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Moscow Welcomes the (Would-Be) Sovereign Nations of California and Texas
Mansur Mirovalev | Los Angeles Times
“The arrival of Californian, Texan, Puerto Rican, Northern Irish, Catalan, Italian, and Lebanese secessionists to mingle with activists from several unrecognized separatist territories in former Soviet republics is becoming a tradition as Moscow turns to belligerent, anti-Western nationalism coupled with a readiness to take up arms against its former Soviet vassals.
Moscow uses these gatherings to promote its political agenda, gain more political leverage in the West and push for the lifting of Western sanctions imposed on Moscow after its 2014 annexation of Crimea and support of the separatists in eastern Ukraine, a former lawmaker with the ruling United Russia party said.”
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Hot Mess: How Goldman Sachs Lost $1.2 Billion of Libya’s Money
Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel | Bloomberg Businessweek
“U.S.-led sanctions steadily crippled the Libyan economy. Then, in 2003, Qaddafi watched American troops invade Iraq and drag a filthy Saddam Hussein out of a spider hole. A few days later, Qaddafi offered to give up Libya’s WMD programs. Eager to reward good behavior, the U.S. eased sanctions, restoring full relations in 2006. Qaddafi might have been a brutal tyrant who forced citizens to study his Green Book, but he was abruptly a man the West could do business with. So complete was the reversal in his fortunes that on one visit to New York he struck a deal to pitch his Bedouin tent on the Westchester County lawn of Donald Trump.
The reemergence of Libya, and its vast oil wealth, coincided with an era of nearly unbridled avarice on Wall Street—and nowhere more so than at Goldman Sachs. The same year that Qaddafi established the LIA, Goldman posted the largest profit in Wall Street history. The bank paid employees an average of $622,000, with many times that amount available for bankers who nailed down the biggest deals. A stupendously wealthy petro state desperate to buy into a bull market was a dream client—the kind of ‘elephant,’ in Goldman argot, that could make careers.”
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The New Star of Germany’s Far Right
Thomas Meaney | The New Yorker
“For decades, the German far right has been a limited force, with easily recognizable supporters—nicotine-stained ex-Nazis in the sixties and seventies, leather-clad skinheads in the eighties and nineties. Petry is something different, a disarmingly wholesome figure—a former businesswoman with a Ph.D. in chemistry and four children from her marriage to a Lutheran pastor. During a month I spent with her this summer as she drove around Germany giving speeches, she drew connections between politics and laboratory science, sprinkled her speech with Latin phrases, and steered discussions about German culture toward the cantatas of Bach.”