September 29, 2005

What a difference a friend makes

Today, Roman Abramovich is $13 billion richer, thanks to a lucrative sell-off of his oil company, Sibneft. The very fine linked Bloomberg article contrasts Abramovich's fate nicely with that of Mikhail Khodorokovsky, a similarly enriched oil magnate and oligarch, but one who did not play by "the rules."

Moral of the story: it pays to have friends in high places in Russia. Well, only if, instead of sitting in a Moscow prison cell, you would rather be governor of a massive, reindeer-infested province, and be the richest Russian alive.

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