6th February 2017
RED NOTICE – Bill Browder
I almost didn't read this, believing that my almost total ignorance of international high finance and hedge funds would make it unintelligible to me. Luckily I was persuaded and found I couldn't put it down. Bill Browder was a financial chancer with an eye for a deal. He founded a hedge fund to invest in drastically undervalued companies as Russia 'privatised' state assets in the early 1990s and amassed a fortune. Eventually, however, he made serious enemies among corrupt state officials and the emerging oligarchs who believed they were entitled to help themselves to a share of anything he made. He was forced to flee, taking a number of associates to safety with him. However his attorney, Sergei Magnitsky, refused to leave, believing that as he was innocent of any wrongdoing he would be safe. Sadly, his loyalty was misplaced and he was arrested, tortured and finally beaten to death. Since then, Browder has become an ardent campaigner to expose Russia's endemic corruption and human-rights abuses.
The book reads like a riveting thriller with an amazing cast of characters from his rabidly anti-capitalist academic family, to international financial movers and shakers and sinister government officials.