This Means War: US To Target Putin's Personal $40 Billion Stash

Tyler Durden's picture

While the White House has continually threatened further sanctions against Russia for non-de-escalation (even as it un-de-escalates itself), the specifics of the additional sanctions have been sparse. German CEO warnings over blowback from economic sanctions... the "nonsense" of replacing Russian gas with US gas... the Russian warnings of "interdependence" and "boomerangs"... all reduce the West's arsenal of financial sanctions. But, as The Times of London reports, perhaps the US has found a crucial pain point for Putin - a sanctions regime that would target Putin's personal wealth, which includes a reported $40 billion stashed in Swiss bank accounts.

As The Hill reports,

The White House on Friday refused to comment on reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal wealth could be targeted if the West were to move ahead with additional sanctions over Ukraine.


"I'm not going to get into foreshadowing particular individuals or entities that the United States may target," national security adviser Susan Rice told reporters at the White House. "But let me just say we've been clear that there are additional individuals, officials, close associates of senior leadership, oligarchs and those entities that they are associated with that remain very much potential targets of additional sanctions."



The Times of London reported Friday that the U.S. was preparing a sanctions regime that would target Putin's personal wealth, which includes a reported $40 billion stashed in Swiss bank accounts.

Putin's actual holdings are a tightly held secret, and the extent of his holdings are difficult to estimate. But a threat of trying to freeze the Russian president's personal assets could have played a role in a deal brokered Thursday by foreign ministers from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and European Union.

Perhaps it is worth remembering Putin's response from last week's Q&A...

Putin was asked why the US can do whatever it wants and no one punishes them, while attempts are being made to punish Russia.


“The US is certainly one of the world’s leaders. At some point it seemed that it was the only leader and a uni-polar system was in place. Today it appears that is not the case. Everything in the world is interdependent and once you try to punish someone, in the end you will cut off your nose to spite your face,” he said.

Though we are sure Obama and his team have considered all the intended and unintended consequences of any such actions.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Cap Matifou's picture

Never underestimate the foresight and good intel of russian billionaires.

Have The Russians Already Quietly Withdrawn All Their Cash From Cyprus?

Wolferl's picture

Putin may be worth 40 billions or not, probably not. But even if he is, he will not have those 40 billions in Swiss bank accounts.

Stackers's picture

Obama has enough nose (and ears) for two people anyway I guess.... throw in Kerry and we're talking group discount.

macholatte's picture


It's interesting that dictators stash their spoils in Switzerland instead of their own countries where they are in control.   Where does Barry keep his stash; JPM, Kenya, Iran, Antilles with Soros?

knukles's picture

All this over a fucking pipeline from the Persian Gulf to Western Europe. 

seek's picture

No, all this over the petrodollar. The US doesn't want to give up the monopoly on the reserve currency and Russia doesn't want someone else fixing the prices their energy resources sell for.

ndotken's picture

Sounds to me like Barack is mad that Putin is richer than him ... and Jamie Dimon too.

Abi Normal's picture

Hit the cocksmocker where it hurts, in the belt!  C'mon, the little dicktator can take it, can't he?

BellyBrain's picture

If he really does have 40 BILLION dollars, then fuck that scumbag.  Seriously, when are we going to get our heads out of our asses and realize that billionaires are psychopathic criminals? 

I know a couple of very nice multi-millionaires who built valuable businesses and had honest dealings throughout their careers.  They have said in very clear words that they will NEVER be BILLIONaires because they don't want to do "what has to be done" to amass that kind of OBSCENE wealth.

And it is totally obscene.  Someone with 100mil in wealth lives an amazing lifestyle, the likes of which us plebes will never know.  Anyone who is driven to get into that "billionaire's club" is mentally ill, and they have committed NUMEROUS crimes to amass that wealth.

Forget the 1% -- it's the .01% billionaires who are the biggest threat to humanity. 


smlbizman's picture

there is no such thing as an honest mutli-millionaire.... they were honest at some point, but then they turned into power brokering fucking thieves....

TheMeatTrapper's picture

Nobody with more than a billion bucks in the bank can be honest.

Nobody with more than a million bucks in the bank can be honest.

Nobody with more than a thousand bucks in the bank can be honest. 


See how that works?

fonestar's picture

The Swiss would be wise to think ahead ten years and ask the age old question... "who is your daddy and what does he do?"

Tengri Temujin's picture

Putin has a much better place to hide his gold, he can bury it somewhere in Siberia.  In my opinion the dude is worth every penny, he at least has made his country great again.  I am sure his money is invested in Russia.

Save_America1st's picture

remember...this is all being done by design.  It's not just happening by accident.  Get your brain out of the false paradigm and realize that we're being fucking played every step of the way. 

old naughty's picture

Put-in could have hid his stash in a Siberia gold mine (you know when the petro dollar collapses, his stash will you-know-what!)

His Russian oligarchs want to up the gas price, EU will likely be fxxked (but EU want to secure energy supply, no)?

His KGB friends want a bigger buffer zone (so NATO move to guard only Poland, as long as pipelines kept flowing... fxxk the other small ones).

...except we do not know what are the puppet masters stirring.

War will likely be somewhere else. ME states are all spending crazy to buy arms.

angel_of_joy's picture

By the time US would target anything, the money would be long gone to friendlier places (see Cyprus lesson).

Besides, when you OWN a country like Russia, and you ARE the master of its secret services (that control the entire country), why in the world would you keep ALL your money in a country who's banks are no safer that those of Alabama ?

This is such BS that it's not even worth arguing about... Propaganda war at its finest.

If Putin really had 40 billions in Switzerland, he's a much bigger idiot than anybody could have imagined.

However, since this appeared in mass media ("The Hill" for retarded, no less...), I believe exactly the opposite.

The boyz must be getting desperate down in the foggy bottom...

zerozulu's picture

Soon to be found child porn from his computer too.

Tengri Temujin's picture

I love that picture, the MAN holds that GOLD BAR like a BOSS.  He looks at it with admiration and respect because he knows its whats going to help him bury the Terror-dollar and the killers that come with it, once and for all.

angel_of_joy's picture

You have 10 of those bricks hidden somewhere in your backyard, you don't care about any stupid bank in Switzerland. Or, about any Obozo sanctions...

On a totally unrelated issue, now:

Tyler, what happened with the links at the left side of the main page ???

Those were some of the best economic references I could find on the entire net ! Please don't tell me that you decided to put some completely stupid ads instead...

GetZeeGold's picture





We have the eastern bloc countries gold reserves mapped and plans for evacuation are in place for immediate removal should aggression occur.

StychoKiller's picture

Is that bar 400Toz (33.33 Troy-pounds) in size? Something that massive could leave quite an impression on a foreign leader's brainbox!

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

PRESIDENT PUTIN, This is part of a bigger plan to ID your finances via a PsyOps game by the combined efforts of the CIA+NSA as follows:

1. The NSA is already providing the SIGNINT, and the CIA is providing HUMINT.  Even so, they did not get far enough to ID and isolate your asset network and that of some other key people on your team.

2. What's missing, is the MARKINT:  They need the Market Intelligence, to determine which suspected investment channels and instruments are being used.

3. If they can cause a specific/controlled/manipulated response to stress (i.e. fear of your assets being discovered and 'tagged'), then they can apply all of the above three types of Intelligence to ID, isolate and attack said assets and its service providers.

FYI, James Rickards describes these (simulation) games in his newly released book "The Death of Money", where such tools were used in Project Prophecy.  In that project, back in 2003/2004, they used Baseline creation and Variance Analysis to ID aberrant/suspicious activity that might indicate "insider trading".  In the case of Wall St types, they want to know if someone is using Insider info to front-run the market with derivatives bets.  In the case of terrorists, they want to profit financially with insider info prior to a strike -- as indeed happened on 11.09.01.

4. That 2003 prototype has been improved significantly by integrating MarkInt with SigInt + HumInt info.  When any of the three domains (SigInt, HumInt and MarkInt) has an anomalous "spike", that is suspicious enough.  But when two or even all three have coinciding spikes, then that is a mathematical "dead giveaway".

Bottom Line: This is a deliberate provocation, designed to act as the controlled Trigger Event in the effort to ID the assets and its managers.  It's an American "mind fuck" operation - with a devious twist.  Don't fall for it.  I don't think I need to spell out what counter-measures need to be taken.  If I were in a similar situation, I'd either do nothing or send false signals to increase the Noise (reduce the SNR) and increase the demands on total Bandwidth and Resources beyond their useful limits.

Tabarnaque's picture

The disinformation war is full blown. According to Bloomturd the fact that Neo Nazis attacked a Russian Separatist barricade (killing 4 of them) over the weekend is enough justification for the USSA to impose more sanctions on Ukraine. Wait a minute. So who was attacked? The Anti-Kiev protesters. Who was the aggressor? The Right Sector movement.


So the CIA unleashes its local Neo Nazis dogs against the Russians and that is enough to justify escalating the sanctions against Russia? The West wants to isolate Russia at all cost. The West does not want peace. It clearly wants to escalate tensions.


Ukraine Separatists Hold Ground as U.S. Eyes Sanctions


"Shootouts in eastern Ukraine over the weekend led to calls for more U.S. economic sanctions against Russia, as a diplomatic accord aimed at defusing the crisis showed little sign of taking hold."


jeff montanye's picture

my read on this is that there is a morale problem below tptb, both in ukraine and in washington d.c./london/brussels.  the ones who don't actually do any real fighting are pretty gung ho.  the ones with the guns, not so much.  

the russian sympathizers are chasing away tanks with buses, capturing ammo and armored personal carriers by asking for them, etc. and by the look of the cars, the right sector, even with the advantage of offense against allegedly unarmed opponents (who had armed "friends"), played to a draw.

and closer to home, there is this:

Since the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, elite u.s. military troops – including special forces units like Navy SEALs and Army Rangers – have endured multiple deployments. Military suicides increased across the board during that time, to the point that suicides (349) outpaced combat deaths (311) in 2012, according to a Guardian analysis in 2013.

StychoKiller's picture

WHY would Putin even need such a fortune?  He gets free plane/copter rides, limousine service, and probably secret service protection after he leaves office.  No expenses, and more than likely, lots of "donations" coming his way for advice to the next rulers of Russia.  (There's speaking fees in the future, should he need some folding munny!)

jeff montanye's picture

why indeed?  what with those speaking fees, and all.

the u.s. has the moral high ground.  clinton and bernanke have no need to "steal".

PT's picture

Ummmmmmm, could this somehow be related to all them dead bankers we've had this year?  Ummmmm ...

jeff montanye's picture

if it were related, given the decision tree and the ostensible chain of command, it would seem likely some government/imf types might have been included.

PT's picture

Of course!   Silly me.  Thanks for your reply.

But note that I never speculated which side the assassins might be on.  Does that change anything? 

Stuck on Zero's picture

Poor Putin.  If the the bankster oligarchs make $39 billion of his wealth disappear then the poor guy will only be left with $1 billion. Destitution.


Adahy's picture

<==  No bank account because I refuse to feed the assholes.

Don't know if that counts as honest or not, but I sure do sleep well.
Root of all evil and all that I suppose.

Spitzer's picture

Take a valium to calm your inner socialist. 

These Russian billionaires took huge risks when the Soviet Union fell. It was a lot about being in the right place at the right time. They were buying the post Soviet vouchers when nobody wanted them.

Do your research on the collapse of the USSR before you get all high and mighty buddy...


dogbreath's picture

wasn't that  about the time pensioners savings accounts were devalued 100 to 1 and the prices of everything stayed the same.

Monty Burns's picture

Trolling at its finest.  Yeah right.  Nobody wanted ownership of Russia's natural resources for 5% of what they were worth.  Gimme a break, FFS!

Spitzer's picture

As I said, do your  research on the collapse of the USSR

Voucher privatization is a privatization method where citizens are given or can inexpensively buy a book of vouchers that represent potential shares in any state-owned company. Voucher privatization has mainly been used in the early to mid-1990s in the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe - countries such as Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Czechoslovakia.


A great deal of assets did fall into private ownership remarkably quickly and worked to provide some basis for market competition. Voucher privatization took place between 1992-1994 and roughly 98 percent of the population participated. The vouchers, each corresponding to a share in the national wealth, were distributed equally among the population, including minors. They could be exchanged for shares in the enterprises to be privatized. Because most people were not well-informed about the nature of the program or were very poor, they were quick to sell their vouchers for money, unprepared or unwilling to invest. Some Russain people got Gazprom vouchers and still have them to this day.

These billionaires were buying up peoples vouchers and securing external financing for industry. They were willing to invest and take the risk. Its called capitalism.


Monty Burns's picture

I have done the research and was in Russia for much of that time.  First, people were desperately poor and would trade for anything.  Second where did the oligarchs get their money?  I bet you know the answer to that.  And third there is NO RISK to borrowing money to purchase an asset at about 5% of its real value. That's not capitalism, it's corporatism or even Fascism.

Spitzer's picture

purchase an asset at about 5% of its real value

Real value ? What is the "real value" of some state run alluminum factory in Russia in 1990 ? Sure, its easy to say what its worth 20 years later. After someone took it, managed it and made it profitable.

Sorry. Life isn't fair. Some of the oiligarchs had  savings and they were able to buy poor people's vouchers.

There was no step by step guide on how to privatise these assets after the fall of the USSR.

Western money didn't even want to get too involved in these assets in 1990. Too risky.


BTW I don't think you've done your research.



Cabreado's picture

"it's corporatism or even Fascism"

It's vulturism.

robertocarlos's picture

What risk? They got bank loans from their buds in the banking industry to buy the vouchers at pennies on the dollar. Or Sou on the Livre or whatever the fuck they use for money in Russia. They knew the game was rigged in their favour.

AnAnonymous's picture

The risk? The risk of being 'americanly' debated by 'americans' on an 'american' forum.

That was the risk.

caconhma's picture

Spitzer, how much did you get from Banking Mafia and KGB?

Yes, people got vouchers. However, too many people lost their jobs and other who kept their jobs were not paid. To survive starvation and to feed their kids these people were forced to sell their vouchers for nothing just to stay alive. At the same time, Zionist  Banking Mafia (including Rothschild family) provided their agents in Russia with money to buy all these vouchers. This is how New Oligarchy in Russia was created.

The same took place almost 100 years ago when Jewish Bolsheviks got plenty of money from The Wall Street and the City to take over Russia. Then, the Banking mafia also financed NWO. It was called International Comintern but Hitler and Stalin prevented this from happening. Now, they are trying to do it again under different facade. 

Simplifiedfrisbee's picture

Enough with the fanatical, authoritarian ideology that needs power and glory to conclude the insatiable primitive desires of mans ego. Stalin, Hitler, Rothschild, etc...have all damned themselves. They served no purpose in life as their destruction was abominably regressive.

I'm progressive and have true wealth so detesting deception is my obligation.

Russia was a test case both socially and economically after the collapse of the USSR. The finest(worthless) ivy grads and professors of western economic thought and psychology brought over their drunken parade to bust Russia wide open like a prostitute. As vulgar as it is, that is fact. They believed a "free market" society and a negative freedom political structure would unify the world by a capitalist(neo feudal, socialist kleptocratic corporatocracy) system. What happened was a the complete opposite. They fueled the oligarchs and gave Putin his rise to power.

Now Russia is back and they ain't faking it. Yes, all corrupted businessmen capitalized by the "failed" experiment in Russia. The Rothsfilth family salivates and thrives in such opportunities. They orchestrate many financial disasters so to capitalize. Stripping wealth from the middle and poor is necessary in their eyes after all. When your scared and desperate to keep your secrets hidden, the middle class must be diminished and kept busy scurrying for fucking dollars.

This is not a perfect design. It is regressive in every aspect. These people are psychopaths and are going to bring everything they believe they created down with them or take everyone out they feel is a threat to what they created. Russia is to the West as what the US/Israel is to the East. Warfare is devastating to the poor and middle class. The government and ultra rich should have been charged according to their crimes against humanity long ago. It is too late now. What people must do is mobilize their mind to practice virtue.

UselessEater's picture

Finally a few people on ZH who are able to get past the USA being so terrible that fictionalises Russia as a positive character and not a player and maniplulator in it own right. No leader builds perceptions over night agenats and think tanks etc work for years on this.

Neither nations leadership and economic oligarchs are worth any respect other than that which comes from extreme caution to trust neither. This is pure Tavistock-esque chess.

Redneck Hippy's picture

Somehow all the businesses supposedly owned by the people  of the Soviet Union ended up in the hands of a few oligarchs.  The huge risks were the usual ones of keeping company with gangsters.

Spitzer's picture

So you are a communist. "Owned by the people"... heh

Industries need  management at the top for them to function at a profit. How did these guys become billionaires if they did not make the right decisions ? We are talking about real physical assets like iron or aluminum mills.These factories would otherwise be abandoned and worth nothing. But these guys made something out of them and now they have value. 

These aren't finanicalized billionaires.

Cabreado's picture


In practice, as we see, your view of the world isn't working out very well.

I suspect you have no clue why that would be.

Anusocracy's picture

"Somehow all the businesses supposedly owned by the people of the Soviet Union ended up in the hands of a few oligarchs."

Gee, isn't that basically has what has happened to the wealth in the US?

Face it, nature has produced a bumper crop of high-function psychopaths and they're not just in a couple of advanced countries.

Assortative mating works for bad guys, too.

jeff montanye's picture

it is what happened to the wealth in the u.s. but the rich have always had most of it here anyway.

in the ussr/russia, the pretense for seventy years was that it was the "people's" wealth.  just go ask karl and the other vladimir.

SamAdams's picture

Ding-ding, we have a winner.  If you think Putin made $40B thru honest hard work, then you have much to learn about insider knowledge, favors and coercsion.  All former KGB are honest and rich, just like all CIA.

Putin is playing his role in the game.