Putin Pals Panic As Washington Readies "Official Oligarch" List

"If you're a Russian oligarch, you don't want to be on [this list]," warned Alan Kartashkin, a Debevoise partner in Moscow.

The 'list' that Kartashian refers to is derived from the U.S. law, which Trump grudgingly signed on Aug. 2 after it passed Congress with a veto-proof margin, instructs the Treasury, together with the State Department and intelligence agencies, to identify officials and oligarchs as determined by “their closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth.”

The report, due within 180 days of the law’s signing, must include “indices of corruption with respect to those individuals” and any foreign assets they may have.

And that deadline is looming - January 29th.



US lawmakers expect the list to provide a basis for future punitive actions against Russia.

“Because of the nervousness that the Russian business community is facing, a number of oligarchs are already beginning to wind back businesses, treating them as if they are already designated, to stay ahead of it,” said Daniel Tannebaum, head of Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP’s global financial sanctions unit. He advises a handful of wealthy Russian individuals and some businesses who he declined to identify.

The list has also become a headache within Treasury, where some officials are concerned it will be conflated with sanctions, a person familiar with the matter said. Treasury officials are considering keeping some portions of the report classified -- which the law allows -- and issuing it in the form of a letter from a senior official, Sigal Mandelker, instead of releasing it through the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which issues sanctions. That would help distinguish it from separate lists of Russians subject to U.S. economic penalties, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“You’re going to have people getting shamed. It’s a step below a sanction because it doesn’t actually block any assets, but has the same optics as sanctions -- you’re on a list of people who are engaged in doing bad things,” said Erich Ferrari, who founded Ferrari & Associates in Washington and has helped people get removed from the sanctions designation list.

As Bloomberg concludes, the list’s impact will depend on how it’s released, said Adam Smith, a former senior adviser in Treasury’s sanctions unit and now a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Washington.

The law is “written in a way that it allows mischief if the administration wanted to go a different way,” Smith said . “If the president wanted to provide little or a lot and be very selective, he has the ability to do that.”

While the U.S. may be succeeding in making life difficult for some of Putin’s closest allies, Bloomberg reports that’s not turning into pressure on him to change course, according to Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a sociologist who studies the ruling elite at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“You can’t be here and have a conflict with him,” Kryshtanovskaya said.

“So if the West thinks they can topple Putin with this, they won’t.”

Among business tycoons, concern about the new sanctions list is showing up only as timid reluctance among some to be seen prominently at Kremlin events, said one, insisting on anonymity.


YUNOSELL Fri, 01/12/2018 - 09:51 Permalink

If you want to multiply the list by 100x, just add on all the criminal American oligarchs.

People around the world must be getting sick of the hypocrisy. After 2008 crisis, US should have had to clean up their corrupt oligarchy just like any other developing nation would have been forced to do, but they only pretended to by the IMF, and now 10 years later these are the consequences with unhappy countries blow back and now we all are forced to suffer from this.

Moe-Monay nmewn Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:10 Permalink

Sure Russia has some corruption.  But what has been coming out of Putin's mouth has been pure gold.  I was caught by surprise on that.  The guy is really something on walking a line that avoids war so far in spite of our Deep State doing its best to create one.

Still in shock that when I compared Putin with Obama and the American president came up wanting.  Never never never never Ever ever ever ever thought I would live to see it.

In reply to by nmewn

HowdyDoody Luc X. Ifer Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:55 Permalink

Several years ago, Putin informally advised Russian oligarchs to decide whether they wanted to repatriate their assets or leave them abroad. Those that still have them abroad are either Zionist assets, idiots or both.


And why is the US acting now? Something to do with the upcoming Russian elections? Nah. The US would never interfere in the domestic situation of a foreign country.


In reply to by Luc X. Ifer

BlindMonkey Moe-Monay Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:28 Permalink

Preach Brother Moe.  I was a cold-war sub guy that slept with my feet on a Trident missile tube for 6 years.  If you would have told me then that in the '10s I would consider the Russian President the most honest, Christian and peaceful leader on the world stage I would have laughed and puched you in the mouth. My....how times have changed. 

In reply to by Moe-Monay

Maghreb Moe-Monay Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:28 Permalink

More-Monay .I think Russian Oligarchs is what America has to look forward to if the rule of law and Democracy break down totally. The joke is Putin and his KGB and gangster crews were the only people who could keep the oligarchs in line. Russia was looted during the 90´s and the social effects were horrific. Massive drop in life expectancy, gun battles that made Chicago look quiet and a massive drop in the birth rate. Putin saved Russia. It was not just the oil and gas though that was the key. I´ve heard stories hospital equipment and arms depots were being auctioned off on the black market.

His control over the oligarchs has strengthened some what over time.Roman Abramovich seems to be back in with the Russian set getting sent over to Siberia to run things. Berezovsky may have been murdered or committed suicide. Many of the people who were involved in the oil and gas industry took a hit early on with the heads of Hermitage Hedge Fund lawyer getting battered to death in a police station. This of course is the inspiration for the Maginitsky act. 


I would not hero worship Putin´s team too much though. What ever he says they play a dangerous game. Some his guys are absolutely ruthless. His old mentor at the Russian Mining academy where he transitioned from KGB operative has become quite powerful in the commodity industry owning a chunk of Phosagro. Apparently his daughter just vanished after he had a falling out with her. Could also be she is being held hostage by someone else. For one of the richest men in Russia to lose a kid like that you wonder how stable things are. More frightening and sad than suspicious. His other old mentor Sobchak was apparently poisoned to death back in 2000. Its on another level out there.


These guys aren´t Saints and Patriotic Supermen. They have to be as if not more gangster than the American leadership because Russian power is still precarious. This move to freeze assets by the Americans may be directed at Putin. His power base though wealthy may not be based on personal loyalty and more political patronage. The Americans may apply pressure and hope to topple Putin and replace his team with a new easier to manipulate figure. Applying pressure now before the upcoming election in March could swing things. If he loses to much ground it will hurt his legitimacy. Ironically now Russia is no longer the wild west with candidates dropping dead these methods are more effective. Just signaling Putin is on his way out is enough.

Someone to keep an eye on is the daughter of the previously mentioned Sobchak. She is a political  socialite and media personality. She looks like a joke candidate but so did Trump. The reason why she could play a hand is that she is quite young moderately pro western, connected and already involved with the media. Much of the old school Russians are dying off while politically disenfranchised men are less likely to vote compared with middle class women. Same story with all this talk about Oprah. For now I think she will split the liberal and left wing vote or just get new demographics invovled.

As things get more and more precarious having a pretty mouth piece will put aside memories of the bad old days and perhaps also help shift Russia away from the power of the Oligarchs. 



In reply to by Moe-Monay

Maghreb Dark star Fri, 01/12/2018 - 13:37 Permalink

Nah I think its actually the Chinese. So good at it no one notices ten thousand people dissapearing into Lao Gai. The U.S is in decline and the Globalists know that revealing government corruption is a sure fire way to undermine the system. China needs credibility but also has to mop up loose ends. Russia was desperate measure for desperate times. Thats why alot of people accept it.

Africa and India can be quite lawless so nothing needs to be covered up. Hardcore violent populism is the law of the land with characters like Duerte, the ANC, and others. The illusion has be kept up because politicians don´t actually have the power to strong arm people out of existence every time they get in the way. The day they do because the U.S is on its way out people you never even knew existed will be going down all over.

U.S gets more attention because it surprises people. A couple more election cycles and the true believing plebs die off and things will change.

Britain used to be the world leader in extrajudicial killing and cover ups. Most of the map was redrawn and anyone who got in the way was taken out. Much more man power intensive due technological limitations but I am sure the internal drama was similar. When the U.S goes down things could be very different because its too big and centralized to cover up the collapse.

Civilization is a trust building exercise. The U.S era was built on real growth as are all Empires. Perhaps now it is in decline they offer a false sense of security to maintain the status quo. The internal struggles need be kept quiet to create the false image of strength. The Chinese have a great deal to gain and much bigger changes to prepare for. Keeping the public sedated or directed at bogeymen helps these things along.   


In reply to by Dark star

Maghreb Maghreb Fri, 01/12/2018 - 14:34 Permalink

Another thing is I remember when ZH broke the Snowden story before Snowden was even known about. The Guardian and Greenwald picked it up and turned it into two feature films and social movement. 

I´d take everything from the Guardian with a pinch of salt but thats the same with Zero Hedge these days. Comparing the two narratives along with radio chatter on the forums helps build a better picture. ZH and the Tylers made the Guardian look like fucking muppets when they were talking about the NSA data centre months before hand.

You might hate the mainstream media but they do provide a quality and quantity of information that goes back decades before Zero Hedge even existed. That article I linked has no overt political bias. Its the gaps in the narrative and the bias shown that tell you what is going on. The Observer group had guys like Kim Philby on the pay roll. The man was considered one of the greatest double agents in history. It was his job at the Observer that got him to Lebanon before he defected to the Soviet Union. You might hate the message but respect the power of the institution and the quality of the information given.

Lately I feel like ZH is completely automated running off the glories of the past.It does not have to be that way if people provide real input in the comments section instead of cheerleading their team. Bots can do that.

Whole point of the internet besides mass surveillance was to create decentralized networks to aid communication. Taking info from sources and giving your analysis was part of the fun. You can´t debate Anderson Cooper or give your opinion in the Presedential debate. You see how things are sliding base don the length of the comments and threads, the amount of clearly automated spam.

I´d love to hear your opinion Dark Star but if you hit me with God Emperor memes and Putin 10d chess your not really contributing anything interesting. Based on how precarious things are I´m starting to think the problem is the herd mentality that makes blind populism and thus Democracy a waste of time. if you don´t have the brains or the balls to speak out about something that isn´t the party line I´m afraid your no different from the Snow Flakes. Might as well replace most the population with Bots.......

Come discuss the actual moves in the game of 10d chess. Pledge your life to the God Emperor or Kushner Kaliphate its turned into. But for fuck sake be interesting otherwise we will go extinct through boredom.

In reply to by Maghreb

Blankone Moe-Monay Fri, 01/12/2018 - 14:16 Permalink

Putin replaced some of the old corruption with an new group of corruption. And the same old jewish connections remain. Putin signed into law making it a felony to deny the holohoax for example. And has sought to make Israel a favored trade partner.

Obama is gone, this is being done by Trump. Same for Uke, it is Trump pushing that now. Same for putting missiles and forces along Russia's borders and seeking to install an anti Russia hysteria, along with weapons, in the neighboring countries - that is Trump.

Don't Poke the Bear, Better Stop, red line drawn, He's gonna do something next time, red line, He'll really do something the next next time, come on stop it, you're being mean so stop, please stop, not responding is so genius no one realizes it, Putin is a genius

In reply to by Moe-Monay

lucitanian therealestg9 Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:56 Permalink

And the US with its own hypocrisy and corruption is going down its own self-made shithole. Each step made by this administration, be it hiding behind terrorist groups in Syria, promoting regime change in Iran, or trying to undermine peace initiatives in Asia, isolates and diminishes an important itself as a nation.

MAGA should not require creating more enemies and hostile detractors abroad. Draining the swamp starts at home and cannot be accomplished by swimming in it. 

In reply to by therealestg9

Offthebeach YUNOSELL Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:28 Permalink

This nation was made by oligarchs.   John Hancock,  Ben Franklin, George Washington were the three wealthiest Colonialist.   Franklin when Ambassador to France was near daily doing buisness and trading on the London exchange.  ( No reason he shouldn't profit, nor go broke in case of Crown victory. ) 

Anyway, Warren Buffet on the list?

In reply to by YUNOSELL

Dark star YUNOSELL Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:54 Permalink

Soros needs to be on that list; his evil interference in nearly every Country in the world singles him out as piece of filth far surpassing any Russian Oligarch.

Zuckerberg's ties to the state security apparatus expose him as an outright fascist and a real danger to a free and open society; he needs to be on that list.

The rest of the world is tired of  the rank hypocrisy coming from the USA; every member of Congress and the Senate should put themselves on that list because they indulge openly in Insider trading, making themselves rich at the expense of honest people by indulging in unethical, immoral and criminal behaviour.

The U.S. can fuck off with it's sanctions; the pigs in the sty are complaining about the smell without realising they are the source of it.

In reply to by YUNOSELL

Moe-Monay Infinite QE Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:14 Permalink


Take a look at what they did to David Irving just for contradicting some of the details of the Holocaust(tm).  ( ever notice how it is spelled with a capital H ??? )   In just one episode of research the guy reads 80000 pages of documentation from WW2.  He's seriously interested in the truth but that is of no matter to those that rule.  

In reply to by Infinite QE