by Joshua Yaffa for Foreign Affairs, May/June 2015
For many who arrived in Moscow in recent decades, the city had an almost narcotic effect. In the vacuum created by the Soviet collapse, unabashed opportunism and a limitless sense of the possible became the closest thing the wounded country had to a collective ideology. There were few consequences and everything was pretend—except, of course, for the massive sums of money. And as long as Russia, after Vladimir Putin took power in 2000, kept up its winking nod toward modernization and democracy, it was easy enough to play along without too much of a drag on your conscience.
The author, Bill Browder, may be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s No. 1 foe. For the past several years the British-American investor has led an international campaign to expose deep corruption and human-rights abuses in Putin’s Russia. His efforts culminated with the 2012 passage of the Magnitisky Act, which forbids “gross abusers” of rights in Russia from banking in or visiting the United States It’s named after Browder’s lawyer Sergei Magnitisky, a whistleblower who was murdered in a Moscow prison in 2009 after uncovering massive Russian government fraud.
Excerpt by Bill Browder for LinkedIn, 15th March 2015
By Ted R. Bromund, The Weekly Standard, 2nd March 2015
By Bill Browder for Random House’s Dead Good Books Newsletter, 20th February 2015
How do you rebel if you’re born into a family of American communists and academics?
By becoming a capitalist.
And what does it take for that capitalist to change his whole life in a second, to abandon business and high-stakes investment for the life of a human rights’ campaigner?
Putting the Bad Guys on Ice
Asset freezes and travel bans are cost-effective tools for punishing human-rights abusers. Why not use them more often?
Op-ed by William Browder for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 19th February 2015
By Adam Sweeting, The Spectator, 21st February 2015
LBC likes to tell us it’s ‘Leading Britain’s Conversation’, though in the case of weekday pre-lunch presenter James O’Brien you’ll have to sit through a series of bombastic monologues from the host before any punters get a word in edgeways. O’Brien knows everything, and he doesn’t mind telling you. Still, I understand that running a talk show is no job for timid introverts who might burst into tears if callers start giving them a hard time. The trick is pretending to listen sympathetically while being ready to drop the guillotine without compunction (after all, these people aren’t your friends, they’re just statistics for the business plan). Anyway, after last Thursday’s programme I could forgive O’Brien a lot, even the number of times he says ‘if you will’, though largely because he’d brought a guest into the studio.
By Jackson Diehl, Washington Post, 15th February 2015
I first met Bill Browder when he came to tell The Post’s editorial board that its criticism of Vladimir Putin was all wrong. It was the early 2000s, and Putin was persecuting independent media and their owners and flattening the republic of Chechnya. Browder, then the head of the largest Western investment fund in Russia, argued that we were missing the fact that Putin was a reformer who was replacing Russia’s post-Soviet chaos with liberal capitalism and the rule of law.
Browder was drastically — and, in the end, tragically — wrong. In 2005, Putin turned on him, and he was banned from Russia. Then his companies were seized and used by corrupt officials to steal $230 million in tax receipts. When a young lawyer hired by Browder exposed the scheme, he was arrested by those same officials and so brutally mistreated that he died in his prison cell.
Extract by Bill Browder for the Mail on Sunday, 8th February 2015
By Bill Alpert, Barron’s, 7th February 2015
The founder of The Hermitage Fund made, lost, and made a fortune investing in Russia. Then he learned the truth about doing business in Moscow.
Bill Browder, a grandson of the onetime leader of the American Communist Party, embraced capitalism and ran the largest hedge fund in Russia—until officials there allegedly took control of his firm in 2007 for the purpose of stealing a quarter of a billion dollars from the Russian treasury. When Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, reported the theft, Magnitsky was arrested by the same officials he’d claimed had stolen the money. After Magnitsky died in prison, Browder turned from hedge-fund hustling to human-rights campaigning, as he describes in his new book, Red Notice. Here, he shares his views on Russia’s current economic and geopolitical plight.
Some call him Vladimir Putin's enemy number one. Bill Browder set up a massively successful investment fund in Russia, then discovered that government officials had ripped him off to the tune of more than $200 million. He left, but one of his lawyers, Sergei Magnitsky, was seized and jailed. And not just jailed, but beaten to death.
Transcription of Interview on PM with Mark Colvin, ABC News Australia, 6th February 2015
By William Browder, Politico, February 3rd 2015
It was 7:45 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2009, when my phone rang. It was my lawyer, Eduard, who had a horrible message to relay: “Bill, Sergei is dead.”
Sergei Magnitsky was one of my lawyers in Russia. He’d been arrested and detained in Moscow for nearly a year after exposing Russian government corruption. I knew that he had been mistreated, but the fact that he’d been killed was beyond my worst nightmare.
By Sam Dale, HFM Week, 5-11th February 2015
Hedge fund manager turned human rights campaigner Bill Browder wanrs that too few managers factor in physical risk alongside financial calculations
Bill Browder has been talking for almost half an hour about an ordeal that has turned him from high-profile hedge fund manager to human rights activist. In an interview with HFMWeek, the 50-year-old American-born British citizen explains how he has become, in his view, one of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s biggest enemies.
by Julia LaRoche, Business Insider, 3rd February 2015
Hedge fund manager William "Bill" Browder was once the largest foreign investor in Russia, making his investors piles of money, but if he had to do it all over again, he never would have entered the country in the first place.
"I now understand how completely naive I was to think that as a foreigner I was somehow immune to the barbarity of the Russian system," Browder said.
Moneyweek, 2nd February 2015
Bill Browder’s chilling memoir is anything but fantasy
Much of Bill Browder’s new book, Red Notice, “reads like a detective novel”, says Luke Harding in The Guardian. But while stranger than fiction in many parts, his chilling memoir is anything but fantasy. The fund manager, who reinvented himself as an anti-Putin campaigner following the death of his lawyer in a Russian jail, is on permanent alert for danger.
by Olivia Ward, Toronto Star, 31 January 2015
Bill Browder was a Red Diaper baby whose grandfather was a leader of the American Communist Party. But when he rebelled by investing in Russia's capitalist revolution, he found himself in the black - both financially and personally.
On February 3rd 2015, Bill Browder, CEO and founder of Hermitage Capital Management, launches an explosive book about Russia entitled “Red Notice: A true story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice” (UK edition: “Red Notice, How I Became Putin's Number One Enemy” published on 5th February.)
“Red Notice” will be published in 14 countries, but has so far been blocked by all major Russian publishers.
The former banker claims Vladimir Putin runs Russia like a crime syndicate. He should know: corrupt officials seized his assets and stole $230m. His lawyer was beaten to death in jail. And now sinister text messages warn he might be next
Commentary by Bill Browder, Fortune Magazine
One thousand dollars invested in Russia today will be worth a lot less in five years.
Sergei Magnitsky was our attorney, and friend, who died under excruciating circumstances in a Moscow pre-trial detention center on Nov 16, 2009. His story is one of extraordinary bravery and heroism, and ultimately tragedy. It is also a story about how Stalinism and the gulags are alive and well in Russia today.