Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, April 17, 2009

Reduced competition?

Do economic hard times reduce political competition in Russia?

Russian Billionaire Club Loses Two Thirds Of Members

"Russia's economic slowdown has shredded the net worth of its richest people by more than 70 percent in the last year and slashed membership of its billionaires club by two thirds.

"Mikhail Prokhorov, despite losing $13.1 billion, topped the annual rich list published on Friday by the Russian edition of Forbes magazine. The mining tycoon's $9.5 billion fortune made him $1 billion richer than second-placed Roman Abramovich...

"Russian businessmen who borrowed heavily when money was cheap are battling to restructure their share of the $130 billion in corporate debt due to mature this year, a task made harder when the state halted bailouts to plug a budget deficit...

"The net worth of Russia's 100 richest people is $142 billion, down from $520 billion a year ago, Forbes said. The number of billionaires dropped to 32 from 110.

"And while a billion-dollar fortune was not enough to guarantee a place in last year's top 100, a net worth of $400 million would secure a position in the latest rankings..."

What You Need to Know -- a study guide for AP Comparative Government and Politics

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