Why many at the top don’t want to talk about as­set re­cov­ery

Kyiv Post Legal Quarterly - - News - By Brian Bon­ner bon­ner@kyiv­post.com

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.

the sec­tor from de­vel­op­ing at a higher gear. Pos­si­ble pub­lic pres­sures on the - - - - - com­mer­cially at­trac­tive both for large com­pa­nies and small and medium en­ter - -

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