JEFF CAPLAN

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: What is an oligarch anyway?

Mar 2, 2022, 3:55 PM | Updated: 4:25 pm
what is an oligarch...
FILE: The Eclipse, reported to be the largest private yacht in the world, is viewed docked at a pier in New York in 2013. The boat measures 557ft in length and is estimated to cost $1.5 billion US dollars, is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY —  Think back to your eighth-grade civics class. Remember, when we learned about the different forms of government? There was democracy, monarchy, aristocracy, autocracy, and then oligarchy.

Our textbooks described oligarchy as “when a small group of people has control of a country.” It comes from the ancient Greek word oliigoi which means “few.”

Can you use it in a sentence?

Many Americans are surprised to learn that Russia isn’t controlled by Vladimir Putin alone. He has henchmen. Back in the 1990’s when Russia was like the wild wild west, ruthless businessmen tried to grab everything they could. They muscled and murdered competitors, and those who hitched their wagon to Vladimir Putin wound up controlling entire industries.

Banking, natural gas, precious metal production and the like. And as these thugs rose to power, their deal with their gang leader was this: stay out of politics, and you can do whatever else you want.

So each oligarch made their billions and sent them overseas for safety. This is staggering. These men have squirreled away 85-percent of Russia’s gross domestic product. So 85 out of every 100 dollars produced by the Russian economy leaves the country.

It pays for all these private jets and luxury yachts and prime real estate in London and New York. When you hear about a $50 million dollar condo in New York City, chances are it’s owned by a Russian oligarch.

And now they can’t use their toys.

The hope is that the oligarchs turn on their President who got them into the Ukrainian mess.

Related: Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Vladimir Putin’s Super Bowl ring

Listen to Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m. for more of his “My Minute of News.” And check out the podcast below.

 

Today’s Top Stories

Jeff Caplan

dog attorney defend dogs...
Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Richard Rosenthal, animal attorney

Richard Rosenthal is an animal attorney who handles custody cases. He sues clinics for malpractice and defends dangerous dogs.
2 months ago
Personal assistant for the wealthy....
Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Needed, personal assistant for the rich

A personal assistant for the rich must be flexible, and available. They'll be writing a proposal one minute, and stocking the pantry the next.
2 months ago
students stand on one leg during a yoga class for stress relief...
Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan: How to predict if you’re going to die

A new test could tell you about your life expectancy. If you're over 50 years old, you'll want to try it. All you need is your leg.
3 months ago
beat inflation...
Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan: How to beat inflation — potty train your cat (seriously)

Everyone's minds are on how to best beat inflation. And if you're trying to be super frugal, there's a good chance you can.
3 months ago
Utah spelling...
Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Utah’s most misspelled word

A Google trends review shows Utah's most misspelled word is a lot tougher than most states. Especially Texas.
4 months ago
mona lisa exhibit after the cake was thrown...
Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Pie in the face

A protester smeared the Mona Lisa with cake in protest of climate change last week. Another page in the Mona Lisa's interesting story.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: What is an oligarch anyway?