Hedge fund honcho Bill Browder was once the largest foreign investor in Russia--especially active early in President Vladimir Putin's reign. Asked recently to estimate Putin's current wealth, Browder told CNN: "I believe it's $200 billion." (Bill Gates, widely considered the world's richest man, is said to be worth near $80 billion.)
Putin's early years saw a Russia in massive, lightning fast transition. The country was a powerhouse of newly liberated financial gluttony, cronyism (around Putin), and corruption--driven by oil wealth. (In the six years leading up to 2007, Russia GDP grew 600%.) Putin's power has been unchecked--he controlled the police and the military--and he has been able to keep huge amounts of money for himself. Browder claims he was ulimately pushed out by Putin--and his lawyer killed--because he threatened Putin's crooked enterprises. For more check out Karen Dawisha's book Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?
[Try The All-NEW Amazon Echo Dot]