Remember back in the early 90s, after the Berlin Wall had fallen and after Glasnost and Perestroika preceded the collapse of the Soviet Empire? You were probably working at some lame-o job somewhere and the news had somehow filtered down to you that big bucks were to be made in the former Soviet Union? You imagined yourself the big robber baron, descending upon the unsuspecting and unsophisticated Russkis to trade them Western goods like uh… Snickers bars and Crest tootpaste for large swaths of resource rich lands…. anyhow, it never amounted to more than a daydream and instead of living large in Moscow, you stuck with your little-bo peep jobby job in Jersey.
But not everyone lacked the boldness you did. Thus we witnessed the emergence of one of the greediest, most corrupt and rapacious group of men. Known as the Oligarchs, these ubber capitalists basically managed to steal the country. Working in tandem with corrupt politicians at the highest level, a new word was coined to describe the type of governance endured by the Russian people – kleptocracy, rule by thieves.
Chief among these thieves were a number of colorful yids who exacted revenge for countless pogroms, purges and centuries of institutional anti-Semitism from both the right and the left. Their greed knew no bounds and the wealth they accumulated was astounding, but the question is, where are they now? Exile.ru – an awesome English language independent Moscow-based weekly lets us in on the status of the Oligarchs:
Only now, in the increasingly bland, dry, bureaucratic-fascism of the Putin era, do we realize how much we miss the Russian Oligarchy, some of the most colorful, most amoral characters ever assembled. What happened to them? While many praise Putin’s successful bitch-slapping of the oligarch class, few actually stop to wonder where they are — which is too bad, because this story has all the juicy, depressing humor of an E! biop on the cast of Diff’rent Strokes, only on a grander scale.
Read No-ligarchy: The Tragicomic Collapse of Russia’s Former Masters; find out what happenned to Jewlicious Oligarchs Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Smolensky, Vitaly Malkin, Vladimir Gusinksy, et al.
Just because you didn’t become a Russian Oligarch, or work for one of them, doesn’t mean you can’t dress like an Oligarch this Halloween.