Soros v. Romania

Word count: 1868 Oh lord, where to begin? Today, as I was working one of my three jobs (it’s complicated), I came across this story from Craig Turp of Bucharest Life and I simply had to respond. But first, a lot of necessary disclaimers! Disclaimer Time I have nothing but admiration for Bucharest Life. They…

Adventures in Legitimacy

The other day, an attractive young woman in a dress and heels handed me an envelope. When I looked inside, I saw it was stuffed full of euros and (Moldovan) lei. What’s this? Am I being paid by Russian gangsters, the CIA, or some other nefarious group? Nah. The truth is that I now have…

How A Few Bankers Fucked Romania

The other day, my wife and I watched The Big Short about the collapse of the American economy in 2007-2008 (known in Romanian as the criza financiara). She was having trouble following the plot, and so she fell asleep. I’d already read the book (it’s fantastic) and so I managed to stay awake. But afterwards,…

The Ballad of the Budget of Marisel

Word Count: 2348 You cannot even imagine how excited I was to read this: A programme launched by the finance ministry on Friday now makes available monthly budget execution data for the country’s roughly 17,720 state institutions, including parliament, ministries, city halls, schools and hospitals. . “Any citizen, company and taxpayer can now see how…

The Theft of the Century

The other day, after briefly mentioning how Kroll’s second report is now a month overdue (with no information about when it will ever be released), I remembered that somewhere in my archives I had a copy of the original Kroll report from April 2015. It’s a rather long and “boring” document but it is written…

Banker Hired to Sell Romania

They always say that if you want to make a little money, rob a bank, but if you want to make a ton of money, become a banker. I guess the Romanian government agrees: The government has appointed Manuel Costescu, an investment banker at JP Morgan, as state secretary in charge of the Department for…

The Saga of Rosia Montana

Word Count: 3843 Let’s start off with the good news. The Romanian Ministry of Culture, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Environment, Forests, and Water, officially added the Rosia Montana area to the list of sites to be considered by the United Nations as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Should this go all the…