I’ve just read Bill Browder’s (c.f. blog 9/7/22) Freezing Order — a memoir of his travails tackling Russian corruption and its paper trails in the West, not least the United States, where a good part of the tainted money ends up. It is a pacey read, and I would strongly recommend it. But it is actually also a story about the complexities of addressing the problem, since highly paid lawyers appear to have no scruples when it comes to serving high paying clients, regardless of the source of their money. Tied into this is the inability of government bureaucracies to act with alacrity when it comes to dealing with complexity. On top of that can be added a degree of political meddling by semi-corrupt Western politicians who are happy to spike efforts to clean up the system if there’s something in it for them—and it’s not just the Trump gang playing this game. A painfully egregious example of the failure of the American judicial system to deal with these issues is examined in detail, where we find complex financial cases ending up in the court of a senile 83-year old judge.
Having said all of which, I will have to read Browder’s first book Red Notice, which I hope will look at his beginnings in the chaotic free for all which was the post-Soviet economy, and where his investment business, Hermitage Capital made its fortune. That enterprise only seems to have hit the rocks when Putin expelled him in 2005.
+I rarely get emails in response to this website. When I do they tend to come from ‘Alexa,’ ‘Tanya’ or similarly named people who claim to be experts at driving custom to my pages. They often (nearly always) refer to their skills at driving people to view my ‘learning content.’ That obviously is a generic term which could mean anything. So I was flattered to get this one a few days ago:
I am William Scott from Atlanta , Enjoyed your site and your wonderful Artworks. am very much interested in the purchase your Art piece for our Anniversary to surprise my wife ,A friend of mine sent me your website and what an inspiration your Arts are beautiful and inspirational, would like to receive further information about your original works you have for sale and your location: ) . regards , William .
This almost suggests that the sender has actually looked at the content of my website. But of course I am suspicious. I doubt anyone would purchase one of my ‘beautiful and inspirational’ artworks for an ‘Anniversary.’ So the email has been deleted. Nevertheless, in the million to one chance that this email is genuine, I invite you, ‘William from Atlanta’ to send me a cheque for $1,000 to me at my postal address (you’ll probably find it somewhere on the internet) and when I’ve cashed it you can let me know all your details and which Artwork you’re interested in. I’ll keep my paying-in book handy. And please tell your friends, they might like to purchase an Artwork too! I’m so flattered . . .
+A new word will shortly be added to the dictionary. This is ‘bothsidism.’ It could be that this first emerged when Donald Trump described both sides in the Charlottesville Black Lives Matter clashes a few years ago as ‘fine people,’ when clearly the violence emanated mainly from one side, that is from the racists. Now, Bothsidism has been applied to the Forde Report on misdoings in the Labour Party during the period of Corbyn’s leadership. It seems both sides were equally to blame, e.g. for weaponising anti-Semitism. But a close reading of the report doesn’t support ‘bothsidism.’ Corbyn may have been wholly useless as an organised, decisive leader of his team, but the other side were well organised and clear in their objectives. Nevertheless, the despised Guardian gave full throat to the bothsidism narrative, and in so doing managed to play down their favourites’ sins.