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May 18, 2005 by AK

Putin and the St. Petersburg chain reaction

When Putin appoints, say, an old pal from St. Petersburg to head a state-owned company, the new CEO brings his own pals to help him run the business; those pals bring in their own buddies, and so on. As a consequence, there are too many cars with St. Petersburg plates in Moscow.

O Fortuna, velut luna statu variabilis! Yesterday, a secretary in a dingy office — now the HR director at a subsidiary of a subsidiary of a state-controlled energy behemoth. Yesterday, a mid-level bureaucrat in the mayor’s administration — today, the helmsman at Gazprom. Yesterday, selling sugar and spice to St. Pete shopkeepers — today, selling equipment to Rosneft and Gazprom.

Personal loyalty — how indispensable are you! Not only in Russia’s bureaucratic jungle but also in those boundless realms of its economy that are founded upon perpetual redistribution of monopoly rents.


4 comments »

  1. Lyndon says:

    Outstanding post. I am laughing out loud. You have found the comedy in a situation which sadly also creates lots of inefficiencies.

  2. Alex(ei) says:

    Thank you. If only Putin’s boys were an exception…

  3. I think its normal, but a very interesting point of view. Will check for licensplates now to discover the hidden structure of Moscow. That would be an interesting research for a communications or business student.

    Wonder how many Texas license plates you’d find in Washington 😉

    Keep up the good work. Greetings.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey, you have a great blog here!

    I have a washington state secretary of state site. It pretty much covers how a lot of us feel in Washington State.

    Come and check it out if you get time.

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