In Russia’s Crisis, Even Transparency is Non-transparent

This would actually be really, really funny if it weren’t so tragically true, sad, and thoroughly outlandish. From the Moscow Times:

Blaming the turmoil, Standard and Poor’s took the unprecedented step Thursday of disclosing only the top 10 names on its annual transparency and disclosure list of Russia’s 90 largest publicly traded companies. Investors and company representatives waiting for the information at a news conference called by the international ratings agency were stunned by the decision. “It is complete absurdity that transparency ratings are being kept secret. What are transparency ratings when they aren’t transparent?” said Alexei Navalny, an individual Russian stockholder currently involved in several transparency-related lawsuits against Rosneft, which was ranked as the second most transparent company on the list after CTC Media.

This practically reminds me of the time back when PricewaterhouseCoopers withdrew years of its audits of Yukos to help the state’s prosecution of Mikhail Khodorkovsky after a few office raids and threats to strip its license. Never mind the question of just how Rosneft, a company whose value is based entirely upon stolen assets, could possibly garner the #2 transparency ranking. What a joke.