July 28, 2018

Just a thought: What if Trump and Putin are co-owners of one of more businesses?

Sam Smith - The extreme secrecy of both Trump and Putin about the distribution of their wealth raises an interesting question that has gotten virtually no attention: what if these two extremely wealthy and authoritarian global figures also share ownership in one or more businesses? Or if Trump owes money to a Putin business?

There is no evidence of this but, at the same time, given the extent of both men's investments, no reason why it might not be true. Could this be why Trump didn't want anyone at his discussion with Putin?

Here are a few stories that provide background for those interested in this matter:

Business Insider - Vladimir Putin very well may be the richest man in the world.

But it's impossible to say for sure. According to the Kremlin , the Russian president earns around $133,000 a year and lives in a small apartment.

That description doesn't jive with most accounts of Putin's lifestyle. Former Russian government adviser Stanislav Belkovsky estimated his fortune is worth $70 billion . Hedge fund manager Bill Browder , a noted critic of Putin, claimed it was more like $200 billion. A fortune that enormous would propel him straight past Amazon founder and richest man in the world Jeff Bezos, who Forbes estimates has $150.2 billion to his name.

So why can't we pin down Putin's net worth with any certainty? The 2015 Panama Papers revealed that Putin may obscure and bolster his fortune through proxies.

He reportedly has access to 20 different palaces and villas.

Time - Figuring out the Russian president’s net worth has long been the holy grail of spooks and hacks around the world. But the personal wealth of Putin—a former KGB agent—is nearly impossible to decipher, and is likely distributed across a secret web of company holdings, real estate, and other people’s accounts. In fact, at a time when his political motivations are under scrutiny across the world, the struggle to pin down Putin’s riches reveals something about the covert ways in which he wields his authority over Russia.

[A] Kremlin source based his estimate on Putin’s alleged stakes in several companies, mostly in the oil sector. He said the Russian president controlled 37% of the oil company Surgutneftegaz, 4.5% of natural gas company Gazprom, and had substantial holdings in a commodities trader called Gunvor.


Anonymous said...

Makes perfect sense to me. They appear much to allied not to be co-investors or partners where both conceal their actual holding through others.

Anonymous said...

"The extreme secrecy of Trump..." Are you kidding me? Is there anyone more public in his dealings - by design to build his brand?

Contrast that to the last president - the mystery man with all the sealed records that for all his flamboyance no one can ever remember.

And then there's that first gig fresh out of college at Business International, a well-known CIA front company...

KZeese said...

Sounds like no one knows Putin's wealth so US commentators say he is the richest man in the world without proof. Is this journalism? Write a conclusion without facts?