Putin Pals Panic Over US "Corrupt Oligarchs" List, Begin Liquidating Assets

As we reported last Friday, Russian oligarchs are growing increasingly nervous over the U.S. Treasury's upcoming "Official Oligarch" list, which is being created pursuant to an Aug. 2, 2017 law requiring that the Treasury and State Departments identify officials and oligarchs as determined by "their closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth" in order to penalize the Kremlin for its alleged meddling in the 2016 election.


(Artist's impression of a Russian oligarch)

The report, due in two weeks on January 29, must include “indices of corruption with respect to those individuals” and any foreign assets they may have. And according to Bloomberg, Russian businessmen are scrambling right now to protect assets and avoid the list. 

Some people who think they’re likely to land on the list have stress-tested the potential impact on their investments, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Others are liquidating holdings, according to their U.S. advisers.

Russian businessmen have approached former Treasury and State Department officials with experience in sanctions for help staying off the list, said Dan Fried, who previously worked at the State Department and said he turned down such offers. Some Russians sent proxies to Washington in an attempt to avoid lobbying disclosures, according to one person that was contacted.

And with Russia-friendly lobbyists such as the Podesta Group and Paul Manafort's operations shuttered, many desperate Russian oligarchs have been cut off from their D.C. influence peddlers. 

Meanwhile, Treasury officials are reportedly growing concerned over the list, as they worry some people will conflate it with Obama-era sanctions. Moreover, portions of the report may be classified and issued in the form of a letter - as opposed to releasing it through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which is responsible for issuing sanctions. 

“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.” -Erich Ferrari, Ferrari & Associates

Corruption Index

The Treasury's report must include "indices of corruption,which will list any foreign assets next to an oligarch considered corrupt. “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. 

Vladimir Putin has warned wealthy nationals over worsening U.S. sanctions, and provided them with a capital amnesty program designed to allow oligarchs to repatriate some of their overseas assets. Meanwhile, Putin has issued special bonds which will allow the wealthy to hold assets outside of the reach of the U.S. Treasury. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that Russia will react to any punitive measures against its businessmen, stating "The principle of reciprocity remains," suggesting that Putin would employ a commensurate response to a U.S. crackdown on oligarchs. 

* * *


Trump's new Executive Order may explain asset shuffle

Perhaps one of the main drivers behind Russian oligarchs shedding assets before the U.S. Treasury's "indices of corruption" are released is an Executive Order signed quietly in Late December which freezes the U.S. housed assets of foreign government officials or executives of foreign corporations deemed to be corrupt

In fact, anyone in the world who has "materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material or technological support for, or goods or services" to foreigners targeted by the Executive Order is subject to frozen assets. This would apply to D.C. lobbyists working for corrupt Russian oligarchs, or U.S. government officials who have, say, effectuated a uranium deal deemed corrupt.

While it has yet to be seen whether the asset liquidations will affect any specific sectors, one should keep an eye out for any red-dawn related volatility over the next two weeks.


eatthebanksters Peg C. Tue, 01/16/2018 - 11:04 Permalink

The Russian government is a criminal enterprise.  When communism ended, the KGB - the biggest intelligence gathering and spy organization in the world - became the biggest organized crime syndicate the world has ever known.  Putin sits at the head of that syndicate.  Every deal that get's made by the Russian government pays a vig to the organization and everyone from the top down gets their slice.  

This list is long overdue.

In reply to by Peg C.

BullyBearish brianshell Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:22 Permalink

Realize that it's not the money or the power...it's the 

             C  O  N  T  R  O  L  

that it gives them over YOU!  Do you understand that?  They are very small in numbers against US...24/7 they spend all of their energy (and the energy of the "best" that money can buy) to ensure WE are controlled and they stay in power...


DON'T make it easy for them and take positions against your own interests...WAKE the F*&k UP!!

In reply to by brianshell

pynky01 BullyBearish Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:59 Permalink

...the marxist jew has managed/manipulated/built on a continuous fraud to convince a whole race of people in the USA to vote against their own interests..."these niggers will vote Democrat for the next 200 years"   ...remember this guy LBJ ...(((they are in control))) or is it women in control...you know they got half the worlds wealth and all the pussy...

In reply to by BullyBearish

land_of_the_few JohninMK Tue, 01/16/2018 - 15:22 Permalink

They can bring their cash home any time under amnesty, they simply have to agree to follow the law and file tax returns and submit annual reports for any companies they will run in Russia, it's not the 90's anymore.

They are totally aware of these requirements, but many are genetically incapable of complying with them, instead they skulk in the West with "their" money and proclaim themselves "political dissidents".

In reply to by JohninMK

847328_3527 gatorengineer Tue, 01/16/2018 - 07:30 Permalink

Despite tons of evidence of corruption in the DNC and Clinton Foundation, the doj and Treasury do jack shit to them. We know the fbi interferred with the election, not the Russians. yet the dirty cops walk free? Judicial watch has presented evidence and many prosecutors have called for indictment of Comey, Clinton, Huma, and even lynch, and yet no arrests from comatose Rip van Sessons.


Yet they go after some Russkies when there's zero evidence?

In reply to by gatorengineer

Arrow4Truth Citizen_x Tue, 01/16/2018 - 15:37 Permalink

We have a winner! Mr_x wins the prize for today of being the biggest Kool-aid drinker. That's it x... violence. Threaten everyone with violence to "correct" their "illegal' acts. Force = violence; En(force)ment = threat of violence as a means of behavior control. Fuck yeah, let's go crack some heads. 

In reply to by Citizen_x

MEFOBILLS Justin Case Tue, 01/16/2018 - 11:35 Permalink

That's right.  Panama is a tax haven, where TBills are lodged.  It allows the recycling of crime money back into the U.S.  When you think of a debt money system you have to think of the debt instrument and its credit moving simultaneously.

Excess dollars will buy a TBill, but not necessarily cancel the bill.  Whoever held the bill previously, now holds dollars in exchange. Since it is a TBill it is near money, and represents liquidity.  It can be turned back into cash readily.  The crime boss now holds a stable form of wealth - the TBill as debt instrument/near money.  

If the government issued the Tbill as deficit spending, then the crime dollars become laundered through the U.S. government. 

Markets are manipulated up and down, there is no such thing as a free market.  Every time I hear a libertarian talk about free markets, I want to shout into their ear, Wake up McFly!

Human's form in-groups, they try to take rents, they feather their own beds.  It actually take's some sort of King, or Patriarchy to put their foot in the ass of rent seekers.

Oligarchs got their wealth, for the most part, through some sort of rent scheme or theft on the public.  Very few people actually create new wealth as inventors and creators.  

Putin and Russian government have some control over their Oligarchs; U.S. has NO control over its plutocracy and Oligarchs.  

Here's to hoping that Trumps executive order also catches America's Zio Oligarchs as well.

In reply to by Justin Case

MEFOBILLS MEFOBILLS Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:15 Permalink

Here's a quote on Russian bonds:

 Russian foreign-currency bonds,” Putin said on Thursday at a Kremlin meeting with top businessmen including several under sanctions. “I’ve given the order to set the necessary terms and parameters to issue such bonds for Russian investors so they can circulate next year.”

Russian government is giving their oligarchs a new type of debt instrument to protect their wealth, in effect a swap of like types.  Only the new Russian debt will be housed in Russia and be related to Russian Sovereignty.  The Russian bond will be denominated in foreign units, which puts them on the hook to return purchasing power in dollars, etc.  Or, maybe Russia will do a Ruble exchange down the road, and keep the dollars as foreign exchange.  In other words, Russia is using their new bonds to help themselves.

bond is a debt instrument (bondage).  In my opinion a government should only issue purchasing power in relation to the ability of its economy.  Purchasing power should be denominated in their own legal unit.  So, Russia is falling into the same "debt" trap that has skull fucked humanity for 2000 years.  It is structured well enough so it won't blow back, but still... it is indicative of the shitty worldwide system screwing over everybody for the benefit of a few.

In a sovereign money system, government only issues two things: debt free money, and sovereign "credit" via infrastructure loans.  Government does not borrow, nor does it create debt paper.

In a proper legal Sovereign system, any debt's formed are at the private level only, and between citizens or companies.  It returns to citizens to their two way credit/debts relation.  These relations are between each other only, as per our evolutionary history. A third party banker is thus not always in our business, so you are more free.  Banks remain private and thus are your private fee paid agent.  Banks work for you, as they should...they are not working for themselves.

Any other system is shit with embedded defects, and ultimately will break down.  Did I say shit...yes.  Any neo-liberal economist, now going to college, is getting his head filled with nonsense, ultimately turning him into a walking talking moron.  Don't be that moron.

  A legal money system can also step in and legally cancel either creditors or debtors who are grasping for monopoly and oligarchy.  If you have a problem with your creditor or debtor, you have redress for grievance.


In reply to by MEFOBILLS

BullyBearish Consuelo Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:59 Permalink

regarding "not voting"...they fear the evidence of disenfranchisement that a VERY low voter turnout proclaims...they can no longer say they have a mandate from the public...do us all a favor:

N E V E R   A G A I N  vote against anyone by voting for someone you don't like...UNLESS you trust that person with the lives of your family, DON'T VOTE...

In reply to by Consuelo

Meat Hammer 44magnum Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:30 Permalink

I look at it in a different way. If you vote for the system, you endorse the system. The system of “money” that is created from nothing and robs savers with inflation, privatizes profits, and socializes losses; the system that sends your kids to die in wars based on lies, paid for by said “money”; the system that steals more of your liberty every day.

Own yourself. Become a sovereign being and make the system as irrelevant to your existence as possible. 

First step: Stop voting in national elections.

In reply to by 44magnum