Voodoo Economics – The Eritrean Version
By Seyoum Tesfaye
The Eritrean regime is an expert in smoke and mirrors art. It is a shameless regime that could dare to market hemotoxic venom as milk fit for children consumption. Leaving the fancy words aside once again the regime has manufactured a sinister ploy to raid Eritrean pocket.
Stop and take notice.
In a highly centralized command economy the level of absurdity gets so grotesquely out of synch it will be easier to ignore or laugh it off. But you cannot ignore it when an experienced rattle snake is gearing up, again, to strike at the economic wellbeing of trusting citizen once again. A confirmed thief should not be allowed to invade the people’s pocket.
You duty is to raise hell!
Invest in a modern day La Cosa Nostra economic “plan”? If you are in love with a rattle snake and enjoy existentialist pain the answer is yes. The average human being detests rattle snakes and does everything to avoid even the most benign unintentional contact. Most Eritreans are smart enough to see through the “new investment” gimmick and avoid the whole idea of investing in an economy controlled by a ruthless Mafia without any legal restraint. But unfortunately there will be few who might not understand the concocted investment strategy.
The “invest” strategy is double pronged; the big show and the real show.
The Big show is the TV ERI media drama including the camera technique of making a small room very crowded by intentionally manipulating the venue for the conference. This is the wholesale approach. Trying to manage the rhetoric of economic reform, by totally decouple it from any political, legal question, without and any meaningful reference to previous debacles is the reason for the image driven conference. The regime and the officially invited attendees are playing cat and mouse. I doubt if there will be a wealthy Eritrean who will be blinded by the nationalist rhetoric to defy the basic principles of capitalist investment and flash his hard earned wealth into the PFDJ coffer.
My primary concern is not for the big investors who have the savvy not to be confused by Isaias’ nationalistic rhetoric or his economic expert’s strenuous effort trying to justify Isaias’ voodoo economics: forcing a mule to give birth to a chicken. Most will enjoy the smoke and mirror show and mange to survive the usual sterile lecture by El Presidente. Big money knows how to take care of itself. It will stay where its” investment” is not subjected to the mercurial temperament of a single individual in a lawless country.
While much more informed Eritrean intellectuals have exposed the absurdity of the latest attempt at massive deception to hoodwink Eritrean potential investors in general, I felt the damage that will be heaped upon the small investors has not been emphasized.
The real targets of the conference were never in the room. The real focus of the voodoo economics agenda are unsuspecting Diaspora Eritreans. The retail agenda is aimed at the pocket of the working and middle class Diaspora. This time no one can be foolish enough to give the discredited bankrupt regime US$10,000.00 cash to purchase a bond without legal guarantee. So the new plan is to try to merchandise millions of stocks in unproductive, profitless and undocumented government controlled “firms” for $50, 00 or $100.00 per share etc- spreading the misery to thousands trusting Eritreans instead of 500 the so-called top investors.
Assume the Eritrean regime without independently confirmed (international standard of evolution) real value of a given “firm or business concern” arbitrarily decides it is economically viable enough to issue million shares at the rate of US$50.00 per share intending to generate USA $50 million capital. Since PFDJ “firms” do not get a genuine health certificate (audit with proper yearly report) and no managing independent board that reports to the investors a year later the government controlled citizen financed “firm” goes belly-up. What then? Is there a legal way to organize an independent audit? Hold a board accountable and individually responsible? When you invest in a free labor extorting, human trafficking and terrorist supporting regime this kind of accountability is a fantasy. If you are into collecting junk stocks it will make sense to buy into PFDJ’s state controlled pyramid game.
Being a share holder in a sinking economy with deranged captain at the helm is like buying a seat on the Titanic. You sure will make history but you will be at the bottom of the sea “swimming” with the fishes. Not the most pleasant place to be.
How is this official theft to be prosecuted in the North America and Europe? In the usual illicit way: under the guidance and control of the Eritrean Embassy and its agents in every city where there are enclaves of Eritrean community. The regime does not have registered official agents who will be guided by the investment rules of the specific countries. If other American and European citizens were allowed to purchase the stocks being offered by the tyrannical regime thousands of critical questions have to be correctly and legally address before the stocks are brought to the market. Eritrean, apparently the regime believes, will buy anything you put in front of them.
It is our duty to specifically identify the agents of the regime that are facilitating the sale of the nefarious stocks without getting a legitimate stockbroker license in the country they reside. Look into the laws of the country you are residing in. Ask the question how can another state (government) (not an independently registered corporation) sale stocks and bonds in foreign country? What are the laws? Ask the respective government’s justice and commerce department representatives to give you answers. Are the purchasers of the stocks supposedly to report their stocks in the yearly tax return report? If they don’t are they violating the law of the country? Are the facilitators of the Eritrean regime stock sale supposedly to register as stock brokers in the country they are selling stocks? More questions- if you care for the people ask the question and acquire the necessary knowledge and skill.
Finally the famous caveat: caveat emptor (Latin) “Let the buyer beware” applies here. You buy it as it is- no warranty no return policy. It is a sense of national tradition to help your family financially but to invest in a lawless regime’s skim is extending the life of an evil tyrant.
Should some of you decide to invest in spite of the warning, advice and suggestion I recommend that you invest in the following celebrated companies for the result will not be different: (curtsey of Business Pundit)
• Eastern Airlines
• Pan Am
• Beta max
• Washington Mutual
• Sharper Image
• Bernice Madoff’s –Security exchange Company
Can you deduct the inevitable capital loss in your tax return or substitute it in the place of 2%-not in PFDJ calculation. Isaias counts on the celebrated Eritrean inertia. There will be few who will buy whatever he sales: be it recycled shit or stocks that will evaporate soon. There are always evil worshipers. They have their god we have ours. I forgot to ask if Pushkin will invest in stocks. I doubt. He has “seen” this gimmick before in Russia. He is too smart to be dubbed twice.
Declaimer: the perspective presented in this opinion is mine and mine only.