Russians looking to protect Cypriot… investments?

The American Interest and Hot Air are covering this one pretty well, so here’s the executive summary: the EU wants to raid Cypriot individual bank accounts in exchange for a bank bailout; this is freaking out Russians crony capitalist oligarchs, who have been using said banks to deposit their… questionable… gains for the last decade; and so the Russian energy company Gazprom is making a counter-offer to stabilize the banks, in exchange for what are frankly speculative natural gas exploration rights. The Cyprus government may or may not take that offer, but they will probably use it as leverage in order to screw over… somebody.  Either the EU, or the Russians, or maybe both.  Reply hazy: try again later.

That’s pretty much it, except for this operation: if you’re really worried about crony capitalism, check out Russia’s.  They make the Obama administration look like pikers, and the average Republican White House look like Milton Friedman and F. A. Hayek’s love child.

One thought on “Russians looking to protect Cypriot… investments?”

  1. defenders of giving depositors haircuts make the interesting point that a bailout of the banks is really a bailout of Russian gangsters, and how would Americans feel bailing out a bank primarily financed by Mexican drug cartels. I’m sympathetic to the point. But then, why is the government in the business of bailing out banks to begin with? or, insuring them, for that matter? Seems to me, the ability of banks to privately insure deposits would be a much better bell weather of their financial soundness than would a blanket government backing.

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