Measuring Russian Risk

Wall Street Journal

Bill Browder’s Feb. 24 op-ed, “Sergei Magnitsky and the Rule of Law in Russia,” notes Moscow’s attempts to reassure Western investors of Russia’s openness and attractiveness.

But this ignores the hard, cruel reality that the Russian state has become—a gangster film from top to bottom. And as in all gangster movies, the spoils are doled out by the dons and the dons are ever-wary of being knocked off themselves.

From such a perspective, the decency of a Sergei Magnitsky is a problem to be solved. And from a prudent investor’s perspective, Russia is a red line of risk that probably should not be tread. Mr. Browder was a pioneer in trying, but his mistake was to be an honest man in a dishonest environment.

There exists no investment model to calculate this risk, since it is measured in life and death.

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