April 23, 2021

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder and One Man’s Fight for Justice

Russia has fascinated me since I took a student trip there during college. Bill Browder’s book, Red Notice looks at current day Russia from a political and financial standpoint. The non-fiction account reads like a spy-thriller with murder, torture, interrogations and corruption featured in the saga.

Thanks to an economics class (gratitude to prof Michael Oldfather), I actually understood some of the financial terms bandied about in the book. However, Browder’s concise writing does make the world of banks, hedge funds and world finance fairly understandable.

Browder’s grandfather having been the U. S. Communist Party presidential candidate in 1936 and 1940, grandson Bill goes the opposite direction and becomes an uber capitalist. Creator of Hermitage Capital Management, one of the largest foreign investment firms in Russia, Browder becomes embroiled in accusations of tax evasion in Russia and is blacklisted from traveling there and is put on trial in absentia.

The heart of the story concerns the imprisonment and death of his Russian attorney, Sergei Magnitsky. He is perhaps the real hero of this riveting account. If you are interested in Russia, world finance and politics, by all means put this on your reading list.

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