> I have an idea: what about Chita? There’s already an (ex) billionaire there.
If you mean Khodorkovsky – he hasn’t been there in a long time.
> I always get the BVI and the Kurils mixed up. Ditto the Bahamas and Sakhalin. Luxembourg, Jersey, Siberia. Who can tell them apart, really? They’re all such “fine places.” TFF.
It is easy to tell Sakhalin from Jersey. Sakhalin is where you can get all the greatest seafood in the world fresh and cheap: king crab, red caviar, black caviar, scallops, salmon, calamari, octopus, etc. Jersey is the place for fish and chips. My teammate was from Sakhalin. He actually went back there from the SF Bay Area. He said that the climate is not that bad there.
> Why do they have to be islands?
Valid question. Why not Sochi instead? Close to Olympic-quality skiing and luge runs. And you may meet Putin there. Especially at the local badminton gym. Have they invented downhill badminton yet? As I recall, the Kennedy clan used to be into downhill football.
You don’t need too many bankers there. Just enough to provide off-shore services for the people in the US and EU who need off-shore services. With the US government putting pressure on one off-shore after another, it is not impossible that pretty soon Mitt Romney and other Republican leaders, in their all-consuming quest for not paying American taxes (taxes are for the losers), will have no choice but to put their money into Sochi banks.
Convincing investors that there would not be any fly-by-night rip-off banks – that’s another question. But certainly Depardieu, Bordot and a whole bunch of European russophiles will take advantage. Especially since Depardieu has been invited to give up his decadent infidel ways and take up decadent halal ways in the nearby Grozny with Kadyrov.
> appealing to Steven Seagal to lobby Congress to relent on restrictions on the importation of Russian sporting rifles.
The problem here is the lack of PR savvy on the Russian part. If they advertise how low their gun prices are to, say, Breitbart, Fox News and Limbaugh audiences and offer big volume discounts for the purchases of at least 10 guns per household, the people in red states will force the Congress to lift restrictions. Of course, the US gun companies that run NRA, will oppose that, proving that NRA’s goals have nothing to do with libertarianism and the Constitution and everything with greed.
> Note that Cyprus was a financial player primarily because Russians wanted to get their money out of Russia
Yes, the Russian elites want to hide their illegal incomes from the Russian government.
> if the Russians want to get their money out, who in their right mind would want to put their money in?
The American and EU elites who want to hide their illegal incomes from their own government and to avoid taxes, of course. When you say your PhD is in “domestic economics”, is that a fancy term for “home economics”? 🙂
> That is, Gazprom has every reason to want the gas to remain under the sea. Eastern Med gas would compete with Gazprom’s Russian production: if Gazprom controlled Cyprus’s gas, sales from these fields would cannibalize sales of Russian gas. Meaning that Gazprom has no real interest in developing Cypriot gas-to the contrary.
I am not sure that people, who have studied economics in college would agree, Professor. if we followed your logic, Gazprom would have no real interest in developing Russian gas either. It would want to sell as little gas as possible. That way, it could charge more for a liter of liquefied gas than for a 750 ml bottle of Dom Perrignon champagne. 🙂
On a serious note, I don’t think that the addition of Cyprus gas to the supply side of the world energy market would have any noticeable effect on the world oil/gas prices. Otherwise, the Cypriots themselves would use this gas to get out of their current crisis.
> But Cyprus should look energy firms whose interest is to maximize the commercial prospects of its gas resources, rather than Gazprom, which would like nothing better than to sabotage their development.
Why would, say, Exxon or BP be any different from Gazprom? Using your “logic”, wouldn’t they too want to minimize their gas production in order to keep oil and gas prices high?