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June 23, 2004 by AK

The NYT and WaPo are no longer interested,

but Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former CEO and the current majority shareholder in YUKOS, is still in jail as his trial begins. The more I think of his case the stronger I believe that Putin got mad at Khodorkovsky not so much for financing any particular party, right or left, but for daring to finance parties, schools, NGOs without seeking the Kremlin’s consent. Openly acting against Putin’s will would infuriate the little man less than ignoring him altogether. Putin clearly wants the Kremlin to ‘coordinate’ all public life.

As for ownership issues and YUKOS’s offer to dilute its shareholders in favor of the government to pay off its alleged tax liabilities, the meaning of ownership and control in emerging markets deserves a separate entry.


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