Foreign Investor Banned from Russia

Interesting story out of Russia today, where the CEO of Hermitage, Russia’s biggest foreign investor, has been banned from entering Russia. William Browder was known for his outspoken support of Russian neo-monarch Vladimir Putin, including Putin’s persecution of former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a campaign that wasn’t particularly popular among most foreign investors.

But, as frequently occurs in Russia these days, Browder aparently cultivated ill will from someone who’s "connected" and now he’s been absurdly banned from Russia as a security threat, despite raising billions of dollars for the Russsian capital markets.

Why read Kafka, when you can read the Russian news?

Meanwhile, next door in Belarus, thug-in-chief Alexander Lukashenko has manufactured another fraudulent election victory. The opposition is trying to mount a protest campaign, but my guess is that Lukashenko is going to send the riot police in very soon — either today or tomorrow — to keep events from snowballing into another colored revolution. Unfortunately, Lukashenko has a rock-solid grip on the security services, and it’s hard to imagine him going the way of Shevardnadze or Yanukovych. If he’s going to go, he’ll likely have to go the way of Ceausescu.