Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Space

Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia 252

Posted by samzenpus
from the mine-now-I-take-it dept.
schwit1 writes Vitaly Lopota, the president of Russia's largest space company Energia, was suspended Friday by the company's board of directors. From the article: "The move appears to be part of an effort by Russia's government to obtain majority control over Energia, of which it owns a 38-percent share. The directors elected Igor Komarov as its new chairman of the board. Komarov is chief of the Russian United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC), the government-owned company tasked with consolidating Russia's sprawling space sector." The government is also conducting a criminal investigation of Lopota, which might be justified but appears to be a power play designed to both eliminate him from the game as well as make sure everyone else tows the line so that URSC can take complete control.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2014 @01:07AM (#47597343)

    Anyone else here miss the 1980s USSR? Looks like Putin does ...

    • by Lennie (16154) on Monday August 04, 2014 @05:48AM (#47598275) Homepage

      You might think it is funny, but this really is sort of the plan of Putin.

      It has always been his plan, from the start.

      He never made a secret of it and clearly states that this is what he is trying to do.

      It might not be communism he wants. What he wants a is strong Russia, a country other countries respect (maybe this can be explained as: fear).

      Which includes re-integrating most of the former USSR countries.

      • Which includes re-integrating most of the former USSR countries.

        But in order to keep their representation in the United Nations, the members of the New USSR would have to remain sovereign states in a confederation [wikipedia.org] analogous to the European Union, not join into one sovereign state like the USA or the old USSR.

        • by Entropius (188861)

          That's not a bad idea. Could the USA reformulate itself as a confederation with the same legal structure and operations, but with 49 seats in the UN rather than one? (I think everyone would agree that not having Florida represented is in the best interests of everyone except comedians.)

    • by rubycodez (864176) on Monday August 04, 2014 @09:00AM (#47599179)

      In the 1980s Russia was run by KGB thugs, in the 2010s Russia is run by former KGB thugs

  • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Monday August 04, 2014 @01:09AM (#47597355)

    Maybe we'll finally stop relying on Russia for access to space...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2014 @01:13AM (#47597369)

    This sort of thing is why shares of russian companies trade at a huge discount [economist.com] compared to shares of western and asian companies.

    • by WarJolt (990309)

      Russia has a stock market?

      • of course. It's used the same way as it is everywhere else, chiefly to transfer wealth from a large of small clients to a small number of large clients.

      • by Zocalo (252965)
        Yes, it does, the Moscow Exchange [wikipedia.org], or MICEX.

        This kind of rampant corruption and cronyism is also the same reason why, despite an abundance of available resources and labour, Russia can't drag its economy out of the doldrums and up to a level that it ought to be capable of achieving. Russia's GDP is on a par with the that of countries like the UK, Germany and France - realistically it ought to be at least an order of magnitude above that. Ultimately though this is mostly an asset grab - you watch as con
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Russia's GDP is on a par with the that of countries like the UK, Germany and France - realistically it ought to be at least an order of magnitude above that.

          Russia's GDP is about half that of Germany, with almost twice the population. On a per capita basis it's less than half that of Germany or the UK.
          You're right that it ought to be considerably higher, but absolutely nowhere *near* an order of magnitude larger.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2014 @01:13AM (#47597373)

    ... really... you "toe the line" not "tow the line" as the submitter writes.

  • Russia = Fascism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2014 @01:25AM (#47597413)

    Anybody still seriously doubt that Russia is a neo-Fascist country?

  • "to take control" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474)

    I like the "to take control" euphemism for steal.

    Putin is stealing private property, that's the actual headline here. There can be no real economic development if private property rights are not protected, specifically not protected from government theft. This wouldn't be the first time Putin stole something, by the way, even before [cbssports.com] Crimea I mean. Of-course he basically stole democratic elections in Russia, I guess nothing can beat that.

    • by sillybilly (668960) on Monday August 04, 2014 @01:40AM (#47597465)
      It's called nationalizing. Sometimes it's done in the best interest of the public of the nation. Such as USRA was a nationalizing of all private rail during WWI in the USA, only to be spun off again in the 1920's as private enterprises. In fact USRA was a nationalization of rail twice, once during WWI, and one in the 70's related to Conrail. See the first two entries at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org] Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... [wikipedia.org]
      • Re:"to take control" (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hughk (248126) on Monday August 04, 2014 @02:15AM (#47597585) Journal

        Consolidating a fragmented industry can be a good idea and has worked to a greater or lesser extent in the past. The problem is that the government is usually too far behind the curve to make the best decisions and a good example would be some of the nationalisations that happened in the UK.

        However, in Russia, it is about redistributing the assets privatised in the early nineties. The privatisations were a "fire-sale" in which only a favoured few could take part, however subsequently, the shares traded on a secondary market and became assets belonging to pension funds and the like. Unfortunately, in the early nineties, when Putin and his backers (the so-called Siloviki) came to power, they discovered there was nothing new to privatise so they took some companies back such as Yukos. On the smaller scale, many companies found themselves forced with new directors who had relationships with the Siloviki.

        Either way, by undermining corporate governance and the protection of property, the government has made it far more difficult for a normal financial infrastructure to exist.

      • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Monday August 04, 2014 @04:13AM (#47597925)

        Nationalisation pays the previous owner. It's a compulsory purchase, not just seizing control.

        What the Russians are doing is just theft, extralegal, unconstitutional, just as they did with all the energy companies which are the only thing propping up their economy, and media companies. The method is a variation on how organised crime takes over a business, but with the backing of the courts.

        • What the Russians are doing is just theft

          Eh, that's OK. The companies were essentially stolen from the state by oligarchs during the collapse of the USSR. It's all a wash really...

          The method is a variation on how organised crime takes over a business,

          Well, it is the putin government...

    • The...dysfunctional...interaction of state and market go way back. Round one was during the post-soviet privatization, where most of the state assets worth either controlling or plundering were sold off for peanuts to a number of particularly well connected parties. Once the honeymoon was over on that, round two was the people who had turned political influence into economic power making investments in political influence. Now round three is the people who won round two using political influence to consolid
    • I like the "to take control" euphemism for steal.

      I don't think you understand the complete situation.

      The space agency was originally a national instution. OK, by your logic it was made with money stolen from the population, but that's not the point here. At the collapse of the USSR there wasn't so much a sell-off of institutions as outright theft by a bunch of oligarcs.

      One could easily argue that it's simply reclaiming something those people stole in the first place.

      Then again, Putin's a power mad oligarc,

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Considering how corrupt some of the privatisation was, with corrupt oligarchs colluding with western finance organisation to basically steal assets, this is more akin to repossession of stolen property. Privatisation has been pretty crooked across the globe with the only real winners being the corrupt banks that financed the mass media propaganda and the lobbyists as well as the off shore tax haven bribes. The illusion is 'private property', the reality is society allows individuals to control property for

    • by dave420 (699308)
      Buying more shares in a company is not stealing private property. The article states that officials are talking of increasing their stake in the company from 38% to 51%.
  • Not a bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alarash (746254) on Monday August 04, 2014 @03:53AM (#47597869)

    Sure, the way Russians go about nationalizing companies is not very nice or even subtle. But I wish my government did the same. Services that people need in order to live - energy, water, medical - shouldn't be on the free market. All that stuff should be publicly owned and the goal shouldn't to be to make money but to provide critical services to the people for the cheapest amount possible.

    • Re:Not a bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Monday August 04, 2014 @06:16AM (#47598363)

      Sure, the way Russians go about nationalizing companies is not very nice or even subtle. But I wish my government did the same. Services that people need in order to live - energy, water, medical - shouldn't be on the free market. All that stuff should be publicly owned and the goal shouldn't to be to make money but to provide critical services to the people for the cheapest amount possible.

      While that is a laudable goal the reality is government owned utilities rarely view "cheapest amount possible" as a primary goal. Rather, they become tools for politicians to use to maintain themselves in office by providing jobs, subsidies , etc to please their voters and donors. That is not to say government owned utilities cannot provide lower cost services just that cost is often secondary to politics.

      • by dave420 (699308)
        In the US, maybe. In other countries, not so much. Did you never notice how the childish attitudes your politicians display are far above the levels displayed in other countries' politicians? Sure, some countries have political freak shows, but many others just get on with it - working with other parties for the good of the country.
        • In the US, maybe. In other countries, not so much. Did you never notice how the childish attitudes your politicians display are far above the levels displayed in other countries' politicians? Sure, some countries have political freak shows, but many others just get on with it - working with other parties for the good of the country.

          Possible, but my experiences with politicians around the world its the "do what I have to to stay in power" gene tends to be dominant and the "work together for the good of the country even if it means I may lose" gene is recessive.

      • by rahvin112 (446269)

        While that is a laudable goal the reality is government owned utilities rarely view "cheapest amount possible" as a primary goal. Rather, they become tools for politicians to use to maintain themselves in office by providing jobs, subsidies , etc to please their voters and donors. That is not to say government owned utilities cannot provide lower cost services just that cost is often secondary to politics.

        That is not my experience, mind pointing to examples? My experience with government owned utilities is

    • by Solandri (704621)

      Services that people need in order to live - energy, water, medical - shouldn't be on the free market. All that stuff should be publicly owned and the goal shouldn't to be to make money but to provide critical services to the people for the cheapest amount possible.

      Services that people need in order to live should start off on the free market. Once it becomes clear which method of providing the service is most efficient, then it should be transitioned to a publicly-owned service. e.g. What's the best way

      • by Entropius (188861)

        Water being provided by the public sector makes sense for a completely separate reason: it's a thing that is very difficult to define property rights over. Who owns the groundwater under Tucson, AZ? Does your average Jose have the right to drill a well on his land and pump out however much he wants and sell it? What about slurping water out of the Santa Cruz River? (You're probably saying that you've never heard of the Santa Cruz River. That's because it's not there any more -- we poured it all on crops. It

      • Services people need to live should start out as government run companies, and either stay government owned or be heavily regulated to ensure the "quest for profit" doesn't kill people. A perfect example is the US medical system. It's the best in the world if you are rich, but for the bulk of the people they may as well be living in Somalia. They privatized the electrical grid in California, and prices went up while reliability went down. If it's important, keep public control of it. Everything else yo
      • GSM is a good example of the trouble you can get yourself into if the government prematurely decides something should not be subject to market forces. The EU mandated all wireless phone carriers adhere to GSM.

        [citation needed]

        And eventually CDMA was incorporated into the GSM standard (most HSPA and HSDPA implementations use wideband CDMA - yes your GSM phone uses CDMA)

        Yes, because the Japanese developed W-CDMA and released 3G upon the world, which was incorporated into the UMTS standard while CDMA2000 was still a snot-slow dog that still couldn't pass packet-switched data and run a phone call at the same time.

        If the U.S. had gone along with the EU and required GSM, data services would've been several years behind where they are now, and we'd probably still be stuck at around 1 Mbps cellular data speeds.

        No, the Japanese still would have utilized the fantastic Russian Code Division Multi-Access scheme known as CDMA to provide better services to their tech-savvy customers while also finding a way to incorporate it into the world standard of portabi

    • Ok, so you talk about "Services that people need in order to live - energy, water, medical".

      There is a lot that people need to live. Would you argue nationalising all of them? Energy, water and medical aren't the only things that would make that list. What about food, transportation and clothing? You'll die very soon if they aren't in order. Houses - in a lot of climates you need them for shelter and defects in houses could cause them to collapse so they are crucial to survival - hygienic products, etc.

      Now,

      • by Alarash (746254)

        I won't have escaped you that the market is less and less regulated because, as the means of growth grow thin, you need to be more "open." Sure, let's make house loans a financial product - then you get the subprimes crisis and people lose their homes AND their retirement money. Pharmaceuticals don't do research on diseases that are not, literally, worth it. The meat sector you mention? Sure, let's shoot the cows with antibiotics and GMO crops. That'll make more meat per cow, better margins. Etc.

        The problem

        • Another poster discussed that letting government provide vital services often results in those services being used / abused for political gain. Abusing regulations is a lot less effective for politicians and so they tend to be manipulated less in my opinion.

          Let the free market do the producing.

          But let the government keep them in check with regulations. You are right that regulations tend to be thinned out when politicians see no other way to promote growth anymore but I'm still not convinced that that is in

    • Sure, the way Russians go about nationalizing companies is not very nice or even subtle. But I wish my government did the same. Services that people need in order to live - energy, water, medical - shouldn't be on the free market. All that stuff should be publicly owned and the goal shouldn't to be to make money but to provide critical services to the people for the cheapest amount possible.

      They most definitely should be in a free market as much as possible as that has proven time and again to be the only way to make it as cheap as possible. What you're looking for is "nonprofit".

    • by Entropius (188861)

      I notice that you don't list "food" here. It's very much something people need to live, it's on a mostly-free market almost everywhere, and it works just fine.

    • by Tailhook (98486)

      See Venezuela.

      If you can catch a flight (kinda tough at the moment because the Government has effectively nationalized airline ticket revenue so the airlines have canceled most regular service) you might take a trip and stay if you like it so much.

      Bring extra toilet paper.

      energy, water, medical

      All of the above has either been or is under imminent threat of nationalization. Lets look at the results;

      Energy: Venezuelan president’s live speech about blackouts interrupted by blackouts [nydailynews.com]
      Water: Caracas Goes Thirsty as Taps Run Dry [bloomberg.com]

  • ... the subject of criticism?

    • by Tailhook (98486)

      Tragic isn't it? Wasting Slashdot time-wasters time with non-US bashing stories.

      Quick, someone find a Climate Change or Snowden story before these people lose it.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

Working...