All the Complexities of the Real World

Spiegel has an article today on Western Investors who are suing for some of the Congo’s wealth that is owed to them. Nasty, greedy, sons of b***hes, right?
Well- not so fast.

By bringing this up air is blown on government corruption that is keeping wealth out of the hands of the people of the Congo.

But organizations that fight corruption argue that those investors are exposing in court the corrupt networks of government officials, providing a much-needed check on mineral-rich states. Beyond that, anticorruption campaigners, like the groups Global Witness and the Publish What You Pay Coalition, contend that when nations win debt relief without becoming more accountable, they will simply repeat old mistakes and end up deep in debt once again.

(Kind of sounds like mortgage relief too, doesn’t it?)

The flip side being that as investors sue, those in charge learn to hide the money even better so transparency is hidden deeper.

Mark Thomas, a senior economist at the World Bank. “It can be a cause of revealing nontransparent practices, but it can also be a cause of those nontransparent practices in the first place.”