Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Khodorkovsky saga-Western Style Transparency Part 1

Fair warning, this post is going to be a long, long read.
Yesterday I covered the Khodorkovsky saga, a little. But, this sordid tale is worthy of some extra information.

So here it is-

First, if you didn't come away with the idea that Khodorkovsky is a front man for the Rothschild's banker clan, you really weren't paying attention to yesterday's post. Go back and re-read that post.

His meteoric rise and ability to amass so much power and wealth, including starting a private bank at such a young age, is quite frankly preposterous. And that billion dollar "import/export business"?? What exactly was that about? What was being imported and exported?

So let us take a look at the man and his interests.
I am going to open with the piece from the BBC. Not news but- spin, for lack of a better word.
I am going to quote specifically this-

"Mr Khodorkovsky made a lot of enemies among the ruling elite and his fellow businessmen by insisting early this century on adopting Western standards of transparency for his businesses while the rest continued to cloak their affairs in secrecy. "

Positively hilarious!! "Western standards of transparency". Oh my!!
"While the rest continued to cloak their affairs in secrecy".
Seriously, this is a direct quote.

Here is additional info on Khodorkovsky's transparency-

I already covered the secret, "previously unknown arrangement" with Jacob Rothschild. How do you like that transparency so far ?

From a Frontline show, done in 2003- Rich in Russia

His other interests and interesting associates:
Bank Menatep, Trust Investment Bank and Menatep International Financial Alliance; investment firms Global Asset Management, the Blackstone Group, the Carlyle Group and AIG Capital Partners: information technology company Sibintek; telecom operators MKS, Macomnet, Metrocom, Rascom and Magistral Telecom; and, through his Open Russia Foundation, several Russian news publications

After a series of dubious business practices, Khodorkovsy has struggled with a poor public image. In 1998, his bank Menatep collapsed, yet Khodorkovsky managed to protect himself, despite damage to his depositors and creditors. (The bank also defaulted on a $236 million loan from Western banks.) In 1999, he moved the location of a Yukos shareholders meeting 160 miles from Moscow without advance notice to minority stockholders, keeping them from voting against the sale of Yukos's assets to an offshore company. That same year, he prepared a large issue of new shares that diluted the stake of American investor Kenneth Dart, who claimed Khodorkovsky defrauded him of millions of dollars.

Just more of that 'transparency' that the BBC piece mentions. Western style transparency.

So how does Khodorkovsky take care of his poor image, dubious business practices, the scamming of Yukos shareholders and the damage to his creditors and his depositors, despite protecting himself? How does he rectify his thieving ways?

He hires a PR firm!! I kid you not.

Khodorkovsky hired a Washington, D.C., public relations firm, and he is presenting himself as a crusader for stockholder and investor rights. Khodorkovsky donated $1 million of Yukos profits to the U.S. Library of Congress, and he set up the Open Russian Foundation, with Henry Kissinger.

Can it get any better then that?! Hire a PR firm and hook up with the war criminal Kissinger!!
Truth, truly is stranger then fiction.

Some more on this poor put upon fellow, who only wants to crusade for stockholder and investor rights and operate his business in a transparent fashion. (Yes, I am being completely facetious)

Khodorkovsky was one of the main beneficiaries of the "piratisation of Russia" when some of the juiciest state assets, including oil and metals, were sold for a song to Kremlin-connected businessmen.-

Recall yesterday, I noted that Khodorkovsky served in the corrupt Yeltsin government.

The sell-off of state assets by the Yeltsin regime marked the beginning of what may well be the most massive robbery of a state in history. Khodorkovsky and a handful of other Russian "oligarchs" came to control the country's vast natural resources but contributed precious little to the state budget. Private oil majors paid between 5 and 14 per cent in profit tax instead of the statutory 35 per cent, by resorting to various tax-evasion schemes which included transfer pricing, offshore trading and using tax-haven zones inside Russia. Estimates of super-profits washed out of the country in the 1990s vary from $150 to 300 billion.

Under Yeltsin's puppet regime:

Russia's Economics Minister German Gref recalled in an interview that talking about a new oil tax, Khodorkovsky had warned him: "Either you withdraw that law or I'll make sure you're sacked." Had Yeltsin and not Putin been at the helm of power at the time of the conversation, Khodorkovsky would have carried out his threat

But there was no need to have him sacked, Yeltsin was such a lackey, such a drunken buffoon. He was not running the country. The country was being run all around him, by bankers and thieves. Ooops, same thing.


Mikhail Khodorkovsky, now in prison, has been accused of money-laundering, among other things. Menatep was implicated in the diversion of US$4. 8 billion in IMF funds lent to Russia in 1998: this gave rise to the Kremlingate.

Menatep Bank has also been accused by French journalist Denis Robert of having opened a non-published Cedel (predecessor to Clearstream) after Clearstream CEO André Lussi visited Khodorkovsky in Moscow.

"Menatep further violated the rules because many transfers were of cash, not for settlement of securities., "For the three months in 1997 for which I hold microfiches Ernest Backes says, only cash transfers were transferred through the Menatep account. There were a lot of transfers between Menatep and the Bank of New York"

Natasha Gurfinkel Kagalovsky, a former Bank of New York official and the wife of Menatep vice president, was accused of helping launder at least US$7 billion from Russia, according to Komisar. US investigators have attempted to find out if some of the laundered money originated with Menatep. Furthermore, even though Menatep officially failed in 1998, though it oddly remained on Clearstream accounts for the year 2000. (The links in this bit came from the above article, you may find them interesting or not)

The point of this info is to demonstrate that Khodorkovsky was clearly up to something. And it was not transparency he was going for!

And maybe.... I better give it a break even though I have enough info for another part.


  1. Good reporting Penny.

    You haaad to see this one coming...


    Our modern day ministry of truth is a real disgrace.

  2. Great work, Pen. Keep going.

    Behind all this, I believe, lies the understanding of what is going on in Russia today; specifically the differences in policy between Putin and Medvedev and who is pulling whose strings.

    Just an historical note which might be of interest, early last century, the Rothschilds had extensive oil interests throughout Russia but sold them cheaply to Royal Dutch Shell (which surprised people in the industry at the time) in exchange for shares in Shell just prior to the Russian Revolution. Lucky or what?!

  3. hey anonymous:

    I checked that out, and left a comment.

    Will it get censored by the heavy hand at the CBC??

  4. Hey James, I have more already bookmarked, but, I really felt the post would go too long if I put it all in one piece.

    "Just an historical note which might be of interest, early last century, the Rothschilds had extensive oil interests throughout Russia but sold them cheaply to Royal Dutch Shell (which surprised people in the industry at the time) in exchange for shares in Shell just prior to the Russian Revolution. Lucky or what?!"

    Yeah, lucky.Or something like that??
    Reminds one of the Rothschild market collapse, was that in britian??

  5. And Russia is rewarded by the rest of the world: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/fifa-russia-qatar/ - Incomprehensible.

  6. "And Russia is rewarded by the rest of the world"

    Sorry, I do not comprehend where it is your coming from?

    Regarding Khodorkovsky, the world is condemning them, and shouldn't be.

    If you think the west is more "free" then Russia, you haven't been paying attention.

  7. The heavy censorship hand at the CBC is highly advanced and never sleeps.

    I took an interest in comment 'moderation' while I was a regular at Huffpost years ago. Their censorship was legendary, and you could see it evolve or 'adapt' over the years.
    Adaptive Semantics is the industry leader in Orwellian censorship and perception management for big sites. Huffpost was so impressed, they bought the company. Oy vey!

    Key words to kill a comment can be put on any story, or even on certain commenters. Tracking IP addresses, automatically parking comments from known trouble makers/truth tellers and even red flags to alert in house trolls to respond, are all commonplace. More complex devious services are worked out in private.

    CBC is in true fascist style also contracting out the important censorship role to private business. This outfit from Winnipeg is tasked with censoring truth telling Canadians, and it also does 'issue control' for a who's who of multinational companies.
    So if a big pharma story or big oil story is up on cbc and the comments, thumbs up etc. make no sense, just thank the maggots at ICUC who suck up your tax dollars and censor your words.


  8. And that billion dollar "import/export business"?? What exactly was that about? What was being imported and exported?

    Uhh, let me guess...

    Illegal drugs; slaves and women kidnapped from around the world, but mostly E. Europe--since the Khazars have a fondness for leggy blondes--human organs stolen from kidnapped, then murdered Palestinians and weapons?

  9. Hey anonymous:

    I left two comments there, neither one of them got through.

    Innocuous, factual, mostly quoted from Frontline, thinking that should be the easiest to get through, but no way, no how.

  10. Hey Greg:

    I had to mention that part, because it was left intentionally vague.

    If I had to pick on of so many options, I would go with weapons and drugs

    Because I think he would have fomented a "freedom fighting" group within Russia.

    Of course, there are so many choices.