Russia Asset Freeze Threat Sends European, US Stocks Reeling

Tyler Durden's picture

Germany's DAX is tumbling this morning (and back in the red for 2014) as The Moscow Times reports Russian courts could get the green light to seize foreign assets on Russian territory under a draft law intended as a response to Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis. Whether this is retaliation at Italian tax police seizing €30m in assets, including a luxury hotel in Rome and two villas in Sardinia, controlled by Arkady Rotenberg, is unclear, but the timing is highly coincidental and Rotenberg has been a longtime ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin.


DAX is sliding notably... (not helped by chatter about Russia "throttling" gas supplies to Europe)


back to negative year-to-date...


As The Moscow Times reports,

Russian courts could get the green light to seize foreign assets on Russian territory under a draft law intended as a response to Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.


The draft, which was submitted to parliament on Wednesday by a pro-Kremlin deputy, would also allow state compensation for an individual whose property is seized in foreign jurisdictions.


The draft law, published on a parliamentary database, would allow for compensation for Russian citizens who suffer because of an "unlawful court act" in a foreign jurisdiction and clear the way to foreign state assets in Russia being seized, even if they are subject to international immunity.


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JustObserving's picture

Germany is finding out that being America's bitch can be very expensive. On the other hand, Germany is occupied territory with American and British troops still on its soil and showing no inclination of ever leaving.

Besides, NSA spying on Merkel since 2002 has completely compromised her.

Renfield's picture

I think Merkel's on the way out. I am busy wondering who her replacement will be, and especially how 'pro-euro' said replacement will prove to be.

markar's picture

Interesting observation considering she just won reelection handily.

angel_of_joy's picture

Winning "handily" doesn't usually require a coalition government with your main opponent...

BKbroiler's picture

moronic move by Vlad.  What happens when all the russian oligarch investments throughout the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada, etc.. get nationalized?  A lot of listings about to come up on the London RE market, that's for sure.

gmrpeabody's picture

But freezing other people's assets is illegal... oh, wait.

NoDebt's picture

Why can't we just print more assets?  Seems to be our solution to everything, why not this?

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

That's gonna leave a mark....

gmrpeabody's picture

Come this winter, there'll be a lot of folks freezing their assets off...

Tall Tom's picture





All wars are economic events. This is how a World War begins...with outright theft and no consideration for the Rule of Law.


The USA started down this path. The Russians are responding.


Do you have the stomach to see it through?

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Unfortunately my stomach will be forced to see it through whether it wants to or not. It is out of my hands and I will be forced to play because of actions of a few oligarchs.

It is better to prepare for this inevitability and remember who is clearly at fault when justice is at hand.


SAT 800's picture

Your stomach being out of your hands is probably just as well, from the point of view of basic physiology.

Badabing's picture

Get with it Tyler's, I can't believe this article doesn't mention retaliation for the Greek bail in. That ripoff pissed off a lot of rich Russians. This action by the Russian oligarchs is aimed at the western banking powers. Just put 2 and 2 together, oh I forgot today that equals 5

markmotive's picture

Better understand Russia's first celebrity president - Putin.

By the way, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee...for f@cks sake.

surfsup's picture

Meanwhile they closed the Nuclear Loop making nuke waste a thing of the past ...

This story is NOWHERE in the media, main stream nor alternative 

The Doofus's picture

Screw the markets.  Putin should be cornholed and shot.  We can't let that crazy homosexual run nilly-willy over all of Europe.  If stocks take a dip, then so be it.  Capitalism sucks anyway.

Manthong's picture

Um.. just WTF do the western "leader" maroons expect..

that the targets of their aggression will just roll over?

jeff montanye's picture

for too long they have been droning preachers and wedding parties.  they are soon to find out what putting up a fight is really like.

matrix2012's picture


Member for: 2 week 1 days


This The Doofus is a newly inbred batch of trolls at ZH board.

It seems they're mostly programmed to rejuvenate by every 30 days or less. Some familiar douche bag trolls already disappeared though... lol

PhilofOz's picture

"Fast fission reactors solve the problem of depleted uranium nuclear fuel on the planet. They can ‘burn’ not only ‘classic’ uranium-235, (scarce and already coming to an end), but also uranium-238, which is abundant, and expands the world’s nuclear fuel capacity by an estimated 50 times."

Well that should kill a few uranium mining projects throughout the planet! 

StychoKiller's picture

Well, there's some good news for a change!

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Note to self. Be more careful with the use of pronouns to prevent confusion as well as giving others a chuckle at your expense.


Bingo Hammer's picture

As with Chess, one would expect Vlad to have known months ago that seizure of Russian assets was always part of the US lead strategy, he is just moving some of his pawns into position in advance for a future time when a "significant" exchange of pieces may be required

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Yeah exactly I wouldn't be crying for these Russian oligarch types getting their assets seized. Arkady is most likely going to be compensated for equal or higher value in western assets the Russians seize locally when it all plays out.

Son of Loki's picture

It's be fun watching when the Chinese McMansions and commercial RE get "Freezed."

Lots of free Loot there for the Gubmint to munch on tp feed the FSA with.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

They won't feed it to the FSA probably hold it in escrow and use it as bargaining chips later on as Bingo Hammer stated. No bargain or resolution then you reassign assets locally to oligarchs, etc.

Chinese can squeeze balls to force the bargaining for the Russians and probably will.

JohninMK's picture

Brilliant move.

Don't actually announce a sanction, just get a member of parliament to submit a bill and watch the chaos ensue as the markets react.

Then, at an appropriate time, say that it will not be enacted.

I wonder who made money by shorting this ahead of time?

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

@BKbroiler   your narrative is wanting

The west has a lot more money in russia than vice versa. Remember the collapse of the soviet union? anyway it was a little noticed geopolitical event a few decades ago, after which multinationals all snapped up russian assets

aside from some russian oil money sloshing around in london, there has never been an equivalent capital event from russia into the west. The west has more to lose in asset seizures, the west has more to lose in energy dynamics, and the west is also proving itself an unreliable partner to other international onlookers.

any wonder why african nations are all giving their contracts to the East?

Escrava Isaura's picture

Squid-puppets a...,


Your summarization was short, but it was well done.


I would like to add that: Russia is the last place to party, alongside the Persian Gulf.


But do get ready, because it will be a short party.


BKbroiler's picture

It wasn't short or well done.  Russian oligarchs snapped up those assets, not the US.  Russian money goes everywhere except russia, because anyone who breathes the wrong way gets putinized.  It's amazing how little factual evidence there is for any of the assumptions made on this board.  This must be the intelligentsia of the russian trolling network.

Oldwood's picture

Its not a matter of assets, its a matter of who is willing to accept the greatest pain. America will not, cannot accept any pain as evidenced by our response to military and economic challenges for the last fifty years. If there is no profit in it our policies will not tolerate it.

disabledvet's picture

Italy lowers the boom?

I find that very surprising actually.

To my knowledge the USA has not seized any assets. And this is the first European power to do so.

Italy does have a big Navy. I don't see them going into he Black Sea this go around...but Libya is right there.

So is Beirut.

Escrava Isaura's picture


My take is that we are talking in circles.


Russia and American elites are manifestations of the same thing.


What is happening is that, US corporatocracy (financial institutions and corporations) CAN NOT get accesses to Russia resources, and its economy. So, US corporatocracy cannot indebt them while extracting their resources.


On top of that, Russia is creating a debt (bond) market through the BRIC’s. It means, profits will go to them, to the BRIC’s, instead US corporatocracy. 


And these are hostile acts against the US.


tenpanhandle's picture

"This must be the intelligentsia of the russian trolling network."


sorry intelligentsia of capital letter USA, this is not he.

TheReplacement's picture

Gee, you don't think that is part of the plan to consolidate wealth by both sides do ya?

Fred Garvin's picture

Supposedly attibuted to Putin: "negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon. The pigeon knocks over all the pieces, craps on the board, then struts around like it won the game."

disabledvet's picture

Yeah, well....his Ruble has been slaughtered here.

Trying to blast an overland route to the Crimea isn't looking so good right now either.

I think Putin is fighting a war that's all in his head right now. If these borders start to be "re-rearranged" His West could look a lot different in a very short period of time. Finland doubles in size, Germany gets Silesia back. The USA lands in Konigsburg.

Romania increases by a third.

Ukraine truly does become independent.

Poland doubles in size. Of course if that happens they'll be on Moscow's doorstep. Talk about "huge tracts of land." "It's a straight shot from Smolensk to Moscow."

king leon's picture

Germany: "Been there done that, maybe not"

USisCorrupt's picture

Let's NOT forget who has the PHYSICAL Gold.


The USSA only has paper, hehe....

Badabing's picture

@ bingo hammer
I'm American and I don't think I'm going to see any of those asserts.
This is the banks war not mine.

Lea's picture

"What happens when all the russian oligarch investments throughout the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada"

Nobody in Russia is worried about the Russian oligarchs. Oligarchs ARE the problem in Russia. On top, as they're generally pro-Americans, chances are nothing will happen to them. 

omniversling's picture

Were. Putin has played his nationalist card well, and pretty well reversed the firesale of USSR by Yeltsin and other Triboligarchs. Big Q&A is whether Vlad the Bad is 'Good', or is after all one of the banking shyster pals with big cash deposits who have to have it banked/transferred somewhere for it to be liquid enough to be mobile. Time will tell...if we get that far into the 'future'. Good watching here:

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (1/2) 


The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (2/2) 


How Vladimir Putin came to power (full documentary) Russia  


Vladimir Putin Full Length Documentary: The Putin System 


tenpanhandle's picture

Totally wrong...Western oligarchs is want drink Russian Oligarch milkshake and vise-a-versa...where are you Boris?>

Nobody Important's picture

Somehow I have a feeling western companies have more assets in Rusia then Russians do in the west. I was reading somewhere where several big oil companies are exploring and drilling for oil in Siberia. 


trulz4lulz's picture

"thanks for the oil rigs, bitchez!"


SWRichmond's picture

Thanks also for the mapping and development work on the fields.  Mayne Vlad not so dumb, eh?

SAT 800's picture

So ? you give  this move a ?; on t he chess board. analysis please; I disagree. for BK broiler.

BKbroiler's picture

I give this move a #$*&, because that's what it is.  Despite ignoramus comments about US assets in Russia, the people with money in russia know better than to keep it there.  Russian money is everywhere except russia.  Freezing US assets will backfire like freezing US food imports did, it only raised prices for Russian consumers since only 8% of meat exports went to russia last year.

I know better than arguing with the Cult of Vlad on here, and some of his moves (earlier on) where fairly tactful, but this is just stupid. And desperate.  You can put Putin on the list with Saddam, Gadaffi, etc..

hobopants's picture

If you know that eventually they are going to use the swift system and assset freezes to attack you anyway, you might as well get out ahead of it and make the first strike, which has the benefit of making you look like a strong leader. You also get to blame any economic troubles directly on western sanctions, and direct the publics anger at them instead of you.

Having a common external enemy is a great way to strengthen the unthinking masses resolve and make them more amendable to drastic change and hardship. Putin knows the west intends to cut Russia off before they are really ready to transition to a new asia-centric system, so why not use their belligerence to forment nationalism and garner popular support. Both of those things are going to be vital if he is going to survive the transition into the new system in one piece.