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Picture 2

Picture 2
Based on solid evidence, CIA has high confidence Russian hacks were intended to help Trump win.

Dec 22, 2014

Putin at a "Goodfellas" Moment?

I am hoping that Putin is approaching a "Goodfellas" moment with his oligarchs. Putin's Ukrainian adventures have brought unwanted heat from the West on the enterprises of kleptocratic Russia. All of Russia's big companies have a lot of short term debt they will find almost impossible to refinance due to sanctions and falling oil and natural gas prices. If the oligarch's companies can't refinance, they will default on the loans and won't be able to do business in the West because any assets they have there or send there will be attached to pay what they owe. It's even possible that the oligarchs' personal assets could be seized to pay their companies' debts as part of future sanctions. In 1999, the corruption charges against the government threatened the oligarchs and Putin's Chechen War helped them avoid trouble. This time, the sanctions and falling oil and natural gas prices threaten the oligarchs, and the Ukraine War made things worse. Analyzing it like a crime family would, the oligarchs may decide it's time for Putin to end up floating in the Volga river.