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Vladimir Putin's Ex-Hedge Fund Buddy Pens Memoir

"When the Russian government turns on you, it doesn’t do so mildly."
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Available at fine bookstores everywhere.

It’s been 10 years since the Russian president decided he didn’t want hedge-fund manager William Browder around anymore—before he changed his mind and asked Interpol to have him arrested and returned to him for what would have undoubtedly been a fair and impartial trial featuring Browder in a cage. Perhaps to mark that anniversary, and/or to revive interest in a story that has taken something of a back page to Browder’s former ally’s more recent—and, frankly, more spectacular—efforts vis-a-vis the Ukraine, the Hermitage Capital founder has written a book. The tome recounts Browder’s prodigal son days, the fun of making hundreds of millions of dollars on the backs of the degraded residents of the former Soviet empire, and the perils of dealing with a certain former KGB agent, which perils include the seizure of many millions of dollars, probably bogus tax-evasion charges and, oh yea, the torture to death of your lawyer.

“For those who don’t know, the sensation of finding a ‘ten-bagger’ is the financial equivalent of smoking crack cocaine,” he writes in “Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice.” “Once you’ve done it, you want to repeat it over and over and over as many times as you can….”

Mr. Browder admits to a fatal miscalculation. He assumed that his foreign citizenship made him untouchable. In fact, he was living on borrowed time. When Vladimir V. Putin was intent on reining in the oligarchs, his interests and Mr. Browder’s coincided. But at a certain point, they did not….

“When the Russian government turns on you, it doesn’t do so mildly — it does so with extreme prejudice,” Mr. Browder notes ruefully.

To Russia, With Capitalist Ambitions [NYT]


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