When tycoons and Kremlin insiders Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich acquired a large and perhaps controlling stake in the bulk of the country’s aluminum production, the press put out the word that Putin was upset and embarrassed by this surprise move. Putin called for an investigation, which Antimonopoly Minister Ilya Yuzhanov said could take weeks or months. But it took Yuzhanov only about ten days to conclude that in no case was there any acquisition of a stake of more than 20 percent, the level that would trigger action under the antitrust laws. Observers say Berezovsky used a chain of companies whose ownership is murky to conceal the extent of their acquisitions. The quick whitewash adds to the evidence that Putin is unwilling to take on the tycoons, at least for now.