Why many at the top don’t want to talk about asset recovery
Many in Ukraine and in the world want to talk about how Ukraine will recover the $40 billion in assets stolen since 2010, more than a quarter of it from the corrupt and dysfunctional banking sector.
But the ones who can do the most about solving the problem are also the least eager to talk about the mess: President Petro Poroshenko, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, Deposit Guarantee Fund director Kostyantyn Voroshylyn and National Bank of Ukraine Governor Valeria Gontareva. Also on the list are many of the nameless, faceless, corrupt judges among a pool of 7,000 who are hiding behind their robes, their bribes in Ukraine and their 97 percent disapproval rating from the public.
To say this is a national disgrace doesn’t begin to describe the sad situation.
To recap: Ukraine had no effective banking regulation before 2014 – the central bank didn’t know who owned the banks and granted big refinancing loans without personal guarantees or collateral.
Today’s regulation remains suspect, despite the international accolades heaped in some quarters on Gontareva, who, despite her shortcomings, remains the best and most transparent person to lead the central bank.
This scandalous pre-revolution environment allowed for the most massive bank robbery in independent Ukraine’s history: At least $14.5 billion in losses through insider lending and bank fraud. In a lot of cases, “insider lending” was simply the polite term for “embezzlement.”
More than 80 banks crashed this way – imploded in the multibillion-dollar orgy of of bad lending by insiders who, of course, stuck suffering Ukrainian taxpayers with the bill that they keep on paying.
How many criminal cases have been forwarded by the central bank and Deposit Guarantee Fund for investigation? At least 3,500.
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