The Browders - Communism, Capitalism...and Silicon Valley

Episode 2,   Jun 08, 2022, 12:35 PM

Welcome to this Family Capital special podcast an interview with the Browders, father and son, Bill and Joshua, presented by Matthew Gwyther.

It’s not every day you get to speak to the grandson and great-grandson of the head of the American communist party, Earl Browder, but Bill and Joshua are pretty unusual in many other respects. 

During the 90s Bill was one of the largest foreign investors in Russia with $4.5 billion under management but it all went horribly wrong when he fell foul of a corrupt system and had hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from him. And then Putin’s henchmen killed his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky. He has written two best-selling books about what happened afterwards Red Notice and Freezing Order

Using his capital, Bill now runs one of the most active and imaginative human rights lobbying organisations in the world. In his new book Freezing Order he describes the terrible realization when Donald Trump appeared to be negotiating with Vladimir Putin to trade Bill for 12 KGB officers. 

Joshua is only 26 and attended Stanford like his father. But he left and started his “Do Not Pay'' business while still an undergraduate which helps consumers fight for their legal rights. Described as The Robin Hood of the internet he’s now a Silicon Valley legend and highly sought after investor for the best new tech ideas. “I’m an investor who is also a full-time founder. I can relate to their challenges - they can imessage me at 2 AM .”

In this podcast they talk about: 

  • Joshua’s unusual upbringing 
  •  how they both fight powerful vested interests
  • what they think of Elon Musk
  • how to pick investment winners, 
  • how war has changed global capital markets for ever, 
  • how business cannot now ignore political risk, 
“I wish I could have been more like him - creating things rather than getting involved in businesses where people were killing each other.” 

It’s a great conversation I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it.