A Russian Name On An American Law

A ripping yarn of murky financiers, desperate investments and large sums of money…  (and) a terrible tragedy of corrupt officials, grieving friends and the murder of a honest man. I can think of no other book like it. Observer

The Sergei Magnitsky Rule Of Law Accountability Act

By Roger Childs

A fitting tribute to a lawyer who angered by the criminality he saw around him, was determined to do something about it. Financial Times

Sergei was a Moscow lawyer who was beaten to death by guards in a prison cell in 2009. A tragic event, but how did it lead to Barack Obama signing a law in 2012 that bears the Russian’s name?

To find out you’ll need to read an extraordinary book: Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s No 1 Enemy by Bill Browder.

It is a complicated and fascinating story, but also shocking and horrific.

The make-over of Bill Browder

Bill Browder in Moscow

A dramatic, moving and thriller-like account of how Magnitsky’s death transformed Browder from hedge-fund manager to global human rights crusader. Guardian

Much of this amazing story is set in post-Communist Russia. Ironically, the author’s father was the American Communist party candidate in the 1936 US presidential election.  A Communist was the last thing Bill Browder wanted to be, so he became a capitalist.

Sergei Magnitsky an honest lawyer with a misguided confidence in the Russian justice system

Sensing that post-communist Eastern Europe would be a great place to invest and make quick money, he started in Poland and gravitated to the big one: the former Soviet Union. Hermitage Capital Management did very well there in the 1990s and early 2000s, trading in shares.

But the more he got involved in Putin’s Russia, the more he became aware of the vast web of corruption, crime and dishonesty which had resulted in vast inequalities of wealth ranging from a small group of multi-billionaire oligarchs to tens of millions living in poverty.

Ultimately, the crisis involving his Russian advisers and, especially Sergei Magnitsky, turned Bill Browder into a human rights activist seeking justice.

A roller coaster ride

Reads like a classic thriller …. but it’s all true, and it’s a story that needs to be told. Lee Child

Vladimir Putin: continuing Russia’s tradition of autocracy

This is a warts and all story, and Browder does not hold back on “talking” about his ups and downs and personal failings. He is a natural writer and the book flows along, at times at break-neck speed. There were many set-backs in his investment career and human rights advocacy, however there were also plenty of successes.

For example, Bill Browder’s  ability to use the media, u tube and films to name and shame, are textbook examples of how to fight for justice.

The review snippets scattered throughout this article do justice to Red Notice. This is a book people should read, to understand the corruption, exploitation, vindictiveness, and horror of Putin’s Russia.