal Reserve Board is concerned, well, it's not their problem. The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to change the language in the Fed Statement from keeping rates low for a "considerable time" to being "patient" in trying to lay the groundwork for an interest rate increase. The Fed Fund Futures are pricing in that increase in the July of 2015 futures, which may mean right after the June meeting.
Russia can't afford to be patient as its currency gets wrecked. Russia, after raising interest rates to 17%, is now using massive currency intervention to try to stop the rubles demise. The drop in the ruble is causing so much uncertainty that even Apple stopped taking orders for iPhones and iPads on its Russian Web site. It seems that they could not raise prices fast enough to keep up with ruble fluctuations.
Not only has this ruined Russian President Vladimir Putin's holiday shopping plans, but it is causing the Russians to go out on a wild spending spree as they want to buy as much as they can before prices of goods skyrocket. Think of it as a currency crisis Black Friday sale.
The Fed won't acknowledge this because, let's face it, Russia has caused its own problems. Not only are they getting hurt by sanctions because of their war in Ukraine, they are also helping to pressure oil (NYMEX:CLF15) prices by reaffirming once again that they have no plans to cut back on oil production. So if the ruble is falling, in part because oil prices are falling, then maybe the Russians should quit pumping oil into an oversupplied market.