Small Battle in a Big War: The Post-Maidan Transformation of the National Bank of Ukraine

At the end of 2014, Ukraine faces a series of challenges: constant friction between supporters of Russia and supporters of the West brought about by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, negative growth of GDP at -6.6%, an oligarchy that dominates power, devaluation, political uncertainty and alarming levels of corruption. Amidst this “perfect storm,” the newly appointed board members of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) have undertaken the daunting task of stabilizing the country’s macro-economy through a comprehensive and lasting internal transformation. However, oligarchs and lawmakers seem determined to make this already strenuous endeavor still more difficult by enacting a law that drastically reduces the salary of all public sector employees, thereby severely damaging daily operations at NBU. This case analyzes the NBU board members’ decision-making process as they navigate opposing forces both inside and outside the National Bank.