State investment funds, such a good idea

For the state employees who run them of course:

Swiss prosecutors on Friday requested assistance from Malaysian authorities in investigating massive theft from a state-owned firm at the centre of a graft scandal.

Swiss investigators said they believed around US$4bn had been stolen from Malaysian state-owned companies, funding that was earmarked for economic and social development projects in Malaysia.

That’s following on from the news that the $600 million which popped up in the Prime Minister’s accounts were in fact a gift from people in the Gulf.

Yes.

State backed investment funds, just such a good idea.

9 thoughts on “State investment funds, such a good idea”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Until recently Indonesia out sourced the collection of customs duties to a Swiss company.

    I am sure we could sit here all day thinking why that might be. Without, obviously, noting a single Hate Fact.

    Why are Third World Sh!tholes Third World Sh!tholes? It is a mystery. That is what it is. Bad luck or summint.

  2. I think you can find a pretty solid correlation for the size/complexity/bureaucracy/opacity of an organisation and the levels of graft and corruption.
    Whether that organisation is a state or a private company is pretty much irrelevant.

  3. @ Grikath
    “Whether that organisation is a state or a private company is pretty much irrelevant.”
    Not quite – there is something called bankruptcy.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    Grikath – “I think you can find a pretty solid correlation for the size/complexity/bureaucracy/opacity of an organisation and the levels of graft and corruption. Whether that organisation is a state or a private company is pretty much irrelevant.”

    Says the Dutchman. First World people say the funniest things some times. Because they have never lived in a Third World sh!thole. If they had, they would realise how utterly untrue that statement is.

    What private company could not notice $4 billion gone walkabout?

  5. Ah SMFS… Careful with assumptions..

    The Netherlands has been, roughly since the 15th/16thC, almost entirely been built on Trade. And the laws and practices of the Dutch reflect this.
    Being as small as it is, smuggling, and the associated practices of graft and corruption have been part and parcel of this country for centuries. There’s too many borders close by, even on foot, even after the unification of the Provinces..
    It very much shapes our opinion on corruption: An honest Revenue Officer may be tough to deal with, but at least you know what to expect, and this gets a level of respect. A corrupt official cannot be trusted, as there’s no telling when he’ll turn on you. Our history is full of examples of how a bit of applied Darwinism kept Officials basically honest..

    Our whole governmental system is set up in full awareness of the possibility of corruption. It’s why it’s so hard to get away with over here. It’s a good way to commit fiscal and social suicide.
    This relatively tiny bit of real estate is a First World Nation because we do not allow corruption to take hold.
    Oh and the fact that the separate parts, and the whole, have pretty much always been managed as if it was a very large company, and still are. “the Netherlands ltd” or “Holland B.V.” is sometimes jokingly used, but it really isn’t.
    There may be a solid reason for the tradition of using the first modern stock market in the world for the Official Bits of the Succession over here, y’know..
    Or why Wall Street is at Wall st….

    “What private company could not notice $4 billion gone walkabout?”

    Depends on the turnover, and the creativity used in misappropriating the funds. Mind.. As the Banks ( but really not just the banks..) have shown us, it’s a lot easier, and a lot safer to piss away 4 billion “in the course of Business” and while having arranged a nice cast-iron contractual severance package.

    Well.. Unless you do it in this particular First World Nation.. The level at which your assets, and your ass, can be reposessed in those cases depends on whether you’ve been stupid, or willfull.. You better hope it’s just “stupid”.

    You were saying?

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    Grikath – “This relatively tiny bit of real estate is a First World Nation because we do not allow corruption to take hold.”

    That is all very nice but what has it got to do with what I said? In the Netherlands what you said might be true. In the Third World, no it is not. First World people are just incredibly naive about the Third World.

    “Depends on the turnover, and the creativity used in misappropriating the funds.”

    No it doesn’t. There isn’t a private company in the world that could ignore that. Where has there ever been a private company that has come close to that level of corruption?

    “it’s a lot easier, and a lot safer to piss away 4 billion “in the course of Business” and while having arranged a nice cast-iron contractual severance package.”

    Sure, but stupidity and incompetence is not corruption. This is corruption:

    While originally budgeted at US$12 billion, various factors caused the budget to expand to over US$51 billion, surpassing the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as the most expensive Olympics in history.

  7. Scale matters. Yes it is $10M instead of $4B but the total revenues of this car dealer are also much smaller than the Malaysian government’s. Corruption stems from people getting a position where they can take advantage of the system whether it is public or private.

  8. “First World people are just incredibly naive about the Third World.”

    Yeah… We’d do really well as a trading nation if we’d just assume that Things Elsewhere are exactly the same as in our little patch of land…
    Just goes to show you haven’t got a clue about the Dutch.

    Oh, and Sotchi is pretty easy.. the OldSSR is pretty much notorious for the sheer amount of corruption at all levels. Their monkeys, their circus…

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