Why Russia Comes Here: The collapse of the Soviet Union, the carnival and demise of the oligarchs

Translated from the Headlines (Toutiao 头条新闻)

Author: Nine Sides Pro(九边Pro)

1 impulsive Russian

Russia is a country. If you learn more about it, it’s hard to dislike it, because this country that is rich in ballets, mathematicians, physicists, vodka, poets, and intercontinental missiles is too dazed. Don’t stop the fire, do everything on impulse, and then think about whether it’s right after doing it.

Let me say a few things. Everyone feels what kind of people are in this country:

First of all, the Russians believe in the Orthodox Church.

The Russians’ own history books say why they wanted to join the Orthodox Church at that time because the Russian upper class was so shocked after witnessing the Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople. It felt as shocked as being struck by lightning, so The whole country joined the Orthodox Church, and it has continued to the present. It was suppressed by Comrade Stalin for a period of time, and now it is restored. Now everyone knows why Catholics are keen to build that kind of miraculous cathedral in hundreds of years.

Now Russia is restoring its religious traditions. The picture below shows the Army Cathedral that was just completed the year before.

Secondly, Russia has a tradition of exile. Just as Britain exiled all prisoners to the American continent and Australia, Russia exiled all prisoners to Siberia for labor reform. Their Siberia is a big prison without a cover. After being exiled to that place, you can’t run far.

Everyone knows that the “Decemberers” don’t? This should be the third most famous group in the history of Russian exile. They are very Russian and full of romanticism.

When a group of young Russian aristocratic officers followed the Tsar to fight Napoleon, after France surrendered to the Russian army and entered Paris, the young officers were shocked by Paris, just like a thunderstorm. They thought France was too cool and Russia was too soil to be able to. Endure, it didn’t take long for the officer corps to rebel. Their goal was to engage in constitutionalism and learn from France. However, due to impulsiveness and rush, the uprising went up without even thinking about the slogan of the uprising. As you can imagine, it was crushed by the Czar a few times, and then all were distributed to Siberia.

There is still a romantic past about the Decembrists. At that time, the noble officers who participated in the coup were exiled. The daughters-in-law of these officers were all the upper-class Russian nobles, and even the daughters of the Russian prime minister were in it. The czar put pressure, saying that if they had to be exiled, they would also go to Siberia with their husband. At that time, it caused a huge sensation in Russia. Everyone was moved and turned their attention to the czar.

Unexpectedly, the czar was very happy, saying that since you are begging and sincere love has moved me very much, then you should accompany your husband to Siberia, and then you will go.

From the beginning of the 19th century to the Russian Revolution, the Tsarist regime exiled more than 1 million prisoners and their families to Siberia east of the Ural Mountains.

And they don’t just exile people, they exile almost everything that looks uncomfortable, which is the kind of brain that is relatively absent in human history.

For example, there was a riot in a village in 1591. After being suppressed by the Tsar, all those involved in the riot were whipped and then exiled to Siberia. Still feeling annoyed, the big bronze bell that convened the people in the village to gather for trouble was also slapped 12 times. In order to let this clock learn a lesson, the Tsarist government then exiled the clock to Siberia.

Three hundred years after this clock was reformed in Siberia, local businessmen jointly petitioned. Everyone agreed that this clock had learned its lesson and had performed well during Siberia. There was no more trouble in Siberia. It was hoped that it would be pardoned by the Tsar. A hundred years was enough for this bell to repent and rehabilitate, so he pardoned this bell, and everyone moved it back.

In addition, the Russians are most talked about. Obviously, they don’t hold grudges, and they take revenge on the spot for everything they do.

The Japanese did a great thing. When Tsarist Russia collapsed, Japan ran to take advantage of the robbery and got 15 tons of gold back to Japan.

Later, after the establishment of the Soviet Union, it repeatedly asked Japan for gold. Japan has never given it. According to the Japanese side, the Soviet negotiator told them that you wait, the Russians never hold grudges, they are all present and they will soon take back what they deserve.
After the end of World War II, the Soviet Union brought 600,000 Japanese laborers from the Northeast to the Soviet Union to work as coolies. They worked for several years before putting them back. The Japanese still believe that the Soviets took their people away because of the 15 tons of gold and used them as coolies. To repay debts, if these coolies are exchanged for gold, they can hold up to 30 tons of gold.

And this country has a unique sentiment towards the czar. It has been 100 years since the czar was shot, but many people still miss the czar, not just ordinary people, but even the greatest intellectuals of their nation.

Everyone knows Solzhenitsyn, the one who wrote “Gulag Islands”, is very representative of the Russians.

Lao Suo couldn’t understand the Soviet Union. At first, he stayed in the Soviet Union and scolded the Soviet Union every day. Later, the Americans felt that Lao Suo was very powerful and sent Lao Suo to the United States to serve as a master. Later, he found himself blind.

It feels like the United States discovered that there is a big stick in China, got him to the United States, issued the Nobel Prize, and asked him to meet the president and spray at the graduation ceremony of Harvard University. I didn’t expect him to oppose the new China. The reason is that the only thing he loves is Daqing, and he misses Puyi every day. The Americans regret that their intestines are blue. In the beginning, they were really blind and sent him back.

After returning to Russia, Lao Suo had a good relationship with Puda, because Puda looked more like a czar in his eyes, and Lao Suo’s infinite nostalgia for Emperor Russia was amazing.

Everyone carefully understands these things and understands the character of the Russians, so that many of the second-forcing things they do will be well understood.

2 Make trouble if you don’t agree

As you all know, the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991.

I found that many people don’t even know what “the disintegration of the Soviet Union” is. Let’s talk about it first.

The Soviet Union is similar to the United States. The full name of the Soviet Union is the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”, which is similar to the “United States of America.” Yes, no-nonsense, the “state” in the United States is “State”, which means country.

A little bit different is that there are 50 states in the United States, rich states and poor states, California with white left, and Alabama, which is full of sticks, Alaska, which is freezing to death, and Florida, which is like spring all year round. State, but there is not a single core state. Of course, in the beginning, the core was actually Virginia. Later, Virginia was so badly mixed that no one would regard him as an onion.

The Soviet Union is different, the core is Russia, and the rest are its satellite countries.

The disintegration of the Soviet Union was similar to that of the American Civil War. It was a group of countries that had been together for 70 years. It was a bit of a “seventy-year itch” and accumulated a lot of contradictions. Interestingly, the Civil War also broke out more than 70 years after the founding of the United States.

But the difference is that the US Federal Government is strong. The Northern Federal Army went south, interrupted the legs of the Southern Bunnies, burned almost all the big cities in the South, and the Southern Rebels handed over their weapons, and everyone went on happily. The Soviet Union was the same. After 70 years of its founding, everyone had their own ghosts, and their friends wanted to run away. However, the Soviet Union had a series of problems at that time and it did not stop everyone, and then it split.

Why didn’t you stop it? Because the Soviet Union faced a lot of troubles before it disintegrated.

The first trouble of the Soviet Union is that people talk about the lack of light industrial products under the planned economic system, especially the lack of popular elements. This problem is very big and has lasted for many years. Many people say that this reason led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, but it is not. This problem has always existed, and it was not the most painful period in 1991. Moreover, it was only after the disintegration of the Soviet Union that the common people realized that the pain of 1991 was nothing short of having a family.

The second trouble for the Soviet Union is that it is in a state of morally “unjust and helpless”. Four of the “United Nations Five Permanent Members” opposed it because he invaded Afghanistan at that time. This sounds troublesome, but the impact is the same, and the door is almost unaffected after being closed. Everyone is scolding you, but you pretend that you can’t hear the impact on your life in the short term. Almost every Internet big Vist’s daily life is being scolded every day.

The above two problems are more serious, but they are far less serious than the third one. If these two problems are chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and hemorrhoids, then the third problem is a knife stuck in the chest.

That is the “oil problem”.

The Soviet Union’s annual expenditure is extremely large. It is a bit like a family who raises a car and a house to raise a bunch of children needs to pay a lot of various expenses every year, and the family is on the verge of bankruptcy if it cannot make ends meet. The Soviet Union was on the verge of bankruptcy at that time. Of course, the United States was not small, and it was about to go bankrupt at that time. The United States developed armaments wildly, and the Vietnam War owed a lot of money to it. In fact, the two of them were competing. Who goes bankrupt first.

The Soviet Union had a killer trick at the time. As it is now, they do not lack oil at home, and they can make a fortune every year by selling oil to the world. This fee can be used to make up for the financial deficit, and it can barely be mixed. Even during the oil crisis in 1973, when oil prices soared and the Soviet Union’s financial resources soared, it even took advantage of the momentum to attack the West.

But in 1986, something big happened. Saudi Arabia and the United States reached an agreement. Oil production increased and oil prices plummeted. The Soviet Union, which was highly dependent on oil trade, immediately fell into financial trouble. , Shunfengche was suddenly banned one day, and you immediately didn’t know how to make up the hole, and even considered firing the nanny and raising a dog.

The economic crisis triggered the intensification of contradictions within the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was short of money and could not buy necessary materials internationally, and domestic materials were short. The people had to wait in long lines.

Nationalists from all countries within the alliance took the opportunity to oppose the alliance, and they all felt that they should be better off alone. The attitude of the common people may be relatively indifferent. It is not a matter of who they live with, but the elites of various countries all want their own people to live their lives. Now that the elites are inciting, everyone wants to leave.

But this is far from the most critical time in the history of the Soviet Union. In the past, the Soviet Union was able to suppress this issue very quickly, but this time it was a bit different.

Because the Russians who are the main body of the alliance don’t want to live together.

The relationship between Russia and its 15 participating countries is very complicated. The 15 participating countries have the feeling that Russia is colonizing them because their countries cannot be completely independent and have to listen to Moscow.

But Russia feels that the 15 countries are supported by Russia. Russian intellectuals complain that the Russians are supporting the alliance and are transfusing blood to make others rich and poor themselves.

I feel at a loss for each other. Look, it’s like a couple living their lives. Once they quarrel, Chen Zhizhi and rotten corn will be turned out, expressing each other’s wasted youth on each other.

At that time, Rasputin, the more famous Russian upper-class intellectuals (not the god-stick Rasputin), said that his sentence was very consistent with the mentality of the Russians at that time. He said that “for the sake of the Russian nation, some border areas can be lost.” The border areas he was talking about were those countries that joined.

So let’s just say that it was a trivial matter that the participating countries wanted to be independent. Russia wanted to be independent. The biggest one in the alliance did not want to pass it. Can this alliance continue? That Yeltsin is a representative figure of Russian nationalists.

Then Poland changed drastically, the two Germany merged, and Hungary became independent. If these things were placed in the first ten years, 100% would be suppressed. This time the alliance basically did not stop them and let them become independent. The reason is not complicated. Russia does not want to support them. NS.

Waiting for the franchise countries to run away, Russia has to get rid of other people and have to pass it alone. Then came the famous scene in which Russian President Yeltsin forced Gorbachev to declare the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Of course, we have gone through this process relatively superficially, and it belongs to one of the aspects. The specific process is extremely complicated, and even feeds a bunch of experts. The length of the article is limited, and we can only talk about it to this point.

One more thing, in the Obama era, the United States once again played an operation to increase oil production with Saudi Arabia in the past few years. It wanted to lower oil prices and kill Russia. Now Russia is composed of 22 autonomous republics, so it is also called the “Russian Federation”. In theory, You can also disintegrate once. Moreover, in the past few years, the United States has imposed sanctions on Russia more than 60 times in order to achieve it in one step, but it did not have any effect. The scene has completely changed. The purebred Russians are very resistant to pressure, and the more pressure they are, the stronger their combat effectiveness.

As for the Star Wars plan or something, fooling children, children can’t understand too complicated things, so they made up a simple logic. No one in seriousness takes that thing seriously, just listen to it.

3 A young man came to the office

There is one thing I saw that many authors didn’t understand and wrote there, understanding the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the reform of private ownership as one thing, thinking that it was for the sake of private ownership that the Soviet Union was not needed. In fact, it is not. These are two things.

In the later period of the Soviet Union, it had actually realized that there was a problem with its own economic model, and it was also engaged in market reforms of that kind.

Many people have not noticed this. Market reform was not started after the Soviet Union was over. It was already in progress when the Soviet Union was still alive. In 1988, the Soviet Union passed the “Individual Labor Activities Law” and the “Cooperative Law”. From this time on, private enterprises became legal.

The later oligarchs started to do business during this period and made a lot of money by damaging the public and gaining private interests.

For example, Friedman, one of the famous “seven oligarchs”, was making the price difference by dumping computers from abroad to the Soviet Union. In the Soviet Union at that time, the prerequisite for doing business was to have a good relationship with officials. Friedman accumulated a large number of contacts in the Soviet government in the process of doing business.

Let’s put it this way, the well-known Russian oligarchs, have completed the accumulation of the first pot of gold in the Soviet era.

However, the oligarchs at that time had not yet become pests. If there were no subsequent radical reforms, these oligarchs would have no accidents in their lives, just like those in the early days of our country, and they would go all out for the construction of Russia. Most of them would be followed by waves. The wave was photographed on the beach during the economic tide, and a few will stand out.

But the bad thing is that the Russians are eager for quick success and instant gain, and it is implemented in specific individuals. This person is the legendary Gaidar.

This Gaidar was chubby, short, and bald, like a cook. Almost no one could associate him with the most powerful person in Russia at the time. In fact, before November 5, 1991, this Huo is still an economist, daydreamer, keyboard man, the most passionate proponent of capitalism in all of Russia, and if left now, he is a Weibo economist.

This man was born in the upper class of the Soviet Union, so he often went abroad with his parents since he was a child. By the way, he learned a lot of Western economics. I don’t know when he became a believer in the market economy.

Beginning in 1986, he deliberately or unintentionally created a gadget that affected Russian history. At that time, a group of young scholars who yearned for the market economy like him slowly came together. They frequently organized seminars in a sanatorium called “Snake Mountain” on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. , Gradually formed a loose organization, some books called them “Snake Mountain Conference”, but they called themselves “Youth Reformists”, a bit like the current Weibo fan group, often holding offline gatherings.

In fact, if you observe carefully, you can find that this group of people is almost the same as the “Decembrists” mentioned in the previous article. The Decemberists were born in the tsarist nobles, and this group was born in the children of high-ranking Soviet cadres; December; After the party members went to France and came back, they felt a little abnormal, and wanted to initiate a coup to change the backward Tsarist Russia system in one step. The young reformers have learned some Western concepts and are ready to engage in radical therapy in their own country. The same anxiousness, the same desire to be in place in one step, the same impractical, and the same no good end.

But the final result is not very similar. Although the Decembrists were exiled, they were written as poems by poets and sung everywhere, labeled as “resisting tyranny.” The young reformers were nailed to the pillar of disgrace in Russia and became a model for literati who misled the country.

How bad was the reputation of the young reformers afterward? One of the core figures in them is Chubais, the spiritual leader of the young reformers is Gydar, and the actual trader is Chubais. After entering the new millennium, Chubais has voted the second most inexcusable Russian. Personally, the first is Hitler. He has red hair. Since him, there has been almost no red-haired politician in Russian politics, because everyone can’t help but curse when they see red hair. Maybe everyone thinks his hair is yellow, but in foreign countries, this color is called red hair.

It stands to reason that these scholars did not have any chance, but it was a coincidence that gave them a stage. In the years when the Soviet Union was about to collapse, they had been working as editors for a very important newspaper at the time, and they had a very heavy discourse power every day. He preached there and talked about the various benefits of the market economy, and the whole country gradually became aware of this group of people. Many people have also become their clusters. They feel that the best thing on this planet is the market. As long as there is a market, there will be everything.

Everyone can see that in addition to the Orthodox Church, some people in Russia also believe in the “market religion.”

Gaidar’s logic is not wrong. The market is indeed very important. my country started to reform the market economy to become rich. However, the group of them overlooked a common-sense problem: the logic is right, it’s useless, and it’s just like a mallet if you understand the truth. The real world has friction and resistance, and there are pits everywhere. Those inferences on paper will eventually be implemented into reality, and the difficulty suddenly rises by dozens of orders of magnitude. Let me give you an example.

Now even ordinary college students know the principle of internal combustion engines, but there are only a few companies in the world that can build qualified internal combustion engines, and they all make high profits through this monopoly advantage. Even if you are envious, you can only do it. Stare, you can’t say that you understand the principle of the engine and then build an engine.

There are also guns. The principle of this thing is even simpler. The university students in the 1960s were metropolises. But in practice, there are only a few countries that can produce qualified rifles, because every component is like a mountain behind. Industrial accumulation, it took more than two hundred years for the barrel to overcome thermal expansion and contraction without deformation. As for how to overcome the problem of bullet jamming and blasting, it has not yet been completely resolved.

The market is the same. The first step is always to provide order, otherwise, there will be triads and oligarchs everywhere, and there is no way to engage in the market, similar to Brazil. There are no weak governments in the world’s economically well-developed big countries. This may be different from what is said in economics textbooks. In fact, it is easy to understand. Economics textbooks assume that there is no friction in the world, and it is also assumed to be the same as junior high school physics. “Absolutely smooth, regardless of air resistance.” When I arrived in the field of engineering, I found that most of the work was against friction, air resistance and gravity. Theories that didn’t consider friction was hooliganism.

Secondly, laws and regulations must also keep up. The market economy will inevitably be accompanied by countless disputes. It is also decisive who will resolve and how to resolve it. Otherwise, many complex transactions cannot be carried out at all, and the contract must be honored. If the other party does not What to do with cashing out? Should the money owed be repaid when it is due? What if they don’t pay it back? And how to define property rights? How to write the contract? Commercial powers are big legal powers. The more developed the commerce is, the more developed the legal system will be. Otherwise, if a dispute arises between you two, the judge will not understand what you are up to. How can you make a ruling?

Back in 1991, the youth reformers obviously thought about such issues to the same degree as those young people who studied economics now. After reading a copy of “Milk Coke Economics”, they felt that everything on this earth The truth has been harvested by myself and reading a book of “The Road to Serfdom”, I feel that I can be a prophet and go out to preach.

Without Yeltsin, the young people of the youth reformists would basically spend their lives in intense discussions like the bloggers on the Jagged Forum in my country, but who could have imagined that Comrade Yeltsin would really use the blood of a group of Jagged Forums. The young people are the designers of the Russian economy.

Yeltsin was at a loss when he became the Russian president. He didn’t know where to start. Later, I heard that Bolivia did a good job at the suggestion of economist Sachs.

If he knew that Bolivia’s economy had no choice but to look at it for a few years, and then it would have been rotten to the bottom, with the reputation of “South American beggar country”, South America is so rotten, and Bolivia turned out to be a South American beggar, you know how good Sax’s work is, but By the time Yeltsin realized this, Russia had fallen into the pit. He should cry and faint in the toilet.

The turning point in the life of the young reformers was November 5, 1991. It was a cold winter day. A call from the Kremlin said, Comrade Gaidar, you will be Yeltsin’s top economic adviser.

Xiao Guy put on the most handsome suit, combed his hair into the appearance of an adult, and parked under the gray building of the former Soviet Union’s Planning and Economic Commission in a Mercedes-Benz bulletproof car, becoming Russia’s economic czar. What everyone feels about him is that this fat man wants to save Russia and save Russia from the gloom of the planned economy.

At that time, there were two plans. One of them was to take your time as if you were driving a ship, and connect to the global market little by little. If there is a problem, you can solve the problem. If you have a problem, you will quickly adjust and make adjustments. Continue to come. At that time, China had been reforming for more than ten years, and it was very effective, and it was still possible to learn. But we have said so much in the previous article. If you say “take it slowly” to the Russians, it is almost the same as insulting their whole family. With the violent temper of the Russians, can they have the patience to take it slowly?

The other plan is what we saw later. At that time, the Russians thought that if they do it slowly, they have to do it when they do it. Since the market economy is right, then they must do it in one step and put Russia in place. All the things left by the Soviet Union on the territory were shoveled away, and then the market was built on the cleaned foundation. This radical approach is called “shock therapy.”

Later, there was a Russian joke, which said:

“Comrade Vasily, is shock therapy a science?”

“Of course not. If it’s science, they will do experiments on pigs first.”

Yes, this unprecedented bold plan was implemented directly in Russia without being tested on pigs.

4 Oligarchs come out

This reform has cast a haze from the very beginning.

Do you remember that Trump was cheated by his own people before?

The content of the phone call made by Uncle Chuan’s national security adviser Flynn and the Russians was recorded by the US intelligence agency, and then anonymously sent to the media through several channels for exposure. Public opinion was upset, and then the president’s cronies stepped down sadly. Trump was furious, saying that someone was engaged in a conspiracy and that he wanted to thoroughly investigate the matter, and then there was no more information, even a ghost was not found. Uncle Chuan was also powerless to do this, and the matter was over.

Through this, everyone has a good understanding of how power works. Power is not delivered through robots. It is implemented through layers of bureaucrats. There are friction and stickiness. If the policy purpose is consistent with the will of the bureaucrats. If they are consistent, things often go smoothly. If they are inconsistent, they will try their best to stumble you, mess things up, and then the leader assumes responsibility. Emperor Chongzhen has a deep understanding of this matter. This is not only the case for the government, but also for large companies. In fact, there is not much difference between giant companies and the government.

The young reformers in 1991 also ran into this trouble. The first problem they faced after they came to power turned out to be that the appointment and dismissal letter issued to them by Yeltsin could not be found.

At that time, Gaidar himself was the spiritual leader of their Snake Mountain Conference faction, but he was more like a scholar than a bureaucrat. He let the strong figures in their organization manage the Russian bureaucracy. This required Yeltsin to sign an appointment letter, Yeltsin. After he signed it quickly, the appointment letter could not be found.

At that time, Yeltsin was furious and furious, saying, “What did you say? Lost the decree? Find out immediately. The president’s decree must not be lost!!”

Later, I searched for possible missing places but didn’t find it, so I had to bite the bullet and let the president re-sign one. The president slapped the table, stomped and yelled, and loudly insulted people around him with malicious personal insults and declared that he would be expelled. A certain person in charge (Yeltsin’s daily routine) still signed afterward.

Then this decree was lost again. . . . . .

This incident looked embarrassing, but in fact, it didn’t have a big impact. But from the small to the big, through this matter, you will know where the subsequent reforms can go smoothly.

When Gaidar visited the Czech Republic in 1992, the Czech president told him, “Inflation can be solved easily, but the ultimate fate of Russian capitalism will depend on the political level of your group.” In fact, it is implying that Gaidar’s political level is similar to that of a group of monkeys, but Xiao Gai obviously didn’t take it to heart. No one would admit that he was like a monkey.

What is the political level? It is the skills of commanding and managing bureaucrats and the ability to win popular support. Unfortunately, the Russian leaders at the time did not have the same. If we only talk about economics, these people might be at the level of professors at the time, but if we discuss the practical ability to deal with these problems, this group is a group of high school students.

Gaidar’s logic was “The Soviet Union’s problem is that everyone’s enthusiasm is too low. How to improve everyone’s enthusiasm? All the assets of the country are divided among everyone and turned into private property, so that everyone is responsible for themselves, and everything is fine.”

How does it work?

Gaidar divided one-third of the nation’s assets in the form of 148 million cheques and vouchers, each worth 10,000 rubles, and then distributed them to the common people. Every common people share one. It’s a bit like your company is listed. Everyone. A thousand shares are divided. Of course, the management in the original factory was much more divided. Probably this is the logic, and now the country is given to the people.

Pay attention to everyone. According to Gaidar, the price of one-third of the assets of Russia is 1.48 trillion rubles. The depreciation of the ruble was about the same as waste paper. Later, it was estimated that this value was less than 1% of those assets. In other words, they sold Russia at the “cabbage price.”

But the problem soon emerged because Russia was experiencing severe inflation at that time. This is understandable. The country was in a transitional period, and the physical capital was insufficient. The government again distributed the national assets to the people. The government had no money, so it had no choice but to print. Money is paid to civil servants. Everyone thinks that rubles will become waste paper in the future. As long as they have rubles in their hands, they will spend them and start looting for supplies. Isn’t it the daily inflation of 1600%?

Against this background, everyone has sold the voucher they got at the price of the sesame seed. Everyone is worried that the thing can be exchanged for the sesame seed today, and may not even be exchanged for the sesame seed tomorrow.

At this moment, the vultures entrenched in the sky over Russia suddenly leaned down and attacked these vouchers. These people are the legendary “oligarchs.”

You may be wondering, where did they get the money?

This group of people bought and sold all kinds of scarce materials to make money when they were in the former Soviet Union. In 1992, they were all Big Macs. And several of them were bankers with hands and eyes, such as Khodorkovsky and Potanin. They all had banks behind them, and there were banks behind them. At that time, the United Kingdom and the United States saw it very clearly and knew that this time The fire sale is basically a free gift, and if you buy it, you make a profit. Make every effort to reach a secret agreement with the oligarchs and send funds to the oligarchs. After the oligarchs get the money, they will buy vouchers.

And in the process of reselling, the “oligarchs” hooked up with government officials at all levels. Some of them were high-ranking government officials, such as Potanin, one of the famous “seven oligarchs,” who was the son of a Soviet diplomat and went to school. The school dedicated to training diplomats for the Soviet Union has a complicated relationship between politics and business. The historical positioning of the Seven Oligarchs is a bit like Hu Xueyan. Many people are still studying Lao Hu’s business skills, don’t they even have common sense? He is half an official. He makes money through privileges. You think of him as a businessman, isn’t it crooked and crooked?

Of course, domestic articles generally describe the process mentioned above, thinking that this is the whole process of Russian oligopoly. In fact, this is also simple. The real highlight is actually the “loan-to-share swap” in 1995. This thing was later called the “Faust deal” by the Russians, that is, a deal with the devil. This incident marked the complete oligarchy of Russia.

Everyone knows that the United States has a well-developed debt market. The government can borrow money on the open market if it lacks money. This money exists in the market itself and will not cause inflation. However, there are problems with borrowing too much. Going back to the brink of bankruptcy in 1991.

In 1995, Russia was really unable to bear it, the government had no money, and the Chechen war was raging. It was when the money was flowing like water. At that time, there were two options. The government could print money to pay for the war and other expenses, but there will definitely be large-scale inflation, and it is very dangerous because of the inflammable and explosive nature of the Russian people.

Or loan to the chaebol, but the price offered by the chaebol is: the government gives up all the shares in those mineral and oil companies and resells them. This is called a “loan swap”. The chaebol provides loans and the government surrenders the shares.

In other words, the chaebol is eyeing the remaining 2/3 of Russia’s assets.

At that time, no one in the world could believe that the Russian government could accept this operation. It was unbelievable. The feeling was as exaggerated as someone was lending money to the U.S. government on the condition that they would buy control of the U.S. Navy.

But everyone completely ignored a big problem. It was already 1995 and Russia would have a general election in 1996. However, since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the Russian people have been in dire straits, and their living standards have not even reached half of the Soviet era. The people have begun to miss the Soviet Union. Against this background, the probability of the Russian Communist Party coming back to power has far surpassed Yeltsin. Even Soros has repeatedly warned the Russian oligarchs to prepare an exiled plane ticket as early as possible, pack their luggage, and prepare to run away at any time.

In order to block the Russian Communist Party, Yeltsin’s staff, the youth reformers we just mentioned, gave Yeltsin an idea, saying that the agreement should be signed first. As long as the oligarchs guarantee their support for us, there is hope. The oligarchs control almost all the media in Russia. If the oligarchs are willing to work hard, the Russian Communist Party will not even want to show its face on TV and in newspapers. Yeltsin agreed after careful consideration.

Now everyone knows why this agreement is called the “Faust Agreement”. From the day the agreement is signed, the oligarchs will be completely overwhelmed and become the real czars of Russia.

The first half of this story is a bit like those early days in our country. In fact, many companies in our country started from bad fathers. For example, Lian Mou thought, Hua Mouwei. When it was first established, they started by reselling foreign equipment, and then embarked on their own research and development. the road.

If Russia hadn’t had this big toss, these bad guys in the Soviet Union would probably develop into Russian national entrepreneurs in the future. However, after this big sale, these people suddenly changed from merchants to rentiers, sitting on countless mines and Oilfields, since they can lie down and make money, how can they think of ways to innovate and make businesses to make that kind of hard money?

In addition, in order to maintain their status, they have continued to collude with the government, and the entire Russian government has been miserable. The level of corruption in Russia is the highest in the world. In this state, the business environment is also extremely bad, and the laws are in vain. “Effective market.”

This is in response to what Braudel said. Before studying this period of Russian history, I didn’t understand it too much. He said, “Capital and the market are mutually devouring relations. If capital has an advantage, he will collude with the government and create volatility. , Anyway, there is no longer a fair market from now on.”

In the subsequent general elections, because the oligarchs controlled almost all the media and newspapers in Russia, they frantically vilified the Russian Communist Party every day, aroused the painful memory of the people of the Soviet Union, and finally sent Yeltsin to the Kremlin again. Politics and chaebols are completely bound.

At that time, a European newspaper drew a cartoon showing Yeltsin looking in a mirror, but Bezolev, one of the “seven oligarchs” appeared in the mirror, wearing a tsarist gown and a crown on his head.

5 Dynasty ends

It stands to reason that the status of the seven oligarchs in Russia is unshakable. They have the resources of half of the country and are supported by more than 80% of government officials. They are more glamorous than the president. The only difference from the president is that they do not need to assume the responsibilities of the president. There is a sentence above:

The general manager, prostitutes and scapegoats are all replaceable, and the wealth of the bosses is not allowed to be moved!

Berezovsky, one of the seven oligarchs, once said:

If I want, I can let a monkey be the president.

If we go back to the turn of the century in 1999, everyone will indeed feel that they will continue to mix and no one can pose a threat to them. But on the far horizon, a haze appeared, that is, Putin.

Regarding Putin, we don’t want to say more, you know the reason.

PuDa is a real strong man. He used to be a carpenter and then a KGB. He and Merkel were both intelligence officers. When she was young, Merkel also worked as a spy at the East German Intelligence Ministry Stasi, and Putin was also in the East. Germany has spent almost all of his spying career. They both speak German and Russian. They both have long working and living experiences in East Germany. I don’t know if you noticed it. Every time they are together, they behave embarrassingly. Get close:

In 1999, PuDa was still an unpretentious prime minister. Considering that he was the fifth prime minister that Yeltsin has changed in 17 months, you know how insignificant this position is in Russia. Yeltsin’s health has not been very good in his later years. He was recuperating almost every day. At that time, the international news said: Oh my God, Yeltsin only drank a bottle of vodka today. It seems that he is really very sick.

However, PuDa quickly won the tragic Chechen War with an iron fist, which made the Russians shine. The Russians are a kind of people who are not afraid of sacrifice or pain but are afraid of being wronged. Therefore, they naturally love iron fists, and this is Putin. The reason for being slowly accepted by everyone.

Yeltsin’s health is not good, and he may be troubled by the mess, so he just quit and wants to resign. When he resigned, there was a question of who would take over. At that time, there was a famous oligarch Berezovsky who recommended Putin to take over. If he later knew what to do after Putin came to power, he probably wanted to find a tofu to kill him.

Before Putin came to power, he had an agreement with the Big Seven. Everyone should discuss and move forward together. They would not be accountable or criticized, and they would not interfere with each other. However, the Big Seven treat Putin as an agent or manager.

Unexpectedly, Putin attacked the oligarch as soon as he was firmly seated.

Especially for the Yukos investigation. When I was a child, I saw it on the news every day. The people who impressed Russia most were Yukos and North Ossetia Beslan. Yukos is an important oil company in Russia. Oil production can catch up with the output of a country in Kuwait. This company is controlled by oligarchs, and Putin hopes to nationalize this company.

Whether nationalization is reasonable or not depends on how you understand it. From the perspective of modern private property, this is indeed a bit like robbery, which is equivalent to the state infringing on private property. Of course, the assets in the hands of the chaebols were also illegally obtained by them, and it is impossible to say who violated whom.

From another perspective, this kind of resource type stays in private hands. This stuff does not require any entrepreneurial spirit. They lie down to make money, transfer the money they earn abroad every year, and spend money overseas. In 1997, a British journalist photographed it. A Russian oligarch’s pet dog collar hung a few large diamonds, valued at more than half a million dollars. On the day of the press release, eight homeless people froze to death on the streets of Moscow.

Of course, the dog collar made of diamonds looks dazzling, but it doesn’t cost much money. The real impact is that US companies controlled a large number of shares through the Russian compradors during the privatization of Russia, and they have been drawing blood from it. Russia The most direct effect of the privatization reform in China is to repay all the debts owed by the United States.

This is why Wall Street has a saying: Today, the United States wants to pay back the more than 20 trillion national debts it owes. Unless another superpower is dismembered, it will soon not even be able to pay interest.

If those energy companies are nationalized, they can use the money to rebuild roads for social security, pay civil servants, and so on, benefiting the people across Russia.

Anyway, Putin chose the latter and sent Khodorkovsky, one of the seven oligarchs of Yukos Oil Company, to court. At that time, more than ten years ago, this was a major event. At that time, the whole world was reporting, and the domestic newspapers wrote “Putin wants power or Yukos”. At that time, I naturally couldn’t understand why the impact would be so great. This is Khodorkovsky:

Later, I realized that the oligarchs had formed an alliance long ago. They took the initiative to move the whole body, and the U.S. University took the initiative to attack them. If they counterattack, U.S.A. may also be ousted by them. The Russian prime minister before Putin was an “oligarch.” Bezolev stepped down.

Afterwards, everyone knows that PuDa easily cleaned up these oligarchs, and nothing happened. On the one hand, PuDa was indeed very capable. After the Chechen rebellion was put down, the reputation skyrocketed, and the military and the KGB were established. With the support of the Russian gunmen, all the Russian guns support him. At the same time, he has an advantage: the chaebols are rich in the enemy’s country, and the money is looted, and the Russian people hate them.

Such a comparison does not necessarily mean that Putin is weak. Therefore, Putin’s war against the Seven Oligarchs is equivalent to a people’s war. The seven oligarchs rebelled and discarded their helmets and armor. The Western prediction is the kind of Russian political bigwigs united to attack Putin. The matter did not appear. I have said before that the biggest but most easily overlooked force in Russia is the Russian people. The Seven Oligarchs obviously forgot about this.

Then Putin launched a series of lawsuits and sent all these people to court. In fact, after thinking about it, everyone will know that no one in Russia can withstand the investigation, let alone these oligarchs.

Of course, the current Russian political environment is more complicated. It is not as we understand that the general population is the Tsar, one person is less than 10,000 people, and he himself is more like the largest of the new oligarchs, and has the same status as Chairman Chiang. Energy companies have not been fully nationalized either. In short, it is more complicated. Due to space, we won’t talk about it. We will see if we can talk about it in the future.

So far, the seven oligarchs have all ceased:

Gusinski: exile;

Berezovsky: First went into exile, then died in Britain;

Khodorkovsky: first went to jail, then amnesty, now in exile;

Smolensky: The Russian prosecutors withdrew the case, but basically no longer have political power, and now the scale of business can’t keep up with the fraction of the peak period;

Vinogradov: Same as above;

Malkin: exile;

Friedman: The only one who avoided prosecution because he chose to cooperate rather than confront.

6 Ending

He wrote more than 10,000 words eloquently. I am a little sorry that I didn’t dare to let go of the writing in the last section. I don’t know where the boundaries are. I may write more Putin-related content in the future.

After the seven oligarchs, Russia has entered the “new oligarchy era.” In fact, this is normal. Russia has always been like this. It is very difficult to manage. Only people like the tsar, the benevolent father, and the generals can manage the new oligarchs and the old. The biggest difference between the oligarchs is that the income of those oil fields is no longer completely in the hands of private individuals, and part of the revenue is handed over to the finances, so that Russia can survive the US sanctions for so long.

Russia’s greatest heritage left to the world is undoubtedly after that. Governments of various countries are very wary of what economists say, and rarely allow scholars to directly take on important responsibilities, knowing that they often mess things up with passion and conscientious work, often with Normal officials are investigating in their work, and if they are able to be promoted, there will be almost no such thing as Russia or Bolivia where the government directly operates with the prescription of an economist.

If Russia has left us any lesson, it is undoubtedly that “all things must be done slowly”, eager for quick success and quick success, and the pursuit of accomplishing one’s merits almost without exception will not end well.

At the end of the article, I must say that Russia, Libya, Syria and other countries have repeatedly reiterated a truth. Never, never expect that others will hand you in when your country is rotten. They are all vultures, and blood is flowing in the streets. When they came out to rob.

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