Streetwise Professor

February 2, 2010

Bad Reputation

Filed under: Economics,Russia — The Professor @ 10:43 pm

The unsavory reputations of Russian “investors” continue to impede their ability to make deals outside their own commercial cesspools (H/T MJ):

The U.S. Government participated in stopping General Motors from selling Saab to a Dutch automaker in December due to possible involvement in the deal by the Russian Mafia, a Swedish media outlet is reporting.

According to the Dagens Industri newspaper, the Swedish government asked its security force, the Sapo, to investigate the financial affairs of the Convers Group, a Russian investment group owned by the family of billionaire Alexander Antonov that was one of the major shareholders of Spyker when the Dutch automaker made the offer to buy Saab in December. That investigation reportedly turned up a “strong suspicion” of ties between the Antonovs and organized crime, information that was passed on to the FBI. The report goes on to say the the board of General Motors was then contacted by the U.S. Government and told to stop the sale.

Supposedly, the workaround was for Spyker’s founder to “assume ownership” of the Antonov/Convers stake.  It was originally reported that GM’s reluctance related to IP issues (as was ostensibly the case with Opel).  But, apparently IP is code for “infamous persons” rather than “intellectual property.”

A Spyker spokesman issued a hissy-fit denial, but GM’s Planning VP lent credence to the story: “as part of finding a sustainable solution for Saab, we are happy with the structures of the company that [founder] Victor Muller has put in place for Saab Spyker and I’ll just leave it at that.”  If you can’t say anything nice . . .

More rampant Russophobia, no doubt.  Wonder why that is?

I think this calls for a little Joan Jett, don’t you?  And Marky & Dee Dee Ramone & Joan Jett too.

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  1. Whenever Russians want to make a purchase some a-hole comes along a screams the M-word. How typical, I personally know decent people who were victims of such smears.

    On another level, I was on a sightseeing tour in Turkey last summer and the Czech tourists could not explain the large presence of Russian tourists everywhere they went. So they used and equivalent term of ‘nouveau riches’ in their reasoning. The fact that these Russians have salaries not greater than the Czechs escaped them completely, so deeply is the myth of rich Russian embedded in their imagination.

    Comment by Leos Tomicek — February 3, 2010 @ 8:18 am

  2. +++The fact that these Russians have salaries not greater than the Czechs+++

    Official, “white” salaries, that is.

    Comment by LL — February 3, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  3. I bet most of these tourist have no other income.

    Comment by Leos Tomicek — February 3, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

  4. LEOS:

    You are deranged. Transparancy International has repeatedly found Russia to be one of the most corrupt major civilizations on the planet. It has a top-five murder rate and it is estimated that one-third of its GDP is lost to fraud. There is no independent major media to report on such corruption, nor any opposition political establishment, so it proceeds unchecked.

    Demented maniacs like you are the reason that Russia does not improve, but continues to languish in the backwaters of civilization. You are, therefore, Russia’s most venal enemies.

    Comment by La Russophobe — February 4, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

  5. @ La Russophobe

    We are not talking about the opinions of some Soros funded, not so transparent organizations here. But if you want my answer…

    Russia certainly did improve since the wild days of Yeltsin, something neo-liberals like you do not want to acknowledge. If you feel like shock-therapy was the greatest thing to ever happen to Russians, learn Russian an start a blog in that language. Internet is not censored over there, its not China. With your unique take on issues I bet you will be very popular…


    Comment by Leos Tomicek — February 4, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

  6. LEOS:

    It’s pretty hilarious that you attempt to claim one of the world’s most respected think tanks is acting simply out of Russophobic bias. It’s the same sort of ridiculous nonsense we heard out of the Soviet lunatics, the same obliviousness to reality which cased the USSR to collapse.

    The simple fact is that you don’t acknowledge ANY hard criticism of Russia valid or anything more than “racism” so any particular criticism you make has no currency whatsoever.

    Anyone who has spent even a single day living in Russia knows, without reference to any study, how fundamentally corrupt and dangerous it is. Perhaps you’ve never done so. That would explain a lot.

    Comment by La Russophobe — February 5, 2010 @ 10:23 am

  7. Don’t attempt this ‘I had been to Russia, I know what it is like’ argument. 🙂

    Comment by Leos Tomicek — February 6, 2010 @ 9:26 am

  8. You mean because doing so makes you look like a fool? Sorry, if you don’t like that probably better not to open your apelike mouth.

    Comment by La Russophobe — February 7, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

  9. Not really, quite the opposite 🙂

    Comment by Leos Tomicek — February 8, 2010 @ 3:57 am

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