Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Proceeds of crime

1. Petty theft:

Aditya Chakrabortty on senior university management:
Forming before our eyes is a new breed of academic fat cat. Except that, with a handful of exceptions, these academics stopped teaching or researching decades ago and now bob about from campus to campus: cutting here, screwing things up there before moving on to the next debacle. 
...In good times, they justify mega-pay as the going rate for "talent". In bad times, they just take the cash.
Sounds vaguely familiar somehow.

2. Grand larceny

Ben Judah on Russian attitudes to the West:
Putin’s inner circle no longer fear the European establishment. They once imagined them all in MI6. Now they know better. They have seen firsthand how obsequious Western aristocrats and corporate tycoons suddenly turn when their billions come into play. They now view them as hypocrites—the same European elites who help them hide their fortunes.  
We are not talking big money. But very big money. None other than Putin’s Central Bank has estimated that two thirds of the $56 billion exiting Russia in 2012 might be traceable to illegal activities. Crimes like kickbacks, drug money or tax fraud. This is the money that posh English bankers are rolling out the red carpet for in London.
So bankers, the London property market and Chelsea Football Club are all receivers of stolen goods.

Welcome to the new kleptocracy.

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