Of all the scandals and intrigues that have rocked Russian politics over the past week or so, none has generated more shock and outrage among Western observers than the revelation unveiled by recently-fired General Prosecutor Yuri Skuratov that the Russian Central Bank transferred $50 billion in assets to a shady offshore company, FIMACO. Russia's Central Banker, Viktor Geraschenko, had a difficult time explaining why the Central Bank would secretly invest its money in a Jersey-based management
The eXile was able to track down FIMACO's fund manager, one Winthorpe "Weebles" Marlborough III. This is the man in whom Russia placed its national assets in the hopes of earning solid profits. Many questions are answered here in this exclusive interview: why was this scheme chosen, as opposed to a transparent, safer modus operandi followed by most of the world's central banks?; did the IMF know?; where did the profits go to?; how was the money invested?; and finally, judging by Mr. Marlborough's looks, is it true that he is closely related to the Russian Central Banker, and thus, used his family ties to secure FIMACO's contract with the Central Bank back in 1992?
We met with Mr. Marlborough at his residence in the Three Ponds Estates facility in Jersey, The Channel Isles.
eXile: Mr. Marlborough, sir--
Marlborough: Weebles! Weebles! (screeches, rocks violently in his chair) Weebles!
eXile: Okay, er, Weebles, sir. I guess our first question is, whose idea was it to create FIMACO, and why?
Marlborough: Fim... fim... Fim-fum. Weebles! (scratches ear, rocks back and forth, throws himself on floor and continues to rock back and forth)
Marlborough: Fim-fum! Fim-fum! (slaps hand against forehead violently several times, then laughs while drooling) Weebles!
eXile: Sir, one may be getting the impression that you are trying to cover up some misdeeds on behalf of your friends. What do you say to that?
Marlborough: (opens mouth, lets out a squeak that eventually turns into a long howl, then begins to hit head against wall)
eXile: Can we ask you this, then: did the IMF know about FIMACO's existence?
Marlborough: Pizza! Pppeeeeee-tsaaaah!
Marlborough: (laughing, awkwardly clapping hands) Pizza! Pee-pee-tsa!
Marlborough: (tries to hug eXile reporter, who pushes him away and wipes slime off blazer shoulder)
eXile: Sir, your stonewalling tactics are fooling no one. Can you just answer this one question: some say that your physical resemblance to Mr. Geraschenko is so uncanny as to be eerie. It has even been suggested that the two of you are related on your mother's side. Is FIMACO just another instance of Yeltsin-era cronyism?
Marlborough: Pizza! Pizza! (runs out of room)
Marlborough's "aides" told the eXile that he needed to be "sedated". We believe that our hard-hitting questions may have shaken up the normally reclusive asset funds manager, in whom Russia placed its entire wealth. But we'll let you be the judge.