Fall Of An Oligarch

Can Vladimir Potanin save his empire?

Last April, Vladimir O. Potanin proudly celebrated the fifth anniversary of his Oneximbank, then one of Russia's most powerful financial institutions. At a press conference, the once-media-shy Russian magnate acclaimed Oneximbank's $3.7 billion in assets--and declared it on the way to becoming one of the world's largest banks. All across Moscow, Potanin plastered billboards with the image of the ancient god Zeus proclaiming that Oneximbank could "withstand the elements."

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