Former Superpower for Sale, Cheap

How would you like to buy nearly half of Russia's industrial base for less than the cost of a B-2 bomber? Well, in fact, you could. Last winter the Russian government began privatizing thousands of large and medium-sized companies -- car manufacturers, cementmakers, department stores and so on. The government issued coupons to every Russian citizen, which they could use to buy shares in those firms. At a face value of 10,000 rubles, each coupon is worth about $12, but they are actually being sold for $6 or $7. Some speculators, including Westerners, are buying up the coupons, and to acquire...

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