The Sad Story Of Hermitage Capital Management

Tyler Durden's picture

For everyone who has forgotten the risks associated with throwing billions of new capital into BRICs, the following new video highlighting the plight of Russian investment manager Hermitage Capital should promptly remind just why authoritarian, investor unfriendly countries may merit a second thought as a place to park your LPs' hard earned money.

Additionally, after a protracted fight with the Russian government, today an arrest warrant was issued against co-founder William Browder under the pretext of the ever prevalent and Russian favorite allegation of "tax fraud." Recall this is precisely the reason why Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky is currently serving jail time. Hermitage has prepared the following video explaining the series of fascinating events that have led to the current fallout and today's arrest warrant. And for a more extensive overview of Hermitage's travails under Putin and now Medvedev, these two profiles by the Economist and the NYT are an entertaining read.


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Anonymous's picture

How about fully authoritarian, aggresive and investor unfriendly countries that control all the media to convince their own population and other countries tha they are a beacon of freedom, good and investor friendly, ah?

Michael's picture

We Can't Risk Success In Afghanistan at the Expense of Losing Our Entire Empire!

We must acknowledge we have built an empire to maintain, with over 700 military bases in 130 countries. We have an embassy in Iraq the size of Vatican City, Iraq being our latest conquest.

The Soviet Union lost its empire and was brought down after its 8 years in Afghanistan. Afghanistan bankrupted the Soviet Union and the US now is also on the brink of bankruptcy. Afghanistan is the country other countries go to die.

The question now is; How much of our Empire do we wish to preserve and how much of it are we willing to give up? Bankruptcy is inevitable. We now need to start  thinking about keeping some of it if any, if we can.

Anonymous's picture


Can you think of any empire that was careful enough to maintain some of its former self? I can think of two, only: China and Russia (in the latter case, that was precisely Gorbachov's job: to have the USSR and Communism come down while maintaining the core of the Russian empire). Such bechavior requires long term thinking, which is more common in the East than in the West.

Michael's picture

What will the core of the US empire look like in the end? I'd be happy with what is between our two oceans.

Anonymous's picture

I've said it before, we could put a major dent in our debt problem by winding down military spending by 75% - we'd still be the foremost military power in the world. Unfortunately, the second you start talking about military cuts, the majority of people calling for tighter spending (including those wacky tea party folks) cry fowl.

Honestly. People can complain all they want about welfare spending, the space program, money for the arts, etc... But those are all drops in the bucket. The only way we're going to reduce spending is through major cuts in the military and health care entitlements. And we all know what happens when you tell voters you're going to make cuts in those areas.

Michael's picture

Actually, the Ron Paul Tea Party folks still believe we should cut military spending by 50% immediately. You're probably thinking of the Dick Armey folks who astroturfed the original movement.

waterdog's picture

Yea, BRIC in a hand basket, everybody grab on and forget the dollar. There is a place in heck for you.

Anonymous's picture

so the dollar is making nice gains today, what happen to the inverse correlation with the S&P?

crzyhun's picture

The call went out and they bought $$ to waylay the shorts and cut their short hairs offff!!

Oh and you cannot, cannot short the dollar when Dearest Leader has been given the Nobull Piece Prize.

blueskyscottsdale's picture

I hope the board of John Deere is paying attention and they know what they're getting themselves into in Russia. All American companies thinking of doing business in Russia, get out. This is the Russians screwing the west all over again, just like they screwed BP. Russia is a pit of snakes. Stay away. Invest your money at home.

SDRII's picture

May be mistaken, but Safra was embroiled in the miss allocation of IMF monies and was long speculated to be intertwined with the Russian mafia...Sometimes it is not as it seems..



Anonymous's picture

Well, this movie is only one side of the story.

BM's picture
BM (not verified) Oct 9, 2009 12:39 PM

a xyuli ti dumal? welcome to Russia! you're either in the 'system', or you're out

jbc77's picture

The real sad story is that the main stream garbage media along with the clowns at tout tv, a supposed business news network would never run a story like this.

Russia needs to be embarrassed on the world stage. Dangerous place to do business, doesn't seem worth it.


Cheeky Bastard's picture

call me a cold hearted bastard; but i feel no sympathy for this man or his firm; EVERYONE knows you don't do business in Russia, Russia does business with you.

Anonymous's picture

Everybody talks about how hard it is to do business in Russia (ah I mean Moscow….) when the simple fact of the matter is there is only two rules; 1) Pay your taxes and 2) If Putin asks for something give it to him. If you follow these rules you will be fine. As an example compare Abramovich to Khordorkovsky. Obviously both evaded taxes throughout their notorious careers but when it came time to pay the piper one did and the other didn’t. Don’t be mistaken Khordorkovsky was no saint and is the first to admit it, his ego put him where he is now.

Will it be easy for a company like John Deere to go into Russia and do business? Yes, if they realize that the Russians need to be benefit more than themselves. Give allot, get allot, don’t expect to be treated as an equal and you will be fine.

Cheeky Bastard's picture

That is unless you are of Slavic origin; then you get some benefits and they cut you some slack; dont ask me how i know; i just do; also one of the people i used to contract for my business was killed in Moscow 2 yrs ago when he refused to play by the rules, even though they've loosen the rules on him. Well, and there ain't shit you can do.

Anonymous's picture


Most of the businessmen go to Russia with the same assholish try-to-screw-everyone-over mentality that prevails in America and expect to just boss people around. Hermitage Capital was no exception.

Russians are a very pragmatic people and usually have little patient and tolerance for bullshitters and con arists and salesmen.

If you can make money for them they will let you slide and help you out. If they realize you are trying to enrich yourself without real benefits for them they will crush you.

BorisTheBlade's picture

Yup, plus let's not forget that Browder had a big mouth: "Russia sucks. But if over time, it sucks a little less, I make money". Pretty arrogant statement I would say, he thought he was smarter than everyone else around, well it serves him well I guess.

Anonymous's picture

Browder got what was coming to him.

He is just one more of the associates of the Jewish Oligarchs that pillaged the country when the Soviet Union fell apart. Trace his lineage back and you can see he was connected to this group through his father, the former head of the communist party in the USA, controled by world Jewry.

Anonymous's picture


Anonymous's picture

Russia will never be a power as long as they are run by corrept scumbags

Anonymous's picture

Come on, TD, you can do better than this.

The case, as it is presented in the video, is based on the presumption of those 3 companies being stolen from Hermitage. But everyone familiar with the actual case knows that the new "directors" were in fact hired by no one else than Browder's own lawyer - Mr. Hairetdinov. Of course he didn't expect this trick to work with the court, but it was good enough to fool a couple of readily paranoid western journalists. Voilà - the fraud and tax evasion case suddenly becomes "political".

The only problem with this line of defence is that Russian courts don't give a shit about youtube.

Anonymous's picture

At least Russia has good women.

blueskyscottsdale's picture

There's a fascinating article in the New York Times about all the Europeans pouring into Texas to learn the latest American innovation in natural gas - fracturing and horizontal drilling to extract gas from shale rock. This rock is found all around the world. This drilling technique increased America's supply of natural gas by 40% in recent years, something that the entire world could repeat in their countries. 

Oh well, no more holding the world's need for natural gas hostage by the thugs and hoodlums who run the Russian government. The thugs might actually have to learn to treat their own smart, creative Russian people with respect and apply the rule of law so that Russia can finally be allowed to flourish and manufacture goods which the world actually wants. No offense to the Lada intended.

Anonymous's picture

I can't believe people are falling for this PR puff piece from Hermitage.

Read the Vanity Fair piece on Edmond Safra first:

Then google the connection between Edmond Safra and Hermitage.

I'm sorry, but there is soo sooo much more to this story then we will ever know. At the heart of it I presume a Putin vs. Jewish oligarch struggle - and right now Putin is winning. Then connect it with Long Term Capital and some of what Martin Armstrong writes about...

This video is pure Hermitage PR spin.

- Lawgavulin