Published On: Thu, Feb 5th, 2015

Putin to Coddle Oligarchs in Sochi Olympics Asset Debacle

Victor Vekselberg, the third richest man in Russia, invested money in hotels next to Olympic park and now has handed them over to the state.

Portugal's Hanse crashes during the first run of the men's alpine skiing giant slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

The Olympics in Sochi, Russia were the most expensive games in history, and it looks like the billionaires who funded it are going to be allowed to dump their toxic assets on the Russian taxpayer. The extravagant $51 billion spent on the Olympic games was considered a fiasco for a government that is facing international disapproval and economic distress.

Victor Vekselberg, the third richest man in Russia, invested money in hotels next to Olympic park and now has handed them over to the state. Other billionaires with declining assets from the Sochi adventure are dumping them onto the Russian taxpayer.

Putin will allow this, although it could potentially cause social unrest, because he need to retain favor for the oligarchs and the billionaires who have the potential to stimulate business. Two unloaded assets amount to $3 billion, according to the Associated Press.

The ski jump that was built for the Olympics is a symbol of everything that went wrong, at least financially, for the Olympics. According to valleymorningstar, it was budgeted for $40 million but cost $300 million. The businessman responsible for the ski jump was so embarrassed by the ballooning cost of the project that he fled the country to avoid the wrath of Vladimir Putin. Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank run by a Putin crony, was saddled with the ski jump, and given its debt, is not happy with the burden.

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