Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011



Over the weekend in Moscow, the newly formed political party RIGHT CAUSE held a convention.  Political conventions are still pretty new for Russians, as they were banned by both the Czar and the Soviets.  But nowadays, freedom of speech is more tolerated and...with that...comes the inevitable Political Convention.  You know the scene: A large sports arena is packed with rowdy, sign-waving delegates chanting fiery slogans.   They adore the smartly dressed politicians who give inspirational, lofty speeches.  Like in the USA, the Russian candidates promise everything: better schools, faster trains, higher quality medical care...even lower vodka prices.  (Okay! I made the last one up.)  Anyhow, something very newsworthy did occur at the RIGHT CAUSE conference: They elected MIKHAIL PROKHOROV their new leader.

Who?  Well, American sports fans already know about Mikhail. "The Bachelor Billionaire" recently purchased the NEW JERSEY NETS and became the NBA's first foreign owner. He has made it no secret he wants to move the team from smelly Newark to a brand-new, state-of-the-art arena in Brooklyn.  Followers of international finance also already know Mikhail.  Ten years ago, when Russian industries were in shaky hands, he boldly acquired NORILSK NICKEL, the world's largest nickel mine.  Then, the shrewd businessman junked their rusty ocean tankers and replaced them with really cool Finnish-made freighters.  These babies just slice through Arctic ice which dramatically reduced fuel costs, thus saving the corporation billions of rubles.   This, combined with a huge jump in the price of precious medals, landed our tycoon at his current spot: NUMBER THIRTY-NINE on the FORBES RICHEST LIST with a net worth of $18 Billion.

Wow!  You'd think that would be enough accomplishments for one man.  NYET! Don't forget, Mikhail is only 46 years old.  Having conquered the business world, he now wants to be conquer the political world and become the next president of Russia!  During Saturday's acceptance speech at the RIGHT CAUSE convention, Prokhorov clearly distanced himself from VLADIMIR PUTIN and his UNITED RUSSIA party.  "Let's ask an honest question" Mikhail asked.  "Do we have a multi-party system? Of course not."  In fact, he thinks Russia needs at least two parties to succeed in the future.  "It is in every school-book.  A monopoly is the enemy of all development."

Wait a second.  Democracy in Russia? No way! If there is one nation on earth that is synonymous with iron-fisted, tyrannically autocratic, If-you-disagree-with-me-I'll-send-you-to-Siberia, rule than Mother Russia.  Well, folks, it's a new day on the steppes and MIKHAIL PROKHOROV has become the poster-boy for the next generation of Russian leaders.  And why not?  Like Peter the Great, he stands tall at six foot eight.  (Hence his interest in basketball).  Like Ivan the Terrible, he demolishes opponents whether they are multinational corporations or power forwards.  And...like Mikhail Gorbachev...his first name is MIKHAIL!!

Whoa!  Before we get too carried away, let's take a TIME OUT.  One should never underestimate the awesome VLADIMIR PUTIN and his totalitarian grip on power.  When he stepped down as Prime Minister, a quickie election insured his clone DMITRY MEDVEDEV would be on the throne.  It's true: Worldwide, everyone knows who really controls Moscow and his name is Vladimir.  Therefore, many Russians feel that PROKHOROV is the same boat as Medvedev: Another Putin in sheep's clothing.  Let's look at the evidence.  We've all seen lots of Russian Billionaires in bad action movies and...let's face it...they're all gangsters!  Since when do thugs care anything about health care for the poor people?  The Russian billionaires that I know get into trouble with the police for having underage Romanian prostitutes come to a private party at a private Swiss chalet to insure their seedy French business guests are properly serviced.

Oops! Sorry, Mikhail!  But we here at the DUNER BLOG just love sordid stuff that that.  Readers: Just google the name of the resort (Courchevel) for all the lurid details!

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