Published on A World View, by blog owner , April 12, 2011.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is engaging in another war of words with Western officials active in his country, this time over the management of Afghanistan’s financial sector. Last September, Kabul Bank, the country’s largest private lender and the institution that handles government and military payrolls for Afghanistan, nearly collapsed. The Kabul Bank wasn’t done in by the global recession and credit crunch, but rather by good, old-fashioned mismanagement: Bank insiders used a series of fraudulent loans to suck close to a billion dollars out of the bank, nearly its entire asset base. Western firms including PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte were suppose to be providing consulting services and oversight for Afghanistan’s fledgling financial sector, so Karzai is now slamming the foreigners for not seeing the collapse of Kabul Bank coming and taking steps to prevent it. Of course it is worth noting here that Kabul Bank’s third-largest shareholder was a man named Mahmoud Karzai, and before you ask, yes, he is the brother of Hamid Karzai.
So President Karzai’s complaint boils down to this: The Western companies overseeing the Kabul Bank should have kept the Karzai family from ripping it off … (full text).