The main question after the nationalization of Privat-Bank: Will USA pay back what Kolomoisky has stolen?

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The
main question after the nationalization of Privat-Bank: Will USA pay back what
Kolomoisky has stolen?
Your own bank is the
easiest one to rob.

Fort Russ, December 22, 2016

Source: article by Oleg Tsarev

Translated by L. Gimalieva, edited by Tatzhit Mihailovich


[pictured: Kolomoyski and Gontareva (head of NBU). source]

The nationalization of
“Privat-Bank” was expected after the “CyberBerkut”
hackers exposed Poroshenko/Biden talks on the conditions for further IMF loans.
Once it became clear that the nationalization of Kolomoisky’s bank would be one
of IMF’s requirements, the future was obvious. The US government and the IMF had
closely monitored the situation with “Privat-Bank” for a while now. I
remember seeing the calculations on Privat’s nationalization about a year ago,
with the expected cost of about 100 billion UAH.

Why did the Americans
believe that nationalization was
necessary? Because Kolomoisky was using “Privat-Bank” to constantly siphon
money from the Ukrainian budget. The method was simple and elegant: By giving high
interest rates on deposits, “Privat” became the №1 bank in terms of
money deposited by the [Ukrainian] population. 

[Privat-bank branch with an ad, promising best rates in the country – 20% yearly interest in hryvna, 10% yearly interest in dollars]

Privat opened those accounts, even
if it meant operating at a loss – because this enabled Kolomoisky to pressure
the government, threatening the collapse of the banking system if the National
Bank of Ukraine (NBU) does not bail out Privat [time after time]. He used essentially the same
kind of financial blackmail back in the days of Yanukovych, too. So, under both
governments, NBU was repeatedly forced to print additional
money and give it to Kolomoisky.

As you may recall, the
first collapse of the UAH/dollar exchange rate happened when Kolomoisky
received his first “refinancing” (bailout – ed.) after the Maidan. And note
that he received this additional money using his assets in Crimea as
collateral, even though it was already obvious that these assets would be
nationalized by the Russian government. He even had the gall to inflate the
value of this “collateral” about tenfold. Kolomoyski then used the billions of
hryvna that he received from the National Bank to purchase huge amounts of
dollars and euros, which in turn collapsed the UAH exchange rate.


(Also, I would be quite surprised if the Kiev bunch doesn’t try to sue Russia
for the inflated value of those Crimean “assets” that Kolomoisky used as a
smokescreen to steal the National Bank money – ed.
).

As Kolomoisky kept on “milking”
the National Bank on a regular basis, Americans grew tired of sending money to NBU,
knowing that it would be used to line Kolomoisky’s pockets instead of serving
its purpose. If we analyze the capital of our oligarchs, the balance between assets
and liabilities of Kolomoisky looks radically different from the other oligarchs.
All Ukrainian oligarchs are bankrupt – they all have much more liabilities
(i.e. debts) than assets. Oligarchs are essentially owned by commercial banks,
mainly foreign. Why were they forced to support the Maidan? Because they were
all deeply in debt to foreign banks. But Kolomoisky’s situation is different
–all his debts are owned by the Ukrainian population.

“Forbes” often
publishes rankings of the oligarchs. When they write that the fortune of one or
the other billionaire is X number of $billions, this is the cost of entities which
he/she owns. But no one reveals the amount of loans that they have. Because if
they did reveal this amount, it would turn out that they were bankrupt.
Kolomoisky would also be bankrupt if he was forced to return all the money he
stole from the population through “Privat-Bank”, but he had no wish
to return this money himself. So, for many years, Kolomoisky would siphon money
from his financial enterprises, then his own firms would pump these funds
abroad, [and then he would demand a bailout]. Over the years, over a billion
dollars were pumped out of the Ukrainian budget that way.

However, Kolomoisky
did not resist the nationalization of “Privat-Bank” too strongly.
Why? Because the possession of “Privat” is no longer a priority for
him. Of course, he would like to continue using it as means of siphoning off
money from the government, but government does not want to continue giving
money. And the bank itself has no money left in it. So there is no point for
Kolomoisky to fight hard over a bankrupt bank. On the contrary, this presents a
good opportunity to pass off Privat, and all its debts, to the government.

Therefore, the main
mystery related to the nationalization of “Privat” is not in the
nationalization itself, but rather what will happen next. Will the Ukrainian
government (at the orders of the American “curators”), or the Americans
themselves, try to shake down Kolomoisky for the money that he has stolen? The
IMF money, which was given to UA National Bank and was then siphoned into
Kolomoisky’s pocket – that ultimately belongs to the Americans, so it is quite
possible that they will start looking for Kolomoisky’s money themselves. I
doubt that the corrupt Ukrainian government is capable of finding the stolen
money on their own. I repeat: the main question in the nationalization of
“Privat-Bank” is in whether the Americans will successfully recover the
stolen money from Kolomoisky.

So, for the past several
years, Kolomoisky was siphoning the money [from the government and the people]
via “Privat-Bank” and moving it from one offshore account to the next. But
today, the only places where money can be hidden from the Americans are Russia and
China. And China will not hide Kolomoisky’s money without consulting Russia
first. Therefore, if the Americans do start searching for Kolomoisky’s money,
his only recourse may be to appeal to Russia. And then Russia may remember Kolomoisky’s
financing of nazi battalions and his involvement in the Odessa Massacre.

One more question
remains unanswered. Kolomoisky is not only a  high-profile player in the financial sector,  but also a prominent figure in the European
Jewish movement, being a member of many prestigious Jewish organizations and a leader
in several of them. So why aren’t his fellow Jews supporting him? Basically,
because no one wants to see IMF money being shamelessly stolen. Furthermore, Kolomoisky is currently involved in several court cases
in the US; the plaintiff is another Jewish entrepreneur who is successfully seizing
Kolomoisky’s properties in the United States. Kolomoisky has also lost a case
against Pinchuk[1] in London. There is also a legal case against “Tatneft”[2].

Will Kolomoisky be able to evade the investigation over the stolen money, or will this be the beginning of the end? If the world’s
financial authorities are instructed to “seize” Kolomoisky’s money, he is finished. If Kolomoisky manages to get away with it, then he has done
very well for himself, having squeezed out all the money that he could from “Privat”.
In fact, he robbed “Privat” several times – both by stealing the people’s
deposits, and by stealing the bailouts that the government repeatedly gave
him. And in the end, he passed off the bank with no money in it to the government!
 [That same government which will now
have to rob the people even harder, to stabilize “Privat” and pay off the IMF
loans that Kolomoisky stole]!

If I had a deposit
in  “Privat-Bank”, I would try
to take my money out as quickly as possible, the sooner the better. The
government will now have to print money again[3], which may very well lead to
another collapse of the hryvna. Therefore, dollars or euros are a much more secure
investment than UAH.

In the meantime,
Kolomoisky will be doing everything he can to look like the victim in this
situation. He will be the one shouting “Stop the thief!” the loudest,
whilst pointing at the Kiev government.


===

Further reading:

 1. Earlier article on the subject on banking machinations in Ukraine –

Carrying water in a sieve: European loan vanishesin Kiev

 2. Older
piece from an outside source, specifically describing Kolomoisky’s stealing of
IMF loans –

Undelivered goods

Notes from the editor:
[1] Another Ukrainian oligarch. Pinchuk has widely reported ties to the Clinton Foundation
[2] Russian oil company
[3] There are hints from the head of National Bank that Kiev government will be
releasing 1,000 hryvna bills in early 2017 (previously, the largest
denomination was 500 hryvna). 

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