Alexander Smolensky
Alexander Pavlovich Smolensky (born July 6, 1954) was the founder and president
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 of one of the largest private bank
A bank is a financial institution that serves as a financial intermediary. The term "bank" may refer to one of several related types of entities:...

s in Russia - Bank Stolichny (later known as SBS/AGRO) which collapsed in the 1998 Russian financial crisis wiping out its investors' savings. When asked what he owed his investors he replied: "dead donkey ears". In 1999, Russian prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest including charges of embezzlement and money laundering. This warrant was later dropped. He currently controls the newspapers Kommersant
Kommersant is a commerce-oriented newspaper published in Russia. , the circulation was 131,000.- History :The newspaper was initially published in 1909, and it was closed down following the Bolshevik seizure of power and the introduction of censorship in 1917.In 1989, with the onset of press...

and Novaya Gazeta
Novaya Gazeta
Novaya Gazeta is a Russian newspaper well known in the country for its critical and investigative coverage of Russian political and social affairs....


Smolensky began his business activities on the black market of the so-called "shadow economy". His private ventures included trading foreign currency, moonlighting on a second job in a bakery with a counterfeit permit as well as typesetting and printing Bibles using government presses and ink. For these activities he was arrested by the KGB in 1981 and charged with economic crimes. Subsequently he was sentenced to two years of hard labor although he only served one day.

Smolensky's net worth
Net worth
In business, net worth is the total assets minus total outside liabilities of an individual or a company. For a company, this is called shareholders' preference and may be referred to as book value. Net worth is stated as at a particular year in time...

 in 2003 was 230 million USD.


  • David E. Hoffman. The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia, Public Affairs (2003) ISBN 1-58648-202-5
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