Did Andrei Shleifer work for the CIA back then?

Most certainly not. Prof. Shleifer could just pick up his phone and call Lawrence Summers to pass on any important info on Russia. But Putin claimed that Anatoly Chubais, when in charge of privatization in the 1990s, had two CIA officers working for him. Back home in the US, the officers were charged, per Putin, with some sort of illegal enrichment.

For what we know, two advisers to the Russian government, Andrei Shleifer and Jonathan Hay, were charged with insider trading using their Chubais connection by the US government in the late 1990s. The charges were dropped in 2000 but the feds went after Harvard and its profs with a massive civil suit.

Shleifer was an innovative, inventive, still relatively young economist in the 1990s. The investigation apparently ended his academic career and cost Harvard lots of money and some prestige, and Summers his post apparently (although I vaguely remember another controversy when he was accused of misogyny).

I also vaguely remember, from personal experience, that Harvard’s endowment traded Russian stocks ca. 1997 via a newly set up but very aggressive Moscow-based investment bank.

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