After the speech of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday, everyone started talking about the demise of the Skolkovo Foundation.
And even Chubais's Rusnano.
And at the same time a number of very mysterious structures. Those that were usually busy with nothing more than regular pumping of budget money.
Or reconception of daughters?
But the operation "Elimination" itself, following the modern fashion, would be better called reconception. Along with development institutions, a lot will have to be sent for liquidation. First of all, everything that these institutions managed to acquire over the years of their existence.
We think that very few people have heard or read what and who are “Dom.RF” or “State Transport Leasing Company”, “Fund for the Protection of Shareholders” and “Fund for Assistance to Reforms in Housing and Communal Services”, “Web-leasing” and “Russian Scientific fund "," Venture company "or" Direct investment fund ". Did not hear? But these are also entirely Russian firms.
And they are all subsidiaries and post-subsidiaries of those whom the prime minister told us about.
Fresh songs about nano
So, from now on, someone else will sing us songs about "nano".
Rusnano, the Skolkovo Export Fund and other (affiliated with them) funds, agencies and centers, which have successfully passed hundreds of billions, are now transferred under the direct control of VEB.RF.
This structure, which can turn into a monopoly monster (more abruptly than any ministry or state corporation), we will describe below.
In the meantime, let us note that the leading business media, both paper and electronic, traditionally engaged by the liberal crowd, are in no hurry to make intelligible comments about the liquidation of almost the entire cohort of development institutions.
So far, the matter is limited only to routine statements. It seems like these are:
"The goal of the reform is to create unified mechanisms for managing development institutions, to eliminate the overlap of their functions with government authorities and commercial companies, and to link the goals of the institutions with the goals of Russia's national development."
Renovation of Chubais's status
Most likely, this is happening because too many of the “insiders” (starting with Anatoly Chubais) now have to look for a new job. It is clear that it is hardly worth worrying about them. The current transformations are too much like firing a cannon at sparrows. They will take off for a while and transfer to other branches.
And these branches, judging by the very structure of the next "great" reform, will be enough. One listing of the structures that will take on the burden of the problems of development institutions can take several pages in small text.
However, the list of those who are going to be liquidated is also quite voluminous.
8 or 13 got hit
In Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin's speech, there were only eight such names. In the full list included in the resolution, we counted at least thirteen.
But before listing them, we note that this eight managed to acquire accompanying structures, including banks. How else?
So, in addition to Rusnano and the Skolkovo Foundation, funds for the development of single-industry towns, the development of information technologies, and the promotion of the development of small enterprises in the scientific and technical sphere (it is more often called the Bortnik Foundation) should end their independent existence.
Two agencies are being liquidated and transferred to the jurisdiction of VEB.RF: for the development of human capital in the Far East and the Arctic and for attracting investment and supporting exports. And also the local Development Fund. It is possible that at the same time they will become regular units of the relevant ministry.
In addition, two more agencies should join VEB.RF: for technological development and for insurance of export credits and investments of EXIAR. And also the Russian Export Center.
Optimization of budget traffic
We would like to highlight the fund for infrastructure and educational programs SME Corporation (three letters mean small and medium-sized businesses). This new formation was not saved even by the fact that a little earlier it almost became one of the state corporations that were once considered as a kind of skeleton of a new structure for managing the country's economy.
The last one, contrary to the list, is the Joint Stock Company "Special Economic Zones", which is also listed as a state company. It is still unclear how such an organization could be brought under corporatization at all.
After all, this a priori assumes functioning as an open market entity. But in this case, with public funds. What kind of development is there, especially since some of the now “liquidated” for many years remained in the position of a non-profit organization. It is also a very convenient position for "assimilation" of budget funds.
In general, from the speech of the prime minister, it is easy to conclude that we will face not only the creation of a powerful unified development institution, but also the merger of institutions with similar activities. That is, on the agenda is the notorious optimization while preserving institutions with special tasks. In general, the development of budget funds will now be carried out in a much more centralized manner.
Chubais's criminal case
Let us supplement the above list of those “liquidated” with short biographical references only about some of the leaders of the notorious development institutions.
So, it is no secret to anyone that Anatoly Chubais has invariably stood at the head of Rusnano, which has undergone transformation from a state corporation (again, a GK - author) into a joint-stock company and a joint-stock company with the separation of the management company into a separate structure.
His contributions to privatization and energy reform are all too well known. On the other hand, it is almost unknown that a series of reorganizations in Rusnano, according to Russian parliamentarians, simply resulted in an “illegal transfer of budget funds to a private structure”.
It is not surprising that this was the reason for the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, together with a number of Duma members, to demand that a criminal case be opened. Another thing is surprising - the liberal press news were simply released on the brakes. As well as the very proposal "to start a case."
Who really headed the Skolkovo Foundation is also no secret to anyone. Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev throughout the years of his existence and in all his positions, up to the highest, remained the head of the board of trustees of the foundation. And in fact, the chairman of the Skolkovo fund for many years, during which he rose right up to the first (note - economic) deputy prime minister, is Arkady Dvorkovich.
The Skolkovo Board of Directors is chaired by the well-known businessman Viktor Vekselberg. And high-ranking members of the Cabinet of Ministers are sitting - Andrey Belousov and Anton Siluanov. And also the nominees of January 2020 - Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov, digital technician and communications operator Maksud Shadayev, and Valery Falkov, responsible for science and education.
Anatoly Chubais's top management at Rusnano is, admittedly, much more modest. Basically, there are very old associates, like Yakov Urinson and Ilya Yuzhanov. However, in the board of Rusnano there is also the "obligatory" ex-Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.
Personnel somersault Mutko
The next personnel somersault (albeit not the most global one) is waiting for another person involved from development institutions. Moreover, Anatoly Chubais is also close enough in his career and spirit. This is Vitaly Mutko, who has managed over the years at the top to steer almost everything that is possible and impossible. Since January 2020, he was at the helm (as CEO) of Dom.RF structure.
Dom.RF is not a foundation and no longer an agency. But the direct heir (more precisely, simply renamed in a fashionable AHML) of the agency of housing mortgage lending. Another development institution. Another office with an unmeasured budget. Deliberately poorly controlled.
It is difficult to count how many checks and “promising” criminal cases there were before Vitaly Leontyevich. But there will definitely not be more. It’s just not entirely clear to whom is it now necessary to bow (in which case) deprived mortgage holders?
Chubais's problematic associates
An interesting and also slightly forgotten character saddled a fund with a very complex name and functions several years ago, which was converted into an SME corporation. This is Alexander Braverman (pictured), who once ruled the loans-for-shares auctions. Although he was in the post of Deputy Minister of State Property (Anatoly Chubais) only in 1997.
Another Chubais associate in Rusnano is not so famous - Andrey Svinarenko, who was his deputy there for several years. He replaced the authoritative scientist Ivan Bortnik as head of the Fund for Assistance to Small Business Development in the Innovation Sphere, after whose name the fund was named.
This fund has successfully invested in hundreds of new ventures. However, as evidenced by the audit results of the Accounts Chamber, they mainly produced high-tech products of the premium segment. That is, not intended for the general public. But about the problems of the Bortnik Foundation - a little below.
De-dollarization at the expense of the people
When the very idea of creating development institutions was born, they were designed to provide not only and not so much the notorious breakthrough of the domestic industry to technologies 2.0 (now turned into G5). It was believed that this is how one could help Russia get off the oil needle, support the course of de-dollarization and import substitution.
Then Rusnano, Skolkovo, SMEs and all sorts of different export and venture centers promoted no worse than national projects. However, the effectiveness of all these private, in fact, shops, hidden under a reliable government wing and with government money, remained highly questionable for many years.
This was noted more than once not only in the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation or in the Duma and the Federation Council, but also during an independent audit conducted by reputable foreign companies. Hence the conclusion - the budget pays for everything, that is, you and I are taxpayers.
Flash mob about chickens don't bite
In development institutions, though not always, they answered criticism. And the same Anatoly Chubais generally launched something like a flash mob a few years ago with public admissions of the colossal losses of his corporation, which was converted into a joint-stock company, and then into a joint-stock company. True, he did not make a reservation at the right time that they almost peck money in Rusnano.
I had to withdraw the most profitable part of my advanced structure into a separate Management Company - Management Company Rusnano. Where more than half of the hard-earned work goes to quite official salaries and remuneration of effective managers. Truly, anxious care of personnel.
Investing in bankrupts?
Most likely, the then chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, Sergei Stepashin, almost threw in Chubais's face for a reason that his "office was investing in bankrupts."
Much less problematic for the federal budget over the years of its existence has been noted by the Bortnik Foundation, which, according to experts from the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation:
"Is a highly ineffective institution with public funding."
We answered above that the fund has successfully increased capital and invested a lot. But according to the plan in 2015, they were supposed to create 500 small innovative enterprises. And only 194 were created. At the same time, the Fund lost its positions in the order and volume of receiving budget funds.
The RF JV auditors noted five years ago that:
"The priority of the directions of the Fund's use of budgetary funds received from the anti-crisis fund is not defined by any legal act."
So far, no open information has been received that much (or at least something) has changed for the better since then. But, at least, the budget of the organization has been constantly growing until the pandemic 2020. And the fund does not hide its reporting (in general, quite good).
The same, by the way, as well as all currently "liquidated" structures. And they all go through an independent audit. Nevertheless, it was the reporting problems, by all indications, that became one of the main reasons for the operation itself to eliminate them.
The current prime minister, who for many years held the post of the country's chief tax officer, managed to accustom not only his subordinates, but also his accountable to extremely tough financial discipline. Well, it remains to wish him success in his new endeavor.
Renovation conductor and beneficiary
In conclusion, quite a bit about VEB.RF - the real beneficiary of the “great reform”, the beneficiary of the “liquidation” operation. This benefit is difficult to calculate, but it will definitely be. Unless, of course, the successfully “liquidated”, having moved to new seats, do not continue in the same spirit as before, and under the leadership of the head of VEB.RF Igor Shuvalov.
Revenge of bureaucrats is the norm in Russia after all the great reforms. It is almost impossible to prevent it. But if we stimulate it correctly, then even our officials can be made to work profitably.
And the transition of everything and everyone that is associated with development under the general wing of VEB.RF (that is, in fact, under the state) is generally an objective process. For more than thirty years of economic freedom in Russia, she herself proved to us that she does not exist. And it seems that it cannot be by definition.
In economically free America, by the way, the lion's share of real investments in real development (that is, in R&D) is public. (For the forgetful, recall that R&D is research and development).
So, VEB.RF began to rake in development institutions for itself not yesterday. And much earlier than Mikhail Mishustin moved to the prime minister's chair. For example, Alexander Braverman's SME has been under his control since 2018. AHML, that is, Dom.RF Vitaly Mutko - too. Not to mention other little things.
The same Ivan Bortnik, while still the chairman of the supervisory board of the foundation of his own name, was almost the first to ask under the wing of VEB, but for some reason he was refused. According to interested parties, the then head of Vnesheconombank, Vladimir Dmitriev, almost personally.
Long money intrigues
Perhaps the most important issue in this kind of "structural revolution" will be the financial issue. The subscribed capital of VEB.RF, which was legalized by Prime Minister Medvedev, allows the state corporation to receive up to 300 billion rubles to finance new projects. This is significantly less than the amount that could have formed for all development institutions being liquidated now.
But the government, long before the current "liquidation", provided VEB with 600 billion rubles as a package of property contributions to pay off the external debt. And in April 2019, the head of VEB knocked out another source of long-term money for the corporation.
Now the bank, which has grown to the envy of Sberger and the state monopolies, can attract budget deposits for a period of five years, rather than a year. However, one should not forget that at that time the prospect of an almost complete suppression of inflation looked quite real. Not like the second wave of coronavirus.
It is clear that the financial strength of VEB.RF together with the weight of its head (former Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov) promises a lot. And above all, freedom of maneuver by enormous means. But, as you know, to promise is not to marry.
And large funds already now imply big intrigues in their distribution.