Good Russian oligarchs: they invest their billions on real estate in Europe and North America and/or keep their billions in Western banks, which helps keeping those financial institutions afloat (in other words, generating the spiraling profits needed to continue paying mega bonuses to their executives until the next crash and taxpayer bailout). Spending a great deal of time on their European villas or North American mansions also helps. Hence, Stephen Moss from The Guardian ponders ‘Why are rich Russians so obsessed with buying up London property?’ (read the story) while Andrey Goncharenko snaps up Britain’s most expensive house for £120m (read the story)
Bad Russian oligarchs: they keep their billions at home and/or financial heavens not controlled by Western financial institutions. They do not tend to own American or European-made mega yachts and do not sky in Aspen or Gstaad –Vladimir Putin and Western leaders are outraged by this uncool behavior!
Western economic sanctions apply to bad Russian oligarchs. To good Russian oligarchs, it is and will continue to be business as usual.
If a bad Russian oligarch cannot become a good Russian oligarch overnight, he should be sent to Siberia and his billions spread among the good Russian crowd. But it is advisable that a tiny fraction of that money goes to Putin enterprises. This should help, for example, with the arming of the Ukranian separatist rebels who just shot down today July 17, 2014, Flight MH17 of Malaysian Airlines from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing the 280 passengers onboard. Why not destabilize oil-rich Kazakhstan next? Surely, some rebellion of some sort can be engineered there too.
It is thus good to know that Western economic sanctions on Russia are working and that good Russian oligarchs vastly outnumber the bad and uncool type. However, a few good oligarchs will need to become bad ones in order to fund the Kazakhstan campaign. That’s a shame.
Time’s up. I need to go, as the US president and the UK Prime Minister just tweeted their outrage about the terrorist attack on Flight MH17 and promised more economic sanctions on bad Russian oligarchs. Igor Strelkov, a leader of the pro-Russian rebels Donetsky People’s Army who claimed responsibility for this terrorist attack, just read the tweets and will be losing his sleep tonight!