Putin Bails Out Tycoons

Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska is back from the brink of financial ruin due in large part to bailouts from the Kremlin and a deal postponing repayment of $7 billion in foreign loans. Deripaska also took his aluminum business UC Rusal public—and a bank chaired by Vladimir Putin is shaping up to be a primary shareholder. The Wall Street Journal says the deal is a prime example of the mutually beneficial relationship between Russian business interests and the government. In spite of worries that Russia’s government would overpower business tycoons in the wake of the financial crisis, leaders like Putin have worked to protect oligarchs' business interests and therefore prevent layoffs in major companies. Like other business leaders, Deripaska is rumored to have close access to Putin. In spite of frequent public criticism of big business, a source from Rusal claims that Putin “needs there to be a multiplicity of oligarchs for him to keep power.”