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The history of the formation of the political and economic elite in the Sverdlovsk region

Marc Rich (Reich)

Marc David Rich was born in 1934 in Antwerp (Belgium) into a family of a Jewish scrap metal dealer named Reich. In 1941, the Reich family, fleeing the Nazis, left first for France, then, in 1942, for the United States, changing their surname to a more “American” one - Rich. In 1952, Marc graduated from the prestigious Rhodes School of Manhattan and entered New York University, however, after studying there for only one semester, he dropped out and got a job at the world's largest commodity trading company Philipp Brothers at the time. This was insisted on by Marc's father, who had business relations with this company even before the war. Starting from a junior position in the metals department, Rich quickly made his way into independent traders. His first deal was a lucrative contract in 1958 for the purchase of Cuban mercury. Shortly thereafter, Rich heads up the Bolivian office of Philipp Brothers. In 1967, Rich is transferred to Madrid, where he first meets another company trader, Pinkus (Pinky) Green. They start working together.

Rich and Green's most resounding success was the conclusion of direct contracts for the purchase of oil from Arab producers, bypassing the then dominant Seven Sisters, the largest international oil companies. It was oil that became the reason for their break with Philipp Brothers: in the spring of 1973, Rich and Green learned from their sources in Arab countries about OPEC's intention to sharply increase oil prices, the company buys it at a price slightly higher than the market price, and after the increase makes a lot of money. So huge that the company's management refuses to pay Rich and Green their percentage. They leave Philipp Brothers and in the spring of 1974, having lured away several traders with them, they organize Marc Rich + Co AG in Zug (Switzerland) and start an all-out war with Philipp Brothers, attracting former clients. They will eventually win this war: in the early 1980s, Philipp Brothers merged with Salomon Brothers and ceased to exist as an independent trading company (later becoming one of the divisions of Citigroup).

According to World Bank researchers, in 1977 Marc Rich financed the creation of the Reuben brothers', Trans World Metals, who later collaborated with the Chernoi brothers and in the early 1990s controlled a significant part of Russian metallurgy.

The basic principle of Marc Rich's work was characterized by the expression "big fish are caught in troubled waters." Rich preferred to work in those countries where large corporations could not officially work: corrupt dictatorial regimes, foreign policy opponents of the United States. Rich's company traded Iranian oil bypassing the American embargo, bought nickel and gold in Castro's Cuba, traded with disgraced Libya and with South Africa when it was under international sanctions due to apartheid.

In the USSR, Marc Rich's company began operating in the 1970s at the height of Western media accusations of anti-Semitic policies against the USSR. Rich's Jewish background did not in the least interfere with fruitful cooperation. The Minister of Foreign Trade of the USSR at that time was Nikolai Patolichev, who, according to some researchers, greatly contributed to the strengthening of ties between the USSR and Rich's company. Patolichev at one time played an important role in the political career of Yuri Andropov, who in the 1970s headed the KGB of the USSR. And the intelligence units of the KGB played an important, if not decisive, role in Soviet foreign trade. It is not known how Rich established relations with the Soviet foreign trade departments. Perhaps this happened through the Jews, who played an important role in the Soviet foreign trade and intelligence agencies, which is described in more detail in the Prehistory section (the history of the formation of the power elite in Russia and the Urals before 1985). In the early 1980s, Marc Rich imported grain into the USSR in exchange for oil, despite the US embargo imposed on the USSR over the war in Afghanistan.

In 1983, US Federal Attorney Rudolph Giuliani authorized the arrest of Rich and Green, and the charges were 65 counts, including tax evasion for $ 48 million. Partners fled the United States, Rich adopted Spanish citizenship, Green - Bolivian. There is information that, despite a criminal record, Rich's company Clarendon Ltd in the 1980s supplied Soviet non-ferrous metals to the US Treasury Department for the production of coins. Theories are being expressed that swindlers like Marc Rich are playing the role of a safety cushion between respectable large multinational corporations and odious third world regimes. The restrictive sanctions imposed on trade with political outcasts significantly increase the benefits of crooks who seem to be outside the law, but at the same time have access to the world market.

In the early 1990s, Rich's company supplied about 20% of all grain imported to Russia, and imported raw sugar to Russia and the CIS countries.

In 1994, Marc Rich sold the company Marc Rich + Co AG to his partners (top managers), as a result of which the “odious” Marc Rich AG was transformed into the “respectable” Glencore International AG, which, however, continues to piously profess Rich’s principle “in the muddy big fish is caught in the water ”and cooperates with regimes around the world that are objectionable to official Western diplomacy. After that, Marc Rich continued to do business, but its scale was no longer comparable to the previous one. In Russia, Rich's company invested in construction, working with the construction company Mossib, which was commissioned by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 2001, outgoing US President Bill Clinton pardoned Rich at the request of Israeli officials and leaders of Jewish communities in the United States and Europe, as well as, possibly out of gratitude for donations from Rich's ex-wife to the Democratic Party and valuable gifts personally to the Clinton family. However, some leaders of the Jewish communities in the United States called Rich's pardon a moral insult to all Jews.

Marc Rich died in Switzerland in June 2013.