Over the past several days, it has been reported that the Russian Federation is taking further steps to counteract the effect of the global economic crisis on the Russian economy. In particular, Russia has slashed its once very generous state spending and is using its vast currency reserves to slow the slide of the ruble, injecting capital in state-run lenders and providing billions in subordinated loans to several of the country's struggling private banks. This past Wednesday, Fitch Ratings, citing the rapid loss of reserves (due to falling crude oil and other commodity prices) and surging capital outflows, cut Russia's credit rating by one notch to BBB -- two rankings above junk. In December, Standard & Poor's cut its rating, the first such reduction for Russia in a decade.