Crackdowns and corporate governance
Corporate governance is back on the agenda in Russia. Along with squashing the oligarchs and bashing the regional governors, as part of Putin's "law and order" drive, the president also wants to bring Russia's companies to heel.
In July, the stock market watchdog, the Federal Securities Commission, announced that it would set up a corporate governance task force to investigate abuses. These bodies have been two a penny in the past, but by October the FSC had signed a three-year cooperation agreement with the tax police and similar agreements with the bankruptcy commission and the bailiff service. The head of the tax police, Oleg Stepanov, said at the end of October that it was already investigating 148 cases passed on to it by the FSC.
Other watchdogs are also growing more teeth. The Duma's audit commission, headed by ex-prime minister Sergei Stepashin, has been transferred out from under the Duma and made directly subordinate to the president.