JRL NEWSWATCH: “Review: The Struggle of Russia’s crony capitalists” [re: Anders Aslund new book]” – Reuters/ Dasha Afanasieva

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Anders Aslund … in ‘Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy‘ … [casts Putin] as a patriarchal overlord … handsomely reward[ing] those loyal …. creat[ing] a new elite of friends, former co-workers and relatives. What’s less clear is what, if anything [can be done about it]. … [A]naly[zing] the last 15 or so years of Putin’s rule. … oligarchs who became rich during … [early 1990s] chaotic privatisations … diminished. … [Putin] friends and relatives, such as … former judo partners, the Rotenberg brothers, stepped in. Aslund[] …  sees the shift as decisive in transforming a harsh but functioning free market economy into [today’s] corrupt state …. * * * Aslund appears unrealistically optimistic …. With most private Russian wealth held offshore … America and Europe can do more to challenge the crony capitalists. … [such as] reveal[ing] and freez[ing] ill-gotten spoils, for example [and] … removing the protection of attorney-client privilege from international money transfers. The problem is that the West has declined to take decisive action, despite a series of terrible events …. There will still be plenty of tensions in Russian business, though. ….”

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