Dividends and Seizing assets is easy, but getting the proceeds to Ukraine is not

When Russian invaded the Ukraine, the world had a number of strategies to say they did not like it. Technically they could not send troops to Ukraine because that would lead to a bigger war but they could and can send money and arms for the Ukrainians to fight. The world used the forms of the UN and other international organizations to isolate Russia and seized assets belonging to those are President Putin and some of the wealthiest Russians.

In an article by Matthew Goldstein of the New York Times New Service, the world including the US has found it is relatively easy to freeze bank accounts, if they can find them. It was easier to freeze the Central Bank of Russia because as a government organization it only has a few accounts and over $600 billion is frozen. However for individuals with possible influence on the President seizing yachts, planes and artwork is easier said than done.

Part of the problem is after seizing the assets, the government has to go before a judge and proving to a judge the assets were obtained from the proceeds of crime or through money laundering. If they can prove that, then selling the assets is a problem. For the yachts, there are only a handful of people willing to pay multi millions for the yachts. In the meantime, the properties must be maintained.

Over the years, Russians and other wealthy people have been skilled in using parade of offshore companies in places such as the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Cayman Islands (if you go to the Caymans do not be surprised to see many large mutual fund companies names on buildings), Jersey Island (near the UK), the Channel Islands and other tax haven countries. The issue is many of these places move money around for both wealthy individuals and corporations which you may own shares in as well as the government agencies such as spy networks.

Some Russian wealthy individuals have not been targeted because they are trying to stop the war. A bigger question is what happens when the war is over, will all the sanctions be released and the world can continue the way it was?

Linking to dividend paying stocks, if you are fortunate to amass a great deal of wealth it is good to be diversified in a variety of ways the financial system makes it easy to move your wealth around. The more you accumulate the more you will find out how the financial system is used for both good and not so good because it is just money.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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