Greedy Cockroaches

capitalists060409.jpgHere’s the quote of the week.  Vladimir Putin usually saves the public tongue-lashings for incompetent officials during cabinet meetings, but today he went totally chavista on Oleg Deripaska:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly humiliated a top oligarch on Thursday, accusing him and other factory owners in a crisis-hit town of greed and likening them to “cockroaches”. (…)

“You have made thousands of people hostage to your ambitions, your lack of professionalism — or maybe simply your trivial greed,” Putin told Deripaska and two other businessmen who own cement and alumina factories in the town.

“Where is the social responsibility of business?”, he said in the confrontation broadcast on national television.

Indeed, I most thoroughly agree with these words from the Prime Ministerwhere is the social responsibility of business?  This week we have many representatives of the world’s most successful and powerful corporations meeting at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, perfectly willing to ignore the fact that the ignominious show trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky is going on at the same time as their talks about doing more and more business with Russia.