If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The New York Times)   The New York Times wins the prize for dumbest headline of the day: "An Afghan Mystery: Why Are Large Shipments of Gold Leaving the Country?"   (nytimes.com) divider line 76
    More: Obvious, Afghan Mystery, Afghans, gold leafing, airliners, American officials, prizes, money launders  
•       •       •

6908 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Dec 2012 at 1:18 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



76 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-12-16 11:10:52 AM  
Why is that headline dumb?
 
2012-12-16 11:15:19 AM  
The Grey Lady seems to be getting a little more grey by the day.
 
2012-12-16 12:05:34 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: Why is that headline dumb?


It's not even the actual headline, at least on the NYT's mobile site.
 
2012-12-16 12:25:33 PM  
ct.fra.bz
Please, subby, enlighten us on the simple economics of gold.
 
2012-12-16 12:37:31 PM  
Huh?
 
2012-12-16 12:57:04 PM  
Yeah, I'm not following what's so dumb about that at all. I guess subby is trying to say that it's fairly obvious why you'd want to get gold out of Afghanistan, but if there are sudden, large, unexpected transfers of gold out of the country, it is worth asking why.
 
2012-12-16 01:01:12 PM  
For many reasons wars are waged,
In modern years and times of old;
For many reasons anger raged,
None so stupid as for wealth and gold.

-Author unknown
 
2012-12-16 01:07:37 PM  
Hahahahahahahaha . . . hmm

/Don't get it.
 
2012-12-16 01:23:04 PM  
www.splotchy.com
/knows a thing or two about transporting gold
 
2012-12-16 01:24:00 PM  

jake_lex: Yeah, I'm not following what's so dumb about that at all. I guess subby is trying to say that it's fairly obvious why you'd want to get gold out of Afghanistan, but if there are sudden, large, unexpected transfers of gold out of the country, it is worth asking why.


Rats. Sinking ship.

US withdrawal in 2014.

People with money expect the Afghani government to fold not long after the Stars & Stripes are lowered, and a hardline Islamic regime to follow, Taliban II: Electric Boogaloo.

They are taking their money elsewhere.

Simple really.
 
2012-12-16 01:24:36 PM  
Did anyone happen to see Ice Cube, Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney in the area?
 
2012-12-16 01:25:30 PM  

PsyLord: [www.splotchy.com image 400x400]
/knows a thing or two about transporting gold


I don't think Pussy Galore would be able to operate out of Afghanistan.

\Pussy Galore
 
2012-12-16 01:26:52 PM  

Silverstaff: jake_lex: Yeah, I'm not following what's so dumb about that at all. I guess subby is trying to say that it's fairly obvious why you'd want to get gold out of Afghanistan, but if there are sudden, large, unexpected transfers of gold out of the country, it is worth asking why.

Rats. Sinking ship.

US withdrawal in 2014.

People with money expect the Afghani government to fold not long after the Stars & Stripes are lowered, and a hardline Islamic regime to follow, Taliban II: Electric Boogaloo.

They are taking their money elsewhere.

Simple really.


By transferring gold? Do they get paid in gold in Afghanistan, and have to ship it to Dubai, instead of just wiring the money electronically? Your point about the future of Afghanistan may be correct, but that doesn't translate into gold shipments at all.
 
2012-12-16 01:27:00 PM  

snake_beater: Did anyone happen to see Ice Cube, Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney in the area?


No but I did hear some guy was caught with a map hidden in a very uncomfortable spot.
 
2012-12-16 01:27:45 PM  
I'm surprised it took this long for those with money to GTFO.
 
2012-12-16 01:30:04 PM  

Silverstaff: jake_lex: Yeah, I'm not following what's so dumb about that at all. I guess subby is trying to say that it's fairly obvious why you'd want to get gold out of Afghanistan, but if there are sudden, large, unexpected transfers of gold out of the country, it is worth asking why.

Rats. Sinking ship.

US withdrawal in 2014.

People with money expect the Afghani government to fold not long after the Stars & Stripes are lowered, and a hardline Islamic regime to follow, Taliban II: Electric Boogaloo.

They are taking their money elsewhere.

Simple really.


The article asks where the gold comes from as well. Why do the Afghans have all this gold when they don't produce gold themselves?

I assume it's payment for the drugs they do have.
 
2012-12-16 01:31:53 PM  

Silverstaff: jake_lex: Yeah, I'm not following what's so dumb about that at all. I guess subby is trying to say that it's fairly obvious why you'd want to get gold out of Afghanistan, but if there are sudden, large, unexpected transfers of gold out of the country, it is worth asking why.

Rats. Sinking ship.

US withdrawal in 2014.

People with money expect the Afghani government to fold not long after the Stars & Stripes are lowered, and a hardline Islamic regime to follow, Taliban II: Electric Boogaloo.

They are taking their money elsewhere.

Simple really.


I just woke up and this was obvious.
Toss in money laundering from the drug trade and tax evasion.
 
2012-12-16 01:40:00 PM  

mbillips: By transferring gold? Do they get paid in gold in Afghanistan, and have to ship it to Dubai, instead of just wiring the money electronically? Your point about the future of Afghanistan may be correct, but that doesn't translate into gold shipments at all.


Electronic money transfers are not big in Afghanistan. Most banking is done in cold, hard cash, or through precious metals. There are a few banks in Kabul which can handle money transfers, but don't expect them to get a lot of use by the locals.

Instead of conventional banking, the halawa system is in use, a network of brokers/moneylenders throughout the Islamic world. It's essentially an underground money transfer system, off the books as far as international law goes, and very hard to trace/track.

Also, the vast bulk of the global opium trade goes through Afghanistan. Billions in drug money, the money that funds the Taliban. The overwhelming majority of heroin in global commerce comes from Afghanistan. They aren't in a hurry to go to mainstream banking sources with money that's clearly dirty.

For every dinar going out in gold, expect several to be moving by halawa, and expect a lot of it to come from the opium trade.
 
2012-12-16 01:41:29 PM  
I don't think it's so hard to figure out. U.S. forces don't control anything in Afghanistan outside the capital city of Kabul and they'll be leaving soon. Businessmen who live in the city know what will happen to them when the Taliban re-assert their little slice of Islamic hell-on-earth there. So, they are planning to leave before they get shot, hung or beheaded as collaborators. (Not that the Taliban will even need that excuse. They'll just steal anything not nailed down)
 
2012-12-16 01:41:54 PM  
mbillips: erstaff: jake_lex: Yeah, I'm not following what's so dumb about that at all. I guess subby is trying to say that it's fairly obvious why you'd want to get gold out of Afghanistan, but if there are sudden, large, unexpected transfers of gold out of the country, it is worth asking why.
Rats. Sinking ship.
US withdrawal in 2014.
People with money expect the Afghani government to fold not long after the Stars & Stripes are lowered, and a hardline Islamic regime to follow, Taliban II: Electric Boogaloo.
They are taking their money elsewhere.
Simple really.
-----------------------
By transferring gold? Do they get paid in gold in Afghanistan, and have to ship it to Dubai, instead of just wiring the money electronically? Your point about the future of Afghanistan may be correct, but that doesn't translate into gold shipments at all.


But it does translate in a sense.

If you consider the possibility of a change in the Afghan government coupled with the fact that with the lack of a larger country with a military presence there, the chances the religious zealots will take over again and simply take all assets as their own. If I had a commodity of any type that a possible new government might covet, I would be looking to move that too. If it was flat screen TVs, then there would be shipments of my inventory flying out of the Kabul airport daily to countries that do not have a penchant for seizing property (especially TVs) in the name of religious fanaticism.

Yes, the article was rather vague as to the reason why this gold movement is happening, but given H Karzai's recent temper tantrums, I would be thinking about moving shop out of Afghanistan if I were a business owner. This would include physical and financial assets. That country is consistent in a few things - inconsistency, upheaval and erratic behavior. It sure looks to be the beginning another cycle of that happening with recent events. 

Cya in 2024 Kabul. It was nice knowing ya.
 
2012-12-16 01:42:14 PM  
Thank goodness you guys were here to figure this out. Quick, inform the State Department!
 
2012-12-16 01:46:00 PM  
Well, we certainly can't blame China. The only metal they care about these days is lead

/Sweet, delicious lead
 
2012-12-16 01:47:19 PM  
The mullahs in Iran have been doing that for the last several years. Huge truckloads of gold going into Turkey every week.
 
2012-12-16 01:54:55 PM  
socaldem.smugmug.com

hotrink
 
2012-12-16 01:59:21 PM  

PsyLord: [www.splotchy.com image 400x400]
/knows knew a thing or two about transporting gold


FTFY
 
2012-12-16 02:01:42 PM  

KrispyKritter: [socaldem.smugmug.com image 467x422]

hotrink


I was thinking of this...

tulolb-744392546.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com

But I will admit, yours is better. LOL
 
2012-12-16 02:08:29 PM  
Here we go. The first salvo in the media push for the government to contol the gold supply.
 
2012-12-16 02:11:29 PM  
 
2012-12-16 02:14:00 PM  

Silverstaff: They are taking their money elsewhere.

Simple really.



More like looting than "I'm moving out of my country and transferring my wealth as gold".

/it wasn't only about oil
 
2012-12-16 02:15:53 PM  
dl.dropbox.com

/What pallets of Hundred Dollar Bills might look like
//See! Bulky
 
2012-12-16 02:18:43 PM  
Fark why not, we're giving them pallets of $USD, might as well buy gold and move it back out.
 
2012-12-16 02:19:05 PM  

BullBearMS: /What pallets of Hundred Dollar Bills might look like
//See! Bulky


I'll relieve them of that unwieldy pallet.
 
2012-12-16 02:19:52 PM  
BullBearMS: The sums leaving through Kabul International Airport are so large that US investigators believe top Afghan officials and their associates are sending billions of diverted US aid and logistics dollars and drug money to financial safe havens abroad.

...

Officials believe some of the cash, if not most, is siphoned from Western aid projects and US, European and NATO contracts to provide security, supplies and reconstruction work for coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Thank goodness we're still occupying their nation a decade later! We'd hate for all that money to be useful inside the US.

fark. FARKDAMMITSOMUCH
 
2012-12-16 02:25:12 PM  

Kumana Wanalaia: BullBearMS: The sums leaving through Kabul International Airport are so large that US investigators believe top Afghan officials and their associates are sending billions of diverted US aid and logistics dollars and drug money to financial safe havens abroad.

...

Officials believe some of the cash, if not most, is siphoned from Western aid projects and US, European and NATO contracts to provide security, supplies and reconstruction work for coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Thank goodness we're still occupying their nation a decade later! We'd hate for all that money to be useful inside the US.

fark. FARKDAMMITSOMUCH




All this does actually make me a little sick to my stomach.

This isn't even illicit drug money being laundered. It's You and Me giving these shiatbirds free untraceable money.
 
2012-12-16 02:26:52 PM  
You expect them to talk?
 
2012-12-16 02:34:00 PM  

TheManofPA: You expect them to talk?


No Mr. TheManofPA, we expected them to die!
 
2012-12-16 02:34:41 PM  

diaphoresis: TheManofPA: You expect them to talk?

No Mr. TheManofPA, we expected them to die!


With all that gold, I expected them to buy!
 
2012-12-16 02:37:45 PM  
It's funny because Afganistan is land locked, which means you can't "ship" anything out of the country. HAR HAR HAR
 
2012-12-16 02:45:32 PM  

BullBearMS: [dl.dropbox.com image 372x192]

/What pallets of Hundred Dollar Bills might look like
//See! Bulky


Dollar for dollar, gold is more compact, but hundred dollar bills weigh less. And for luggage carried by a human being (instead of a fork lift), it works out that weight ends up being the limiting factor, not size.

A million dollars in cash weighs almost exactly 10 kg. A million dollars in gold weighs a little over 18 kg (at the current price of $54.56 per gram). A reasonably fit male who can toss about 50 kilos into the overhead compartment could get about 5 million dollars in cash, or about 2.5 million dollars in gold.

So no, gold is not being smuggled because it's easier to carry than cash. And they're declaring it, so it's not like the size is helping them smuggle anything.
 
2012-12-16 02:48:16 PM  
How hard can it be to "intercept" one or two of those shipments I wonder?

*looks for pencil and paper and book of contacts*

The gold is fully declared and legal to fly. Some, if not most, is legitimately being sent by gold dealers seeking to have old and damaged jewelry refashioned into new pieces by skilled craftsmen in the Persian Gulf, said Afghan officials and gold dealers.
Oh well then that's fine. It's okay guys, let it through we have it on the best authority they're on the up and up.
Cue the pictures of the dead Karzai brother -

Does it say "Welcome to the Nation of Idiots" on the Statue of Liberty these days?
 
2012-12-16 02:51:19 PM  
Wonder if E.Rothschild could supply any info.He probably knows a thing or two.
 
2012-12-16 02:53:26 PM  

Silverstaff: Rats. Sinking ship.

US withdrawal in 2014.- People with money expect the Afghani government to fold not long after the Stars & Stripes are lowered, and a hardline Islamic regime to follow, Taliban II: Electric Boogaloo.

They are taking their money elsewhere.- Simple really.


History shows otherwise.

When the Soviets left Afghanistan, the country did not immediately fall to the Taliban. The Soviet supported Afghan government still did quite well, much better than most expected. They only fell after the Soviet union collapsed and the Soviet money and provisions stopped flowing to Afghanistan. It's often suggested that had the Soviet money and provisions continued, the Taliban would never have taken the country.

The point being, so long as we keep sending planeloads of cash and weapons to Karzai, he's going to continue to be the strongest force in the country - by far. It's a lot cheaper for us to send money than send soldiers, and we don't want the Taliban to take over.

So we'll keep sending money, Karzai and his pals will stay in power, the Taliban will continue to be an annoyance, but have almost no chance of retaking the country.

So why are people shipping their gold out of the country? Doesn't seem to make a lot of sense? In fact, it might be termed, "a good question".
 
2012-12-16 02:54:00 PM  
cdn.mos.totalfilm.com
 
2012-12-16 02:54:52 PM  

Miss Stein: The mullahs in Iran have been doing that for the last several years. Huge truckloads of gold going into Turkey every week.


The opposite seems to be true.
Bloomberg article: "Iranians in Turkey Collecting Gold for Central Bank, Zaman Says"
 
2012-12-16 02:54:57 PM  

The Larch: BullBearMS: [dl.dropbox.com image 372x192]

/What pallets of Hundred Dollar Bills might look like
//See! Bulky

Dollar for dollar, gold is more compact, but hundred dollar bills weigh less. And for luggage carried by a human being (instead of a fork lift), it works out that weight ends up being the limiting factor, not size.

A million dollars in cash weighs almost exactly 10 kg. A million dollars in gold weighs a little over 18 kg (at the current price of $54.56 per gram). A reasonably fit male who can toss about 50 kilos into the overhead compartment could get about 5 million dollars in cash, or about 2.5 million dollars in gold.

So no, gold is not being smuggled because it's easier to carry than cash. And they're declaring it, so it's not like the size is helping them smuggle anything.


You're confusing bulk with weight.
 
2012-12-16 02:55:06 PM  

BumpInTheNight: snake_beater: Did anyone happen to see Ice Cube, Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney in the area?

No but I did hear some guy was caught with a map hidden in a very uncomfortable spot.


I thought it was a watch!
 
2012-12-16 03:03:24 PM  
Screw gold and US Dollars.

If you're serious about moving large amounts of money by suitcase, the best choice is the 500 Euro note. Today, each one of those notes is worth about $658 US dollars. It's lighter than gold, less bulkier than gold, and a lot less likely to lose 20% of its value in an afternoon.
 
2012-12-16 03:04:20 PM  
roughly hewed bars of gold are being flown out of Kabul

Is it hewed or hewn?

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-12-16 03:07:42 PM  
 
2012-12-16 03:08:35 PM  
i1164.photobucket.com
 
Displayed 50 of 76 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report