The government of Saudi Arabia is reportedly offering to exchange the wealth of allegedly corrupt royals and officials for their freedom. This is a tactic that has been used by post-Soviet regimes, most widely in Georgia under President Mikheil Saakashvili, but also in President Vladimir Putin's Russia. While it can be effective in supplementing government coffers, it's not great for a country's institutions and business climate.
Bloomberg View columnist. He is a Berlin-based writer, author of three novels and two nonfiction books.
Every year, the Russian military puts on a display of military might on May 9 dedicated to the Soviet Union's World War II victory. This year, it is being hyped in a banner headline on the Drudge Report, a leading right-leaning news site in the U.S., as an impressive show of force of Russian President Vladimir Putin's power: