Backing Up Banks … in Afghanistan

The phrase “You break it, you own it” takes on new meaning with the following reported suggestion from the brother of Afghanistan’s president:

As depositors thronged branches of Afghanistan’s biggest bank, Mahmoud Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a major shareholder in the beleaguered Kabul Bank, called Thursday for intervention by the United States to head off a financial meltdown. “America should do something,” he said in a telephone interview, suggesting that the Treasury Department guarantee the funds of Kabul Bank’s clients, who number about 1 million and have more than $1 billion on deposit with the bank.

Perhaps he got the idea that the U.S. government could back up these funds from the behavior of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in our country — not to mention the bank bailouts from our own ‘financial meltdown.’ The problem is that we may actually end up doing this. One result of our continued military operation in that country is that we are now vested in seeing it remain stable … even if that means bailing its banks out.

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