Streetwise Professor

March 6, 2013

It’s Gotta Be the Judo

Filed under: Russia — The Professor @ 9:36 pm

Two of Putin’s judo buddies-Gennady Timchenko and Arkady Rotenberg-have been rocketing up the ranks of Russian billionaires.

I am totally sure-totally-that it’s the judo, not the connection to Putin.  Obviously the discipline and intensity the sport requires propel one to greatness.  Because judo competitors are over-represented among the world’s richest, right?  Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet have black belts, don’t they?  Right?

I don’t know what I’d do for laughs without stuff like this:

Timchenko admits he has known Putin for many years, but he has repeatedly denied the friendship has helped his meteoric rise.

“Gennady Timchenko’s success in business is in no way linked to President Putin,” Kurevin said.

Timchenko was the 12th richest man in Russia in 2012, now he is the 9th richest.

I’m dying here  Gotta be the judo.  Gotta.  The connection to Putin-merest of coincidences.

BTW, Timchenko is in Houston for CERA Week.  Maybe I should drop by and say hey to Gennady after giving Igor a high five.  And if I miss him here, I’ll be in Geneva next week, so maybe I’ll just knock on the door of the Gunvor offices and say hi.

More hilarity:

Another alleged acquaintance of Putin, Arkady Rotenberg, has also been multiplying his fortune at prodigious speed.

Rotenberg, an old judo sparring partner of Putin’s who has stakes in construction, pipe-building and financial companies, has more than tripled his personal wealth in the last year, shooting up 61 places in the latest list to be placed as Russia’s 31st richest man with $3.3 billion.

Alleged acquaintance?  WTF?  Rotenberg and Putin go way back to St. Petersburg.  They sparred together.  They were in the same judo club.  So I’m sure the “shooting up 61 places” was pure coincidence-and judo!

Some final guffaws:

Although a close relationship with Putin gives no businessman a legal advantage, it provides their companies with a competitive edge because it instills fear amongst officials, said political analyst Pavel Sali.

Legal advantage?  LOL! Tell me another one! Since when did the law have anything to do with it?  Illegal advantage is more like it. “Fear amongst officials.”  Who knew?

To think of all the time I wasted swimming competitively in my youth.  If I’d have been thinking, I would have taken up judo.  If I had, I’d be a billionaire by now.  No doubt.  Because it’s judo that matters, not being a Putin pal, right?  Right?

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  1. Laughter is intellectual judo; it can deflect the most obvious truths.

    Comment by scott — March 7, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

  2. Bill’s real stroke of genius was developing a simple streamlined response to any complaint about any of his prodducts. Yes, turn it off and turn it back on” was true genius.

    My son met him last week but unfortunately didn’t get his recommendation for a dojo.

    Comment by pahoben — March 9, 2013 @ 10:51 am

  3. You often hear this observation in Russia. Bill Gates is a billionaire because he produced something of value. We have billionaires because they stold something from the state.

    Comment by pahoben — March 9, 2013 @ 11:04 am

  4. For every Bill Gates there is a Donald Trump

    Comment by Vlad Rutenburg — March 12, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

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