Red Notice: A timely book to read…

One of the early advantages about retirement is finally having time to read books that have little or nothing to do with my courses…

First up: was Red Notice.  Recommended by my son, long before this week’s Russia events and reactions..

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This was an engaging read … and provides an interesting back-drop to the current Russia bruhaha…

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In a nutshell:

Browder was a brash, recently minted Stanford MBA who moved to Russia and built Hermitage Capital … a hedge fund that rose to prominence as the biggest foreign investor in Russian businesses.

Browder leveraged keen financial analysis to identify market anomalies and undervalued assets … and had brass balls, utilizing aggressive strategies against Russia’s oligarchs and Putin’s government.

Predictably, taking on Putin ended badly.

Browder – and most of his team- got out of Russia, avoiding incarceration and physical harm.

But, one of his lawyers – Sergei Magnitsky – was jailed by the Russians, tortured in an attempt to get him to turn on Browder, and eventually beaten to death.

Browder turned Magnitsky’s death into a human rights case against Russia … and was the driver behind the Magnitsky Act which banned the perpetrators from the U.S. – establishing a blueprint for other human rights violators.

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The biggest takeaways were Browder’s keen investment analyses … and his gross underestimation of Russian brutality against perceived enemies of the state.

No doubt about it … Putin is one mean & nasty dude…

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Update: For more detail, see today’s WSJ editorial Donald Trump, Meet Bill Browder

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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