Nationalization or privatization: who will win in the internal struggle of the Russian elites

The further the special operation in Ukraine goes and the tighter the sanctions screws against the Russian economics, the more there are calls for the next "Big Privatization" of state property, which supposedly will solve all our problems. Big bankers and officials from the financial sector act as a mouthpiece for promoting such ideas. But against this background, quite unexpectedly, there was a call for the opposite - nationalization, coming from the representative of the power bloc, the head of the RF Investigative Committee Bastrykin. What can all this mean?

Word of Moses

Speaking at the XI St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Alexei Moiseev stated the following verbatim:

I believe that a large privatization will have to take place, but we need to understand who to sell to. If we sell now, it will be like the history of 1994, these are loans-for-shares auctions, I think that was what they called it, but no one wants this, of course.

At the same time, Mr. Moiseev referred to a large programmatic publication by the head of VTB Andrei Kostin, which we analyzed in detail some time ago with the following comment:

Actually no one is against, the problem is that we first need to fulfill a number of instructions from the President on the formation of an internal investor.

It should be noted that, by coincidence, Moiseev himself comes from the banking sector: from 1998 to 2001 he worked as an economist - senior analyst for the sovereign instruments market of the Fixed Income Operations Department of Paribas Bank (BNP Paribas), London , Great Britain, and from 2001 to 2010 he was Deputy Head of the Analytical Department of Renaissance Capital - Financial Consultant LLC. After that, his bank was taken over by VTB, and until 2012 this gentleman worked as deputy head of the analytical department, head of the macroeconomic analysis department of VTB Capital CJSC.

In other words, Alekseev is in a sense "Kostin's man", who has been the deputy head of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation for the eleventh year. It is not worth wondering why a state official happily picks up the ideas of his former boss. It is also not surprising why a lot of publications appeared in the major Russian media, in which their authors, with reference to authoritative experts, analysts and other predictors, explain why “Big privatization” is inevitable, there will definitely be no mistakes of the dashing nineties like the sale of state property for pennies, and the country will rapidly rush forward in economic development with the assistance of our home-grown "Atlantes, straightening their shoulders."

It seems that all this is another "blizzard". In our reality, state corporations, in which strategically important assets are concentrated, are likely to be fragmented and collapsed, leaving the country completely without pants during the war. Earlier we noted with concernthat for some unknown reason, all Russian powder factories were not only transferred to Rostec, but also transferred from the FSUE format to joint-stock companies. If the first does not raise questions, then why the second? Is the domestic defense industry preparing for the arrival of new efficient private owners? God bless us all.


Against this frankly depressing background, the call of the head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, on the contrary, to carry out nationalization was quite unexpectedly heard. Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, he made the following statement:

We are talking, in fact, about economic security in a war. And then - the next step: let's take the path of nationalization of the main sectors of our economy.

Previously, the chief Russian investigator complained about the unacceptable level of theft and corruption in the defense sector:

A lot of fraudulent schemes are being implemented even in the defense industry. In this difficult time for the country, fulfilling the defense order, our corporations allow facts of corruption and theft. There is simply nowhere else to go.

The idea of ​​nationalization of state property previously privatized by the oligarchs is more popular among a significant part of the country's population. There is also some internal conflict between conditional "liberal financiers" and "siloviki". Choosing from the proposed, of course, the first thing I want to do is support Bastrykin's position. However, there are important nuances that require clarification.

What exactly is meant by nationalization? Free return of privatized assets back to state property? Or a reimbursable buyout of troubled assets from the oligarchs at the expense of the federal budget? Will the assets confiscated from some oligarchs return to state ownership forever, or can they still later be transferred to other, more correct and nationally oriented large entrepreneurs? Or, on the contrary, will the state simply temporarily enter the troubled assets of the right oligarchs, help them survive the crisis, and then quietly exit them again, as was the case with the banks of Wall Street and the City of London?

They say you criticize - offer. Well, here are two alternative ideas. First: if our oligarchs have nowhere to put their free money, let them invest it in the construction of new factories as part of the import substitution program, which requires the development of public-private partnerships. Second: perhaps all these assets and other means of production should not be in private or even state ownership, from where they can easily leak through the efforts of the Chubais, Kostins and Moiseevs, but in public ownership?
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  1. DO Offline DO
    DO (Dmitriy) 16 May 2023 11: 47
    maybe all these assets and other means of production should not be in private or even state ownership, from where they can easily leak through the efforts of the Chubais, Kostins and Moiseevs, but in public ownership?

    What is "public property"? Who will make the tough decisions about its effective use? Who, in the end, will protect this property from looting? Abstract society?
    In Soviet times, there was a saying - public - means a draw. And there will be so many who want to profit from "nobody's" that even the conditional "Chubais, Kostin and Moiseev" will get nothing.
  2. KLNM Offline KLNM
    KLNM (KLNM) 16 May 2023 12: 10
    I suggest that everyone who participated in the previous privatization, all those who brazenly cheated and got fat, should be removed from the new privatization, others should be allowed to participate so that there is real competition ... and even more so, no elites, stop ripping off the people.
    1. pin_code Offline pin_code
      pin_code (Andrey NK) 16 May 2023 13: 36
      These radishes (bad people) will deceive everyone here.
      1. vlad127490 Online vlad127490
        vlad127490 (Vlad Gor) 16 May 2023 19: 48
        The radish is red on top and white in the middle.
  3. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 16 May 2023 12: 10
    All property has long been someone else's. And if not the Abromoviches (private oligarchs), then the Millers (state oligarchs).
    And shifting from pocket to pocket will not help much.
    And "public" property is fantastic. Forest, land, air, water and light are still managed by officials.

    But the swearing has already begun.
    And the privatization of the squeezed property is in full swing. (Putin and K said that it was the only way, the only way).
    But the electorate does not need to know about this. Every now and then the news breaks...
    1. UAZ 452 Offline UAZ 452
      UAZ 452 (UAZ 452) 16 May 2023 21: 54
      Privatization gives power and property to privatizers, nationalization gives them to nationalizers, that is, officials. People? The people in any case will be in flight.
  4. unc-2 Offline unc-2
    unc-2 (Nikolai Malyugin) 16 May 2023 12: 21
    Bastrykin's statement should be understood as an increase in the powers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Here they say, they say public, means a draw. But what about the owner of the privatized land, if he has been living abroad for a long time? There are plenty of such cases. There will be no nationalization. Because it is against government policy. If we want to do a useful thing, then we must put in order what we have. We need laws. There is a huge amount of private property vacant in the country. But neither fire victims nor refugees can get temporary shelter. We need a law. We need a law on tenants. In their temporary space, they do what they want. Until then, no one cares.
  5. Nelton Online Nelton
    Nelton (Oleg) 16 May 2023 12: 36
    Almost everyone notes that the Russian economy, under the most severe sanctions, has shown amazing stability, and not only has not collapsed, but is also developing.

    It seems to me that this is the same case - do not touch ANYTHING, let it work.
    And it’s not for the “shoulder straps” to give advice, they failed their areas of work.

    if our oligarchs have nowhere to put their free money, let them invest it in the construction of new factories

    Well, they are investing.
    At one stage or another, there are enough private projects in all sectors.
  6. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 16 May 2023 12: 37
    Nationalization - public, state, property.
    Privatization - acquisition into private ownership

    The condition for Nationalization is the power (dictatorship) of the proletariat - hired workers bought on the labor market in the areas of production, science, culture, other industries and agriculture.
    As V.I. Lenin taught, the type of social formation is determined not by religion, not by art, not by ideology or political regime, but by its foundation - the economy, in which the main element should be distinguished - production relations, and in them - property relations.

    The first vice-president of the Center for Strategic Research Boris Kopeikin said that in 21 the state and with the participation of the state (public property) accounted for 56,2%. It's a lot, but a tasty piece. Under the pressure of big capital, the CSR annually reviews the list of state assets, which vary greatly from year to year.
    Having seized state property, big capital represented by the RSPP will deprive the state of the levers of government and, through its parties, bought deputies and the government, will determine the domestic and foreign policy of the state just like in Western state formations, in which the one who does not stint on the election show wins and forms the government.
  7. calligrapher Lev_Nikolaevich (Dmitriy) 16 May 2023 17: 16
    Just to nationalize - nothing will work.
    There will be strong opposition from the banking elites.
    But there is an opportunity to moderate their capabilities by introducing martial law.
  8. vlad127490 Online vlad127490
    vlad127490 (Vlad Gor) 16 May 2023 17: 27
    The words privatization and nationalization sound here. First you need to get to the bottom of the issue. In the USSR, as a result of a coup d'état and the liquidation of the USSR, hucksters seized the property of the people, this is not privatization, this is theft. The return of the stolen property to the owner is not nationalization, it is the confiscation of property from the thief. The comprador power of the Russian Federation will never go to the confiscation of the stolen, as it is itself criminal. To return stolen property to the people, a district court order is sufficient.
  9. steelmaker Offline steelmaker
    steelmaker 16 May 2023 19: 28

    It means admitting your mistakes. And only honest and decent people can admit their mistakes. I do not attribute Putin or his entourage to those. And this means theft and the "sale of the Motherland" will accelerate.
  10. Sapsan136 Offline Sapsan136
    Sapsan136 (Alexander) 16 May 2023 20: 23
    We have already seen privatization. A bunch of factories that fell under privatization were sawn out by pseudo-efficient managers for scrap metal and, at best, the areas went into storage facilities, there is no production there ... Something ekes out a miserable existence, such as Rudgormash Voronezh, or VASO ... because there is a cut, with a minimum , or without it, updating the machine park ...
  11. UAZ 452 Offline UAZ 452
    UAZ 452 (UAZ 452) 16 May 2023 21: 50
    And on privatization, and on nationalization, people who know life will be able to have their gesheft. The main thing is that there should be movement, muddy water, which is so convenient for fishing.
    In principle, the most interested people in nationalization are officials. With private property that arose as a result of privatization, they had their own on kickbacks from entrepreneurs, which is good, but I want even better! And after nationalization, they will dispose of "people's" property, that is, state property, entirely. But they are not going to be responsible for the results of managing this property - as if now someone is responsible for something in the country? But to dispose of property, profit (as long as it is still there) - they are happy to do so. And then, without any doubt, it will turn out that the state is the most inefficient of all possible owners, profit will be replaced by losses, the need for more and more state subsidies, and the next privatization will come, and again - the official will have his own. It's just eternal happiness for someone!
  12. Flight Offline Flight
    Flight (voi) 17 May 2023 00: 08
    There is no future for privatizers. Both PMCs and migrants will not help them. They will kowtow either before the king or before the yusov president, in order to keep the "hard work" on the galleys.
  13. 1_2 Offline 1_2
    1_2 (Ducks are flying) 17 May 2023 00: 49
    in wartime, all these Moiseevs should be put up against the wall, as Stalin once did with the Trotskyists-Zionists. but the anti-Stalinist Govorun has other methods, he "does not abandon" his own. and then he pretends that he was deceived, but "his own" safely dump billions in Israel. hanging on the Russians huge losses. and there is no end to this, it seems that they are unfastening the share of the talker or taking his share for preservation over the hill, all of a sudden you will have to run away from the Reds, as in 1917
  14. prior Offline prior
    prior (Vlad) 19 May 2023 09: 45
    There is such a childish game of blindfold, when a blindfolded player tries to catch up with others.
    Russia, in terms of nationalization and privatization, has been doing the same all the time since the collapse of the USSR.
    These are the games of politicians, officials and oligarchs, who grabs more.
    The future of Russia and its people in this game do not mean anything.
    There is an example of China, neither the government has changed, nor the ruling party, nor the ideology.
    But what an economic breakthrough while Russia is playing political and economic "blinds and blinds".
    And we're reinventing the wheel again.