Monday, October 17, 2011
Shaxson’s Treasure Islands – the sequel
A significant energy source for western banks has been the streams of cash and assets plundered from the second- and third-world by kleptocrats, oligarchs, privatisers, drug cartels and sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). The story is that when these plunderers fall from grace they 'retire' abroad to spend more time with their money. Corrupt leaders and officials and businesspeople profiting from their preferments believed this narrative and kept stashing their loot in western banks and their offshore labyrinths. But many of these plunderers have themselves been fleeced or had their assets frozen or seized, and the SWFs are hostage to the sovereign's 'good behaviour' as defined by the US, so repatriation of some SWFs is looking more likely. So, will the energy source wither away?