Streetwise Professor

November 21, 2011

Cue Gomer Pyle: Russian Privatizations Delayed

Filed under: Economics,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 9:39 pm

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.

Earlier this year, to great fanfare, Russia announced plans to privatize large stakes in major corporations like Sberbank and Rosneft.  Originally the idea was that the privatizations would raise money that would improve Russia’s fiscal situation, and lead to improved governance and management of these woefully corrupt and mismanaged entities.

But that’s exactly the problem, isn’t it?  There are some people who recoil at the very idea of improved governance like vampires recoil from the sunlight.  People that rule in Russia.  People like Igor Sechin.

According to a letter sent by deputy prime minister Igor Sechin to prime minister Vladimir Putin and seen by Vedomosti, the FT’s sister paper, the state is thinking about delaying the secondary public offerings until after the group’s stock start trading at their initial share prices again.

. . . .

The comments appear to signal the start of a new tug-of-war over the privatisation programme between Putin and Medvedev’s allies – a fight that is likely to only get more convoluted after the two leaders switch roles in May.

Medvedev’s allies?  Just who would they be, at this juncture?  And if they are allies, how does being allied to a political eunuch matter?  How very droll.

But Courtney Weaver is just warming up:

Regardless of who wins, the privatisation plan will eventually go ahead: the government needs the proceeds from the estimated $32bn in asset sales. But the delays and changes will do nothing to win over investors, who have long been sceptical about the programme.

Another howler.  The main force behind fiscal probity in Russia was Alexi Kudrin.  He’s gone–precisely because he opposed “Medvedev’s” (actually Putin’s, as recent events show clearly) grandiose rearmament plans as fiscally irresponsible.  Who else has the ability to stand up to Sechin and the other vampires?  (Don’t say Putin, because he is one of the other vampires.)

This is actually quite a favor to those who would have been lured, Charlie Brown-like, into taking a kick  at Lucy Sechin’s football, only to wind up flat on their backs, like so many before.

So everybody should be happy.  The vampires can continue to sink their fangs into state-owned behemoths, protected by the darkness that envelops them.  And fools-with-money foreign investors will likely be spared having their capital sucked out by self-same vampires.

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  1. I curse Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, for helping in its wanton destruction, as he uses his veto to protect murderers, and supplies submarines and state-of-the-art weapons to kill yet more innocent Syrians. We Syrians recognise the type only too well. Vainglorious, brooking no dissent, buoyed up by financial mafias and laying on putrid cold war rhetoric, which leaves us even colder.

    Comment by La Russophobe — November 22, 2011 @ 7:41 am

  2. Phobie, clearly if you were consistent you’d be calling for regime change in Egypt too, since they just mowed down UNARMED demonstrators at Tahrir Square, while the ‘demonstrators’ in Homs are armed to the teeth by Turkey and France and getting caught on Syrian/Lebanese news channels screaming ‘Allahu Akbar!’ Your and my and the Professor’s taxpayer dollars at work, Ekaterina.I’ll take Webster Tarpley’s reporting from Syria over your idiotic, Orwellian brain-washed pro-endless war rants anyday.

    I suppose the Jamestown Foundation gave you a memo to call for the overthrow of Assad — so they can fly the same black Takfiri/Al-Qaeda flag that was high over Benghazi in Damascus; make Israel’s border with Syria which has been quiet for twenty years a gigantic rocket launching pad; and let Muslim Brotherhood thugs brutalize the 20% of the Syrian population that’s Alawite or Christian for daring to be a woman in public without a burka. But you don’t care about those Christians because they’re Syrian/Antiochian Orthodox or Marionites, not Southern Baptists. And oh yeah, once ‘OMG, Al-Qaeda has taken over Syria’ we can have another huge regional war. Anything to distract people from MFers Global and Government Sachs Obama cronies STEALING CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS with so far NO ONE going to jail or even being arrested and released without their passport! But that sort of thing only happens in Russia, right Prokofy?

    After all, what will the MIC whores do without endless warfare in the Mideast? You seem to be cursing Putin in this particular case because he’s opposed to a hypocritical, warmongering Anglo-American foreign policy rather than for the reasons he was booed by that Moscow elitny audience.

    Comment by Mr. X — November 22, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  3. What a sad sack you are Phobie. At least SWP is having some doubts about whether s’s globalist/One World Government overlords are manipulating him and other American Jacksonians into an Orwellian night mare. I can feel it, deep down, as Barry Goldwater used to say, he knows the Libya and Syria wars are [email protected]#$%*t and so is leaving thousands of soldiers in Afghanistan forever to be IED bait. But like a shark you just keep on swimming mindlessly. Wake up!

    Comment by Mr. X — November 22, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

  4. [sic] a’s globalist/One World Government overlords…

    Comment by Mr. X — November 22, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

  5. Rana Kabbani sounds like a classic traitor to her own country, supporting foreign backed Islamist militants against the legitimate Syrian government.

    A bit like the Russian liberals and their support for Chechen terrorism, in fact.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — November 22, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

  6. Medvedev admits Russia invaded Georgia not to stop Georgian agression but to block Georgian entry to NATO.

    Comment by La Russophobe — November 22, 2011 @ 5:39 pm


    It’s the typcial response of the Russian lunatic to able dissent as treachery. It is what led Russia to murder so many dissents, or expel them, or lock them up in psychiatric institutions. And what is the result? National collapse after national collapse. Life expectancy not in top 100. Wages $3/hour. No allies, no friends, no future. With “friends” like you, Russia needs no enemies.

    Russia stood against the people of Egypt, stood against the people of Libya, and stands against the people of Syria. All these nations clearly see this treachery, and despise Russia for it rightly. History’s judgment of the Putin regime’s reckless foreign policy will be swift and bitter for the people of Russia.

    Comment by La Russophobe — November 22, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

  8. Funny, the people of Syria aren’t flying those Turkish jets.

    Roughly six months after the imposition of the No Fly Zone over Libya, which ultimately led to the liberation of the country’s Light Sweet Crude and the placement of an Eni SpA executive (Italy’s largest oil company) as Libya’s oil minister and also had a side effect of getting Gaddafi murdered in broad daylight by the reformed freedom fighters, the script is about to be rewound from the beginning, and a few thousand miles east, this time next to explosive powderkeg Syria. Albawaba news, which cites Kuwait’s al Rai daily, reports that Arab jet fighters, and possibly Turkish warplanes, backed by American logistic support will implement a no fly zone in Syria’s skies, after the Arab League will issue a decision, under its Charter, calling for the protection of Syrian civilians. In other words, foreign countries will take it upon themselves to do what only America has done with impunity so far: decide what is best for a given sovereign nation’s population. Granted, we have yet to verify the credibility of both Al Bawaba and Al Rai, although at first blush they appear substantially more credible than Debka-type fly by night operations. Which then leads to a sobering conclusion: if indeed Europe and the Western world is dead set upon an aerial campaign above Syria, then all eyes turn to the East, and specifically Russia and China, which have made it very clear they will not tolerate any intervention. And naturally the biggest unknown of all is Iran, which has said than any invasion of Syria will be dealt with swiftly and severely. Then again, the Iranian war foreplay has gone on for far too long at this point that we have gotten to where headlines about the “imminent” Iranian war are almost as ignored as headlines about how “Europe is bailed out” all over again.

    But hey, just ignore this. They’re all commies at ZeroHedge, right?

    Comment by Mr. X — November 22, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  9. Russia accounts for about 35 percent of global cybercrime revenue, or between $2.5 and $3.7 billion. That’s wildly out of proportion with the country’s share of the global information technology market (which is around 1 percent).

    Also wildly out of line with its share of the global population, which is around 2 percent.

    Russia, country of criminals.

    Comment by La Russophobe — November 22, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

  10. Phobie your new nickname is non-sequitir. And SWP says my comments are off topic, sheesh!

    And I find it very ironic that the newspaper you’re linking to is funded by RIA Novosti — yep, published at the same 4 Zubovsky Bulvar as your bete noir Russia Today TV.

    Comment by Mr. X — November 23, 2011 @ 1:33 am

  11. “Russia accounts for about 35 percent of global cybercrime revenue, or between $2.5 and $3.7 billion. That’s wildly out of proportion with the country’s share of the global information technology market (which is around 1 percent).

    Also wildly out of line with its share of the global population, which is around 2 percent.

    Russia, country of criminals.”

    Not necessarily. It’s just that the 1 percent of Russian cybercriminals are wildly productive, not that most Russians are overly criminal.

    I’ve often remarked on the Russian intellectual proclivity to crime as a professional pursuit. Think of the mighty things they might accomplish if their ingenuity and energy were directed in a more constructive direction! The Russians don’t know how capable unbeatable they could really be if their efforts were focused on more productive uses.

    Like feeding the country for example.

    Comment by gardener1 — November 23, 2011 @ 1:58 am

  12. GARDENER: That’s not logical. Russian criminals could not be so productive if the vast majority of the population was honest and bent on stopping them. Study after study shows that Russia is a corrupt nation from stem to stern, and that this pandemic corruption is destroying the country. Putin himself is guilty of lining his pockets to an extreme extent (, and the Russians only applaud and reward him with the presidency for life. What’s more, to focus on something more constructive would require effort and personal sacrifice that Russians are not willing to make on their own behalves or for their country. Crime is easy. Hard honest work is, well, hard. Russians aren’t interested in it, and don’t care if their nation collapses and their children suffer as a result.

    Comment by La Russophobe — November 23, 2011 @ 5:10 am

  13. Russian company Alexandrovy Pogreba (Alexandr’s Cellars) is going to produce and sell an alcoholic drink in Russia named after Libya’s late dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the internet paper Marker said on Wednesday.

    In other news, Germany is going to start selling Schnapps in honor of Hitler’s campaign in Volgograd, it’ll be called “Ground Zero.”

    Comment by La Russophobe — November 23, 2011 @ 5:37 am

  14. In still other news, Russia is going to re-rename Volgograd “Stalingrad.” It will erect several busts of Gaddafi in a special new park remembering Russia’s beloved friend and hero in Libya.

    Comment by La Russophobe — November 23, 2011 @ 5:38 am

  15. Vlada Poop, Miss April.

    Comment by La Russophobe — November 23, 2011 @ 7:39 am

  16. Putin bans cartoons of himself.

    Welcome back to the USSR!

    Comment by La Russophobe — November 23, 2011 @ 1:15 pm


    And that is where the story gets really interesting because some Russians, outraged at what they saw as a suggestion that they had shown disrespect to an honourable loser, have bombarded Monson’s Facebook Wall with supportive messages, many of them in English, and many of them attacking Vladimir Putin.

    Denis Kir from Mezhdurechensk wrote: “You are great! Putin is just stupid and we booed Putin.”

    Tanya Kuu from Kolomna added: “People in Russia don’t respect Putin’s mode now.”

    Artem Dzyuba from Moscow said: “It’s clearly heard the crowd was outraged by the prime minister.

    “His corrupted government, muppet courts, punishers in police clothes, pocket electoral commissions and people of his clan at all the most important and profitable chairs – it all drives us crazy!”

    Paul Protsenko, a student in Yaroslavl, declared that the 21st of November had been the “greatest date for our country because Putin the first time was whistled and shamed!”, adding “Russia must be free”.

    Valentin Dombrovsky mentioned Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov: “Come and tell Mr Peskov that he is wrong, Jeff. And you may punch him once or twice for his mean lies.”

    One user posted that it was a “Facebook flashmob”.

    Comment by La Russophobe — November 24, 2011 @ 5:49 am

  18. If Russia was the evil hellhole you depict it as, none of these people would be commenting with their real names. Hell, I don’t want to comment using my real name online lest I get the rubber gloves treatment from the TSA the next time I fly.

    Comment by Mr. X — November 24, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

  19. Mr X, I know you are an idiot, but just look at how many journalists are killed in Russia, and how many people are “disappeared” or beaten and tortured in Russia every year…..

    Deaths in Moscow
    Political killings have become systematic in Russia. Their punishment has not

    Beat the Press: The Plight of Reporters in Putin’s Russia

    Being given the glove treatment by the TSA (whom you could then sue one might add) is nothing when compared to torture (real torture) in Russian prisons, even in pre trial detention (Magnitsky springs to mind)

    Yes, Russia is a hellhole.

    Comment by Andrew — November 25, 2011 @ 3:44 am

  20. “Being given the glove treatment by the TSA (whom you could then sue one might add)” Jesse Ventura already tried. Read all about it. And I don’t consider the Economist and the Weekly Standard to have a firm grasp on reality in Russia.

    Comment by Mr. X — November 26, 2011 @ 12:35 am

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