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April 16, 2012

Prokhorov, in the New Yorker, said he hasn't broken laws, but admits to corrupt dealings (and shrugs them off as inevitable in Russia)

Atlantic Yards Report

Now that Nets principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov has visited Brooklyn, with a press conference last week at the Barclays Center site, let's take a look at Julia Ioffe's recent New Yorker piece, The Master and Mikhail: Are Putin and Prokhorov running for President against or with each other?.

The main message was that the billionaire may have appeared to be a Kremlin stooge when he entered politics, but he had moved past that--at least somewhat--in his run against Vladimir Putin.

But the two passages most interesting to me regarded Prokhorov's business success. The first:

“Can you please tell me, is it possible to earn a billion honestly?” an elderly man asked, echoing the sentiment, common in Russia, that the oligarchs earned their fortunes through deceit and government connections.

“I think you can,” Prokhorov replied, his face radiating self-regard. “At the very least, I haven’t broken any laws.”

(Emphases added)

Not breaking the law is not the same as behaving honestly, as Forest City Ratner's dealings in Yonkers might show.

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NoLandGrab: Here's our original coverage of the piece.

Posted by eric at April 16, 2012 11:33 AM