We have no argument with the necessity of the Ukrainian government’s nationalization of PrivatBank, the nation’s giant financial institution with 20 percent of the nation’s $53 billion in banking assets.
Our argument is that it should have been done much earlier and at far less cost than the $6 billion bailout awaiting Ukrainian taxpayers. The delay appears to have only given the bank’s owners, billionaire oligarchs Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Boholyubov, more time to empty the bank out — and we hear that is exactly what they did in the final weeks.
At the least, they should be facing a criminal investigation on suspicion of bank fraud. They have, in fact, been facing a lackluster and inconclusive investigation by prosecutors into what happened with $1.8 billion in refinancing money that PrivatBank’s owners got from the central bank in 2014.