Why did I read this book?
Some of my closest friends didn’t know I was here at Leavenworth. I screwed up on that one. I guess I
was hoping I would be out soon and would get to explain it to them. But missing multiple texts and
several very important events put me on the radar. Being this MIA was a red flag and something I would
not usually do. I missed 2 funerals, which I would NEVER EVER do, and pretty soon everyone who didn’t
know I was in jail now does. I assumed some of my friends either thought something was wrong or I
became a total Asshole (probably the latter).
One of my closest friends Jeff was nice enough to send me this book. The book was spectacular. Its a
true story that’s central topic is Russian corruption. Coincidentally the Russian General who stood up to
Putin also died this week in a plane accident. I am actually quite amazed how little I know about Russia
and Putin. This book was a big eye opener.
What is the book about?
Bill Browder sets out at a rather young age to get involved in finance in Eastern Europe. His motives for
wanting to do involve a strange family history and a desire to want to rebel from traditional jobs. He
begins to see opportunities in the Russian market after the breakup of the Soviet Union. He amasses a
rather large fortune and becomes the largest foreign investor in Russia. He then goes on to found super
successful fund/CO Hermitage Capital. This success which is predicated largely on finding undervalued
assets eventually leads him in a Collison course to some of Russia most powerful leaders (including
Putin). His companies begin to get targeted in some elaborate schemes. As a result, he is forced to flee
the country (as is most of the people close to him). His attorneys however, feeling that them being
targeted is a line farther then Putin will cross, do not flee. One of those lawyers gets jailed an accused of
some serious crimes. He is tortured and eventually dies in prison. Browder begins a crusade to punish
those responsible. He succeeds in getting a law passed that punishes Russians implicated in the torture
and murder of his friend and attorney. Putin famously retaliates with a law that bans Americans from
How will I apply what I learned from this book?
One of my philosophies of making money is find a niche and become the very best at it. It seems
Browder absolutely crushed this concept. He took a market nobody wanted to work in and found
This is one of the last books I will read prior to leaving Leavenworth. There is so much going through my
head as I read this. First, I wanted to read it and write the report to thank my friend for sending it. I
cannot believe the support I have received during this very difficult period in my life. Also, this support
has come from people I was terrified to talk about my incarceration (let’s be honest, its super
embarrassing). What will they think of me?
This experience has been super difficult however it has reminded me how lucky I am to have the friends
and family I do. I do know not know what challenges I will face now that I am a felon. I know it will not
be easy but I will show everyone my best days are still in front of me. When I am on top of my game, I
am a force to be reckoned with. I still have it…and I look forward reminding people what I am capable