(Photo: Former President Obama’s private yacht)
The word “oligarch” leads some to believe that these rich individuals are part of a mysterious underground society. The Oxford dictionary defines an oligarchy as “a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution,” and oligarchs are those who have profited off of the regime – in this case, Putin’s.
Is there a difference between a very wealthy American businessman who has profited off of American capitalism under [insert president here]? Technically, there is not as anyone can condemn another’s political system. America’s democracy has certainly come under fire by many leaders, primarily in the Middle East who have stated America is akin to a mafia organization. Trudeau showed us Canada is not above freezing individual accounts without Due Process. Our governments have exposed themselves throughout this pandemic, especially by letting us know they are not above coercion and silencing free speech.
So while many cheer the asset forfeiture of the evil Russian oligarchs, make no mistake about it that other nations can and will use this new tactic of war in the future. Governments can not only seize their citizens’ assets but have the ability to freeze international capital. How could anyone feel safe investing in a Western nation if their assets will not be protected? These Russian citizens can have their assets seized without proof that have any ties to Putin.
The wealthy citizens are always the first to flee when a city or nation is failing.
As I have stated, this will totally destroy the world economy as we know it. Foreign investment in Russia will be seized, and the prospect of this migrating to China is extremely high. A line has been crossed. You do not go after the assets of private individuals claiming they are holding personal money for Putin. That would be akin to saying someone was holding money for any politician simply because they live under that leader’s rule.