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By Li-Chen Sim (auth.)

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Extra info for The Rise and Fall of Privatization in the Russian Oil Industry

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93 This would increase production costs and bankrupt many of their enterprises which were already reeling from reforms implemented in January 1992 that had freed 90% of prices in the economy. The enterprise managers worried that they would no longer be able to engage in asset-stripping and self-enrichment and warned that bankruptcies would result in payment arrears, mass unemployment and social unrest. 94 Indeed, to avoid courting political controversy, the status quo in the oil industry could have been maintained.

110 The second explanation as to why loans-for-shares was initiated was that it served as a panacea to correct problems with insider ownership. Under the mass privatization programme, almost three-quarters of enterprises voted for the so-called option 2, which gave employees the right to buy 51% of a company’s voting shares. 111 The increasing concentration of shares in the hands of ‘red directors’ was alleged to be the reason for the continuing lacklustre performance of the Russian economy, since such insider-owned enterprises tended to shy away from vital restructuring tasks.

71 In Yel’tsin’s case, he turned to the ‘young reformers’ for various reasons. 73 Yel’tsin understood that his anti-Soviet and pro-reform stance was popular with the electorate, and that Gaydar’s team of ‘young people without any hang-ups, independent thinkers raring to go, . . arrogant young upstarts’74 shared a similar passion to destroy all vestiges of communism in Russia. 75 Indeed, Yel’tsin has explained that he chose ‘shock therapy’ over a more gradualist programme of economic reform because he ‘couldn’t force the people to wait once again, to drag out the main events and processes for years.

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