Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/16/2012

Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/16/2012An Irish tourist who had just arrived in Boston was arrested at 3:30am and charged with stealing a cannoli at knifepoint from an Italian bakery. The defendant was released on $2000 bail and required to surrender his passport.

In other news, an Afghan policeman turned his gun on his Western allies and opened fire, killing four NATO soldiers.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, McR, Nilk, Seneca III, Steen, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

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Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.


Anonymous said...


Earlier, I asked what "15 Khordad Foundation" meant, got no answer, but finally found out that it was an Iranian "bonyad" named after a date in the Persian calendar. I posted a comment minutes ago answering my own question at the end of this news feed.

I just spent the rest of my lunch break discovering that a great deal of the Iranian economy fell under the control of bonyads after the overthrow of the Shah, and that at least eight of these foundations are under the control of the Supreme Leader.

In plain english, these bonyads are para-state organizations that answer only to the Supreme Leader, but as supposedly charitible foundations, their doings or misdoings can be held distant from the official Iranian government.

Naturally, the largest bonyad administers the assets siezed from the Shah and his family. The total assets bonyads administer amount to a significant portion of Iran's GDP, but as the bonyads are exempt from standard Iranian business accounting and reporting practices, the extent of their influence and their penetration of the Iranian economy is anything but transparent.

In case you don't have any Iranian acquaintances or friends, let me remind you that Iran has a hellacious brain drain. It seems to me that every educated Iranian who can leave will try to leave, even if it means leaving the family business behind, and even if it means moving to a much less inviting country than the US. As talent leaves, the private sector collapses, except for the bonyads.

More on bonyads is availabe at .

I don't have the time to study the issue as deeply as I might wish. It seems bonyads are an Iranian peculiarity, as foundations in many Middle Eastern countries are restricted precisely because they can become too political. In Iran, however, they are encouraged—they are sources of patronage, and absorbers of once profitable companies. The assets the bonyads control make them the source of enormous slush funds, and they undoubtedly deposit tremendous amounts of cash into the mullahs secret Swiss bank accounts.

(The secret accounts of the mullahs makes interesting reading—but the articles on the subject I've bee able to find are all in German. Quell dommage!)