Monday, September 8, 2014

Ukraine Takes Another $1.39 Billion From IMF–$3 Billion in IMF Cash Already Sent Offshore

By John Helmer, Moscow

 Bank robbers of the manual, stick-up type have a reputation for a sense of a humour. That may be a comfort to them, because they usually get caught. Bank robbers of the International Monetary Fund type lack even a sense of irony, because they expect not to be caught, and never are. In the bank- robbing profession also, the driver of the get-away car is usually the least talented, the witless one who doesn’t see the gag, especially not when he or she is the butt of jokes from the rest of the gang.

 This week, when Alexander Shlapak, the Ukrainian Minister of Finance, helped himself to $1.39 billion, the second tranche of the IMF’s Ukraine Stand-By Agreement of $17.1 billion, he illustrated the ministry’s Facebook announcement in Kiev with a picture showing an anonymous figure carrying a cheap briefcase away from the IMF headquarters as the Fund’s front-door sign is partially covered up by the Ukrainian flag. Counting the first tranche of $3.1 billion Shlapak took away on May 5, the cover-up is currently blowing at $4.5 billion. Another $1.39 billion had been scheduled for the taking in October. But that has been delayed and doubled to $2.8 billion for payout by December 15.

Shlapak is one of the getaway drivers. For his background as a custodian at Igor Kolomoisky’s Privat Bank, read this. For what IMF officials know about the private interests of their Ukrainian government counterparts, click here.

 These IMF officials – Nikolai Gueorguiev (1), head of the IMF Ukraine team; Poul Thomsen (2), acting head of the European Department, to whom Gueorguiev reports; and Conny Lotze (3), the IMF’s press division chief – have been the getaway drivers at the Fund in Washington. They don’t see the funny side of the alibi they have been issuing for the Ukrainian government, and for themselves.

 Reza Moghadam, head of the European Department, left the IMF in July for a job at Morgan Stanley in New York, he has gotten away from his handshake with Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk (image below), scot-free. At his departure, the IMF issued a release congratulating Moghadam for his “responsib[ility] for… the Fund’s response from one crisis to the next-including the most recent challenge in Ukraine.”

  Complete story at - Ukraine Takes Another $1.39 Billion From IMF–$3 Billion in IMF Cash Already Sent Offshore | Dances With Bears

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