Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Bill Browder

By Lynn Willoughby

Red Notice ~ Bill Browder

I generally read fiction, but when someone not only recommends a book – but actually hands it to me, I read it.  And I am glad I did.
While Browder is a financier, not a writer, this work is not too technical and moves along at a nice pace.  It starts with Browder at Stanford Business School and the world of hedge fund investing in the 1990s.  As Browder does some research he sees huge investment opportunities in Russia where the Soviet Union is collapsing.  He can’t believe no one else is seeing this under-valued share market – often 90-95%.  When he finally persuades capitalists to invest with him, his first investor puts in $2 million.  In THREE weeks, Browder gives investor number one a $300,000 profit.  Now Browder has investors lining up!
We learn a lot about the old Soviet Union and Browder’s angst when Yeltsin is running for President of Russia.  Browder crossed paths with Chrystia Freeland – now Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.  He depends on the credibility and influence of John McCain to get a human rights bill passed through the US Senate.  And of course there is the threatening shadow of Putin – always.
As Browder sets out to expose the corruption within the circle of Russian oligarchs who are robbing the companies in which Browder is investing, he puts not only himself and his family in harm’s way, but all of his staff.  Once he is in Putin’s sights there are no second chances.  Indeed, one of Browder’s staff members still living in his Russian homeland, is incarcerated with no charges, beaten regularly, isolated, starved, given no medical attention and finally tortured until he dies.  Browder is intent on bring all of this to light and he will not be intimidated in his efforts to find justice in Sergei’s name.  “Red Notice is the story of one man taking on overpowering odds to change the world.”
This book truly provided me with a much needed education into current day Russia.

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