Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sandinista General: Kleptocrats ‘R Us - So What?

“Ortega defends the Sandinista Front’s rise to economic power, which started during the 1980s and has accelerated in recent years. Since President Daniel Ortega returned to power, opponents have criticized him and his party for essentially privatizing Venezuelan aid, which last year totaled $457 million, according to the Central Bank.

The Sandinista government has created a series of privately managed companies under the auspicious of the Venezuela-bankrolled Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). Those companies, which represent more than $530 million in energy contracts, tourism holdings, and cattle farms, are linked to the presidential couple and managed by the family and Sandinista party treasurer, Francisco López…….

Ortega said one can be a self-identified leftist and still be rich….”

More here at The Nica Times.

In other words Nicaragua’s dear “leaders” are in bed with every rich speculator/developer from abroad. And aid to the country is being siphoned off by them. Great news for the foreign speculators/flippers in the country, making their capital gains and throwing chump change to the kiddies to feed their conscience.

Bad news for ordinary folks who make their living working and producing for the predator class.

Ah, but the new rich are kind too. A few bones are being tossed to the underclasses to buy respectability. The usual formula of crony capitalism - predation + charity.

I steal whatever I can get away with. Then I go to mass and toss your dying children some old toys. I get to be richer than everyone…and better too. I cheat, lie, defraud, and stomp on a thousand faceless individuals to get what I have. Then I toss some tiny part back to some one else and absolve myself.

It’s the Jeffrey Levitt model of absolution. More than twenty years ago, Tony Korneiser wrote a piece in The Washington Post on the man who “stole Baltimore.”

Back then, Kornheiser presciently put his finger on the moral and social attitudes that would metastasize in twenty years to give us the bank that “stole America.”

“Today’s businessmen seem to have hung a sign that says: We Will Lie, Cheat and Steal Unless You Stop Us. They renounce their responsibility to behave ethically, and dare the government regulators to seal off the border.

The sin isn’t cheating, but getting caught. If Jeffrey hadn’t been caught, he and Karol might still be the toasts of Baltimore. They wouldn’t be seen as gluttons, but as eccentrics and damned entitled to be so.

A few years ago Jeffrey hired a public relations firm to retool his image. The trick, and Jeffrey understood it, was philanthropy. Rockefeller, Ford, du Pont, Morgan — they all gave some away. That’s how they bought respectability.Now their great-grandsons are running for president. Instead of being known as a slumlord, which he was before he got into banking, Jeffrey would be known as a philanthropist. Through Jeffrey’s and Karol’s good charitable deeds, the Levitt name would stand for kindness and compassion. What Jeffrey neglected to tell the public relations firm was that it wasn’t his own money he was giving away. “

To “slum-lord,” add con man, gangster, penny-stock pumper, bid-rigger, racketeer, briber, stock fraudster, blackmailer, thief, extortionist, pimp, charlatan - which is what the word financier really stands for today.

Kind of takes away the glamor…

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