The key question for the Ukrainian business: will the obvious outcome of the Crimean referendum cause a military confrontation with Russia? The biggest concern of the Russian business: will anyone arrest assets in the West as a punishment for the Crimea? The Ukrainian-Russian conflict has become a catalyst for the inevitable process - the end of globalization of elites. In Moscow, Putin’s meeting with oligarchs is widely discussed. They say he asked them about sanctions. To which the oligarchs replied: we are no stranger. "Magnitsky List" was survived Cyprus, well, and somehow we survive the Crimea.
“Yes, it’s dangerous for a rich man to rest in Courchevel, well, we have Sochi,” my Moscow acquaintance, a consultant to an international financial corporation, commented ironically, news from Austria about the arrest of a Ukrainian oligarch. The announcement of this came just at lunch, which we devoured in a small French restaurant in the center of Moscow. It was lunchtime, and the “office plankton” ran around the network American eateries, Chinese restaurants, Austrian coffee shops and English pubs. Globalization itself has descended on the Holy See without asking permission from either of its own or that of others.
Therefore, the talk about possible Western sanctions against Russia, their drawbacks and (paradoxically) the advantages constantly turned into an ironic plane. I wonder if the White House and the European Union will still move all in, will their snack bars agree to leave the multi-million dollar market of Moscow alone? However, the problem is much deeper.
A few years ago, globalization seemed the most natural way to protect business from government pressure. Indeed, if you are a man of the world, and your corporation has a turnover several times more than the budgets of countries such as Ukraine, who dares to touch you?
That is why there was a unique situation when Russian billionaires had a “house in the village” (French), bank accounts (Swiss), a yacht was kept in the port (Italian), and holidays were spent in Miami. At the same time, they mined Russian raw materials, but they traded through Austrian traders, and the company itself was registered somewhere in the jurisdiction of England, in the British Virgin Islands. And no mantra on patriotism acted on them. Like the "assaults" of the Kremlin.
Things have changed since one small country arrested the assets of some very large Russian corporation. I don’t remember for what reason, maybe even at the request of the Americans, but it was a signal that the unification of the world banking system, legal norms and standards has both advantages and disadvantages.
Then, the seemingly first “toy” struggle against money laundering and the financing of terrorism unfolded into a serious campaign to uncover banking and commercial secrets. A second powerful blow was struck on the supranational business system. Now, small countries were not only not afraid to take the assets of those who are financially much stronger than them, but also "took the oligarchs by the balls," as they say in Russia, blackmailing them to be declared "money launderers."
The apotheosis of third world abuse of the dignity of the “first hundred money” was the arrest in Cambodia of the Russian oligarch Sergei Polonsky for sailing on a luxury yacht to his own island, pushed overboard a Cambodian sailor. The sailor came to the court barefoot. And he was very proud of himself.
At this moment, many rich people realized that globalization is as evil as the state dictates. And that you never know where your assets are being confiscated before: at home in an unreliable bank or in Cyprus, which for years 20 has been your most loyal partner ...
Yes, Europe in the face of old Merkel beat Russia in Cyprus. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov and other negotiators, was rumored to have returned no more than 20% of Russian money. The same number of Cypriot banks quietly gave themselves to maintain relations with profitable customers. But in general, Russian capital lost an astronomical amount in the banks of Cyprus, and only the great power of the Russian raw materials economy could withstand such a blow.
They say that it was then that Vladimir Vladimirovich told the oligarchs that there was nothing to roam about foreign “apartments”, it’s time to return home. And if they behave within the bounds of decency, do not bury themselves, no one here will offend them. The oligarchs asked Khodorkovsky to be released as confirmation. Putin let go.
From now on, as they say in the elegant cafés of Stoleshnikovskiy Lane, listening to the accordion and jamming snails, the process that The New York Times in one of its last articles began was called “nationalization of the elite”.
“Over the past twenty years, Russia has become sufficiently integrated into the world economy to represent a significant danger,” writes The New York Times. - However, they are not going to contradict the foreign policy supported by the majority of the population. One of the first projects of Vladimir Putin on his return to the presidency in 2012 was the so-called “nationalization of the elite”. He demanded that officials get rid of investments and property abroad, since foreign assets could compromise their position in the event of a conflict with the West.
According to information from sources inside the Russian government and analysts, Putin’s closest advisers — all KGB people — own minimal capital abroad. Like the head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin, who has close relations with Putin, fully accept the concept of alienation from Western economic models in favor of, for example, the Chinese model of state capitalism. The tough position on the Crimea also enjoys widespread support among the population. If there are doubts among the oligarchs about how completely Putin represents the possible consequences for the Russian economy, then, according to analysts, they are groundless. The political mechanism takes into account economic risks, but does not give them priority, and the measures already taken in relation to Crimea cannot be “rewound” back ... ”.
Among the Moscow business elite (and the average well-educated management), the philosopher and economist, doctor of economics, director of the Institute for the Problems of Globalization Mikhail Delyagin is now extremely popular. On the one hand, he is quite critical of the government, on the other - he very accurately and wittily observes the "perversions" of the Americans. Paradoxically inherently Delyagin's statements largely reflect what feels intuitively, but can not clearly formulate a significant part of the Russian business environment.
He recently called the “colossal good for Russia” from the point of view of perspective, the decision taken by Washington to reduce trade cooperation with Moscow. “If the United States does apply the promised sanctions against Russia, for example, it will free us from enslaving obligations under the WTO and freeze foreign assets of corrupt officials, they will provide us with the maximum service over the entire period of bilateral relations more important than lend-lease. Therefore, if they deceive us, they will have to be punished to the fullest extent: from the closure of the NATO base near Ulyanovsk and the expulsion of American business from the country to refusal of dollars in foreign trade ..., ”he wrote in his blog.
Delyagin is one of those who quite originally substantiated the inevitability of the “de-globalization” of the economy in one of their video blogs.
“You know,” Delyagin muses, “some of our viewers have probably watched such a Hollywood blockbuster Piranha. It is a very beautiful film, where it is very shown what these glorious cute fish do with such lambs and goats, even people who fall into their river. In the West, there is a law in developed countries that, conditionally, there is a corrupt official Delyagin, who has accounts in a Swiss bank.
If the Russian Federation informs the Swiss bank that we have launched an anti-corruption investigation against this person, then this money, if suspicion is confirmed, becomes the property of the Russian Federation. But if the Swiss Confederation starts this investigation in relation to this money before Russia, then this is Swiss money.
They enter her budget. Roughly speaking, who first got up, that and sneakers. As long as our ruling party has power in Russia, it is, by virtue of this, a valuable resource for the West because it daily surpasses millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars in the Western financial system and thereby supports it. This is a cow that feeds every minute. But you know, as soon as these people lose power, this cow will stop milking. And what happens in middle latitudes with meat and dairy cattle, which ceases to milk and thus ceases to be dairy cattle? He becomes cattle beef at the same instant. He is immediately allowed to meat.
I have a good friend who says: “I’ve dug up the entire 10 million dollars, who needs me? Looking for me is more expensive than leaving me and forgetting. And I have no living blood feuds. ” But the problem is that the people who really have influence in Russia have everything in their order with living blood artists, usually abroad, and not tens of millions of dollars their condition is measured. And there is something to do. Therefore, as soon as they, as a class, lose power in Russia, a civilized Europe will say: “And you know, we are against corruption. It was yours, it became ours. ”
Beautiful state of Estonia. It had independence in the 20 century, in my opinion, 21 a year or so. During this time, it is either two, or three times completely confiscated someone else's property from its territory. Fully. In my opinion, it was German property twice.
But you know, people who now buy real estate and trust their money to a country with such intense confiscation experience are truly heroes, to whose courage I cannot help but take off my hat. These are people who believe in the European ideal, much more in European values than Estonians believed in them since the time of the first Estonian independence ... ”.
Nevertheless, as The New York Times correctly notes, for twenty years Russia has been trying to become a full-fledged participant in the world economy and international financial institutions. Her money is already integrated into the financial system of the West. Sberbank and VTB have been actively expanding in Eastern Europe over the past ten years and owning assets in the United States, and one of Rosneft’s key Arctic oil projects is carried out jointly with the US Exxon Mobil.
Moreover, despite the "shale fever" in the United States, Europe will not live without Russian gas, and the world - without Russian oil. It has already been calculated that with a reduction in the supply of Russian oil to the world market, the price per month can rise to $ 300 per barrel. Even if the Arab, African and Latin American oil producers will work in four shifts.
Moreover, in business circles in Moscow they say that analysts of British Petroleum, in whose team of Igor Sechin is buying out Rosneft assets, in order not to have state assets connected with foreign capital, have already sounded the alarm. It turns out that pension funds that have traditionally invested in BP shares suffer because of a decrease in the total amount of dividends. Their incomes will also fall, and they will not pay the British pensioners extra.
As they wrote in one of the forums: “How many of the American financial advisers who feed at the expense of Russian companies and British pensioners know where this god-forgotten Ukraine is and whether it is on the Earth map at all? And who will then vote for politicians who have taken a tidbit of a sandwich with Russian caviar right from the mouth? ” Therefore, Western sanctions against Russia are a project unprofitable for both parties. And if for Putin he will be useful in the educational plan (as he allegedly said at the meeting, “it is necessary to invest in Russia, and not to buy houses in London”), then for the Western economy, which is built on dividend income, this is a worsening of audit reports .
Moscow financiers note: "Even we do not know where the assets of a particular Russian oligarch end and the assets of, say, the Rothschilds or Obama's sponsors on Wall Street begin." In addition, the American financial experts have only now noticed that their Russian colleagues were not doing nothing. And all the time while there was a stream of negativity associated with Ukraine and the Crimea, methodically redeemed the shares of Russian monopolies that had fallen in price from foreign funds. For example, Gazprom. And if there is no war (and Europe is hardly ready to go to a real military conflict with Russia), these actions will sooner or later rise in price. Dividends again go to Russia. In general, as in a joke: if the bride went to another, it is not yet known who was lucky ...