, 6 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
“Washington told itself a comforting story that minimized the importance of this outbreak of kleptomania: These were criminal outliers and rogue profiteers rushing to exploit the weakness of the new state”

theatlantic.com/magazine/archi…
The West could have turned away this stolen cash; it could have stanched the outflow to shell companies and tax havens.

Instead, Western banks waved Russian loot into their vaults.
What was at stake could well be systemic contagion: Russian values might infect and then weaken the moral defense systems of American politics and business.
The collapse of communism in the other post-Soviet states, along with China’s turn toward capitalism, only added to the kleptocratic fortunes that were hustled abroad for secret safekeeping.
The war on #kleptocracy had meanwhile been lurching forward on another front.

If foreign plutocrats remained mostly unscathed as they made themselves at home in the U.S., American plutocrats eager to hide their fortunes abroad faced fresh trouble.
During the Cold War, the KGB had developed an expert understanding of the banking byways of the West, and spymasters had become adept at dispensing cash to agents abroad.

That proficiency facilitated the amassing of new fortunes.
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