Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Big Brother" Russia To Bailout US Steel Company?

Socialism 2.0: If you can't beat 'em, let them bailout out American companies.

From The Portland Oregonian:

During their recent heyday, Russian billionaires bought far-flung companies, London mansions, massive yachts and private jets.

Few of the reclusive oligarchs loomed larger than Roman Abramovich. The owner of Britain's Chelsea soccer team is one of two controlling shareholders in Evraz Group, which bought Portland-based Oregon Steel Mills for $2.35 billion in 2007.

Now some of the oligarchs, reeling from the global economic meltdown, are proposing a mega-merger -- including Evraz -- that would give the Kremlin a stake in the resulting Goliath and, hence, in Oregon Steel.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin endorsed the approach recently after bailing out Evraz and other companies for debts incurred buying businesses abroad.

"You better hope big brother's got a lot of money"

"Oregon is probably a viable operation long term," says Rodger Parr, sales and purchasing manager at Seaport Steel in Seattle. "But no steel mill is viable right now. You better hope big brother's got a lot of money, and big brother is behind the curtain back there."

In this case, big brother behind the former Iron Curtain is Chelsea-owner Abramovich, ranked by Forbes last year as the world's 15th-richest man at $23.5 billion. Abramovich is now reported by Moscow newspaper Izvestia to be worth $3.3 billion.

You can read all about Abramovich's bribes, blackmail, and anti-trust violations here.

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