A staggering 35 percent of household wealth in Russia is owned by just 110 people, the highest level of inequality in the world barring a few small Caribbean islands, a report by a major investment bank says. By contrast, billionaires worldwide account for just 1-2 percent of total wealth, Credit Suisse said in its report published Wednesday. Russia has one billionaire for every $11 billion in wealth while in the rest of the world there is one for every $170 billion.
The above report, from the Associated Press, lays bare the myth that Vladimir Putin is serving the interests of the people of Russia. Instead, the report makes clear, Putin is serving the interests of a tiny group of oligarchs, despite being brought to power to cleanse Russia of oligarchs. When Putin attacked men like Berezovsky and Gusinsky, he was not doing so like Robin Hood to return looted billions to the Russian people. Rather, he was simply transferring assets to oligarchs who were more friendly to him and his desire to restore a neo-Soviet state in Russia. Putin’s Russia is not a nation, it is a Ponzi scheme.
And where has this paradise of corruption led Russia as a nation? It stands on the precipice of a double-dip recession, mired in neo-Soviet stagnation. It does not innovate, and its level of production is a pathetic, laughable 40% of the average achieved by the Fortune 500 corporations. Instead of weaning itself off dependence on oil, under Putin’s leadership Russia’s addict-like dependence has only become stronger.