Saturday, February 7, 2015

John Helmer: Convicted Fraudster Jonathan Hay, Harvard's Man Who Wrecked Russia, Resurfaces in Ukraine | naked capitalism

Yves here. You cannot make this stuff up. One of the sorriest chapters in recent American history was how we allowed an unprecedented opportunity to assist Russia in managing the end of its Communist era to turn into a looting exercise by well-placed insiders, including advisors under contract to Harvard.

If you are unfamiliar with this fiasco, which was also the true proximate cause of Larry Summers’ ouster from Harvard, you must read an extraordinary expose, How Harvard Lost Russia, from Institutional Investor. I am told copies of this article were stuffed in every Harvard faculty member’s inbox the day Summers got a vote of no confidence and resigned shortly thereafter.

Jonathan Hay ran the day-to-day operations of the Russia Project. He was found guilty of violating three counts of the False Claims Act and was debarred from serving in USAID. But he’s managed to resurface in Ukraine, working in the local operations of a Polish think tank. Nicely played.

By John Helmer, the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

There are about 450 think-tanks in Europe and the US currently focusing on international relations, war, peace, and economic security. Of these, about one hundred regularly analyse Russian affairs. And of these, less than ten aren’t committed antagonists of Russia. That’s barely two percent of the intellectual materiel which can be counted as non-partisan or neutral in the infowar now underway between the NATO alliance and Russia. In this balance of forces, think-tanks behave like tanks – that’s the weapon, not the cistern.

The Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE) has been based in Warsaw since 1991. It claims on its website to be “an independent non-profit economic and public policy research institution founded on the idea that evidence-based policy making is vital to the economic welfare of societies.” In its 2013 annual report, declares: “we seek to maintain a strict sense of non-partisanship in all of our research, advisory and educational activities.” Three-quarters of CASE’s annual revenues come from the European Commission; another 9% from American and other international organizations. According to CASE, that’s “an indication of progressive diversification of CASE revenue sources.”

CASE Ukraine is a branch of this Polish think-tank, and at the same time a descendant, it claims, of a Harvard University-funded group which was active between 1996 and 1999. Registered since 1999 as CASE Ukraine, this calls itself “an independent Ukrainian NGO specializing in economic research, macroeconomic policy analysis and forecasting.” According to parent CASE in Warsaw, one of the group’s goals is “promoting cooperation and integration with the neighboring partners of Europe”. This means, not only CASE Ukraine, but CASE Kyrgyzstan, CASE Moldova, CASE Georgia, and in Russia, the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy.

Independent is what CASE swears; independent isn’t what CASE represents. Investigate the names, the associations, the sources of money, the secret service engagements, and what you have is a family, a front, a cover, a closed shop, a mafia. Founders of CASE Ukraine like the American Jonathan Hay and operators of CASE Poland like the Balcerowiz family reveal a well-known anti-Russian alliance. So what are a director of the Gazprom board, Vladimir Mau; a professor of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Marek Dabrowski; and Simeon Djankov, Rector of the New Economic School in Moscow, and a protégé of First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, doing on the CASE side?

The latest US survey of the think-tanks in the world counted 6,826 in all as of August 2013. One-quarter (1,828) of those is located in the US; 426 in China; 287 in the UK; 194 in Germany; and 122 in Russia. In a perverse ranking, the only Russian think-tank, so called, to make it to the top 20 of the non-American batch, according to a panel of experts employed by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the University of Pennsylvania, isn’t Russian at all. It’s the US-funded and directed Carnegie Moscow Centre (ranking 18th).

At the 46th rank is the first genuine Russian think-tank – the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) in Moscow. When US think-tanks are counted, along with the non-American ones, Carnegie Moscow slips to 28th; IMEMO rises to 32nd.

Complete story at - John Helmer: Convicted Fraudster Jonathan Hay, Harvard's Man Who Wrecked Russia, Resurfaces in Ukraine | naked capitalism

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