[Marxism] Interesting article on Libya referenced in Achcar's "The People Want"

Marv Gandall marvgand2 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 1 09:01:03 MST 2014

On 2014-01-26, at 3:09 PM, Louis Proyect posted:

> http://afrol.com/articles/37336
> Libya economy reveals basis for protests
> afrol News, 16 February - While the Libyan economy drowns in petrodollars and its "Great leader" Muammar al-Ghaddafi buys support abroad, almost half of its youth are unemployed.

> […]
> Most of the Libyan leader's megalomaniac projects are poorly assessed schemes not based in the development needs of the country or its population. Bluntly, they are mostly a waste of billions of dollars.

Yesterday's Independent (UK) on how Goldman Sachs' helped waste those billions:

Gifts, perks and Moroccan luxury: How Goldman Sachs 'won over Libyans'
By James Moore
The Independent
Friday, 31 January 2014

Goldman Sachs offered gifts, luxury trips to Morocco and an internship at its Fleet Street offices to win business from the Gaddafi placemen running the $60bn Libyan Investment Authority, papers filed at the High Court allege.

The legal claim, lodged by Libya’s new regime, claims that poorly qualified and naive staff were courted with chocolate and aftershave and were lavishly entertained on a corporate credit card issued to Youssef Kabbaj, the bank’s former head of North Africa.

The coveted internship, in London and Dubai, was allegedly handed to Haitem Zarti, brother of the fund’s deputy director, Mustafa Zarti, who owed his position to his friendship with Saif al-Islam, Colonel Gaddafi’s son whom he had met while studying in Vienna.

Such placements are more usually fought over by top-performing graduates from the world’s leading universities.

Mr Kabbaj also brought gifts of chocolates and after shave to the LIA team in Tripoli when he came to visit, calling the men his “friends”. He took six of them on trips to his native Morocco and “paid for extensive expenses for them on his corporate credit card provided by Goldman,” the claim alleges.

All this, the claim says, led to Goldman establishing a relationship of “trust” with the LIA – set up to invest parts of the country’s vast oil wealth – which allowed the bank to make $350m (£210m) from a series of trades worth $1bn that ultimately proved worthless.


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