Says the FT:
Libya lost billions of dollars on sophisticated financial products sold to Muammer Gaddafi’s sovereign wealth fund by some of the world’s leading financial institutions, according to a confidential Libyan government document… One of the most striking losses, outlined in an internal report for the Libyan Investment Authority, was a 98.5 per cent fall in the value of the sovereign wealth fund’s $1.2bn equity and currency derivatives portfolio. The disclosures – in a document obtained by the campaign group Global Witness – raise more questions about the west’s enthusiastic engagement with Libya, in spite of the Gaddafi regime’s reputation for brutality and corruption. Robert Palmer, campaigner for Global Witness, said: “It’s striking how many top financial institutions were prepared to do business with the Libyan regime, given the obvious concerns over the potential misuse of state assets for personal gain.”
Sooooo… they are sad that the Cold West was prepared to engage with Gaddafi and allow him to make money playing the markets. But if you believe that, isn’t it great that our financial institutions were so incompetent / corrupt / whatever that we managed to actually lose him money?
Meanwhile, the War isn’t going quite as quickly as one might hope. Some arabs safe in the West are starting to do the traditional “don’t trust the West” twaddle. But things grind on; we have inertia and lack-of-attention-span, which can be mistaken for patience.