Mikhail Fridman, the head of Alfa Bank, has fallen out with Russian president Vladimir Putin and was banned from Russia altogether at one point, raising the possibility that Putin and the US intelligence community may find common cause in taking down Fridman and other Russian oligarchs or corrupt officials backing Donald Trump.
“Alfa Bank looked up the internet address of the Trump Tower email server a total of 2,820 times during a five month period during the campaign. That’s an average of around once per hour,” suggesting a close cooperation between Alfa Bank and the Trump team.
Fridman is, however, not Putin’s favourite oligarch. He was involved in a controversy revolving around a claim that Russian officials had framed his lawyer for tax fraud, while Russian officials aparently claimed his lawyer had framed them.
A “flexible” character, he has managed to avoid Western sanctions, and has made significant investments abroad also arousing the ire of Putin who wants oligarchs to invest in Russia’s domestic economy.
Fridmann is the largest shareholder in VimpelCom, one of Russia’s largest mobile phone operators, and has an overlapping interest with Robert Mercer, another shareholder of Vimpel in data analytics services.
The prominence of Fridman in Trump’s campaign may open the door to US authorities to cooperate with Putin in investigating the extent of oligarch’s influence on Trump.
Putin may be able to supply bank documents etc about loans by Russian banks to Trump.
He may be surprisingly willing to topple the backers of Trump as these also seem to be among Putin’s foes.
In fact, Putin’s last wish may well be to see the bankster clique gain control of the US presidency and use that power to oust him.
Putin is in conflict with Russia’s private central bank, Bank Rossii, which was founded in 1990 by the neo cons and which is a member of the Bank of International Settlements in Basel.
Like the US Federal Reserve, Bank Rossii is a privately owned company, which has the exclusive right to issue banking licenses and print Roubles i.e. to control the entire Russian economy.
After sanctions were imposed, the Russian central bank hiked interest rates three times to reach 17 per cent in 2014 allegedly to stop the collapse of the value of the Rouble. Although the Rouble has since stablised, the interest rate of the central bank is still over 10% crushing the real economy and investments.
According to William Engdahl a debate has been taking place in Putin’s inner circles about whether to renationalise the central bank to provide the money to rebuild the Russian economcy and infrastructure in a campaign of “Buy Russian, Hire Russian.”
Putin belongs to the “nationalist” flank and wants to see Russia economically strong, rather than the banks, although the Panama Papers suggests he launders a lot of money in the West too.
In 2014, Russia bypassed the central bank and started to issue something similar to John F Kennedy’s Treasury bonds, but is backed by the Russian state and savers.
The bonds issued by an Industry Development Fund are to provide the money to grow companies and the real economy.
The bonds are being be sold to citizens directly and not to private banks, charging high interest.
Their maturity is 5, 10, 20, and 30 years and the bonds offer relatively attractive interest rates of 6 to 8 per cent provided inflation is kept under control.
At any rate, Putin and CIA and FBI might find surprisingly common ground in wanting to take down the Fridman clique supporting Trump and renationalizing their central banks.