It also carries a clear message for ordinary citizens: no matter how hard you try, you will pay the bills for the elite’s excesses. It was a lesson ordinary folks learned quite well, as recently as the global economic crisis in 2008-09.
Among the firms on the list of 132 Cyprus account holders who made a timely escape from the island before banks closed and capital controls came down, is DTEK, an energy holding owned by Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov. The company claims the transactions were motivated by growing concerns about financial stability in the country. Yet the fact that multiple accounts were emptied completely just ahead of what some in the industry call “confiscation day” arouses suspicions of insider information, to which Akhmetov’s System Capital Management offers an innocent explanation: That it was good business to move out of risky Cyprus.
But this is by no means just a Ukrainian problem. Companies and individuals from Russia and Kazakhstan emptied their accounts, as well as a subdivision of ExxonMobil, the American energy giant, illustrating once again that there are no borders when it comes to potential insider deals.